HEALTH

GSK Consumer Healthcare appoints new VP corporate development

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare on Monday appointed Janet Carter-Smith as its new VP corporate development.

A 14-year GSK associate, CarterSmith has held several sales leadership positions within the organization, including the leading of a strategic business development opportunity for GSK portfolio expansion. She also has held leadership positions in business development for GSK in the areas of expert sales, leading the Alli pharmacy detailing initiative and retail industry expertise.

CarterSmith currently resides in Birmingham, Ala.

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Peptic ulcer bacterium may alter the body’s defense system, study suggests

BY Anna Mcgrath

NEW YORK The discovery that Helicobacter pylori survives in the body by manipulating important immune system cells may lead to a new treatment strategy against the common peptic ulcer bacterium, according to a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy.

Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that lives predominantly in the stomach and can lead to peptic ulcers and develop into stomach cancer. About half of the world’s population carries the bacterium, though most infected individuals never experience any symptoms. On average, around 10% get peptic ulcers and around 1% develop stomach cancer.

“Carriers were often infected as children and if not treated with antibiotics, the bacterium remains in the body for life. The immune system alone is unable to eliminate the bacterium, and now we understand better why,” said biologist Bert Kindlund, the author of the thesis from Sahlgrenska Academy.

Regulatory T-cells down-regulate the body’s defence against Helicobacter pylori and enable the bacterium to develop a chronic infection.

“If we could control the regulatory T cells, we could strengthen the immune system and help the body eliminate the bacterium. This could be a new treatment strategy against Helicobacter pylori,” Kindlund continued.

Researchers are hopeful that such information will ultimately help discovery a treatment to stomach cancer.

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Government officials to host H1N1 Flu Preparedness Summit

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The White House on Friday announced that Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano, Education secretary Arne Duncan and Homeland Security advisor John Brennan will host an all-day H1N1 Flu Preparedness Summit with states to further prepare the nation for the possibility of a more severe outbreak of H1N1 flu in the fall.

The Summit will be held this Thursday at the Natcher Conference Center at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

The H1N1 flu virus continues to circulate in this country and in at least 100 other countries around the world – especially in the Southern Hemisphere, where flu season is underway, the White House stated.

“Scientists and public health experts forecast that the impact of H1N1 may well worsen in the fall — when the regular flu season hits, or even earlier, when schools start to open — which is only five or six weeks away in some cases,” Sebelius said. “The goal of the Summit is to launch a national influenza campaign by bringing federal, state and local officials, emergency managers, educators and others together with the nation’s public health experts to build on and tailor states’ existing pandemic plans, share lessons learned and best practices during the spring and summer H1N1 wave, and discuss preparedness priorities.”

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