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Pharmalittle: FDA OKs first RSV vaccine for older adults; Lilly Alzheimer’s data puts pressure on Medicare

May 4, 2023... The FDA licensed the first-ever vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, completing an elusive quest that has been decades in the making.

In a first, a potentially fatal rare blood vessel disorder is treated in the womb

May 4, 2023... In a first, a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital successfully treated a vascular malformation in an infant’s brain before birth.

CAR-T research is flourishing but is hampered by outdated precautions, experts say

May 3, 2023... A gathering of experts in CAR-T cancer therapy at #STAT breakthrough express optimism about making therapy faster and more accessible, while also raising concerns about falling behind China.

Matthew Herper speaks to Daniel Skovronsky on screen at the 2023 Breakthrough Summit. -- Biotech coverage from STAT.

For Eli Lilly’s head scientist, Alzheimer’s results cap a 25-year scientific quest

May 3, 2023... "Probably any words I use to describe my emotions at seeing this data will understate it," said Daniel Skovronsky, Eli Lilly's head scientist.

wearing a GSK tag, an employee holds several tubes in their hands – coverage from STAT

FDA approves first RSV vaccine, a long-sought scientific achievement

May 3, 2023... The FDA has approved the first-ever vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, completing an elusive quest that has been decades in the making.

Pharmalittle: Lilly’s Alzheimer’s drug slowed cognitive decline; most EU countries back plan to push production of key drugs

May 3, 2023... A new Eli Lilly Alzheimer's treatment slowed the rate of cognitive and functional decline in patients by 35% compared to placebo.

Ovarian Tumor

Immunogen ovarian cancer drug shown to extend patients’ lives

May 3, 2023... A drug approved in November as the first new treatment for advanced ovarian cancer in over seven years has now been shown to extend patients’ lives, its developer, Immunogen, said Wednesday.

Bernie Sanders — PBM coverage from STAT

Disagreements and digs upend an otherwise bipartisan hearing on PBM reform

May 2, 2023... A Senate health committee markup on PBM reform was rocky from the start — and downhill from there.

What to know about the upcoming readout of Eli Lilly’s experimental Alzheimer’s therapy

May 2, 2023... Eli Lilly is nearing the readout from a pivotal study of its experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Here's what to know.

a meal in a fiber bowl with a fork – health coverage from STAT

Study: Ingredient found in salad bowls and burger wrappers less safe than previously thought

May 2, 2023... The toxic chemicals used in salad bowls and French fry pouches may be leaching into food, despite efforts to make those materials safer.

Eye close up

Astellas acquires Iveric Bio for $5.9B, entering competition to treat common cause of vision loss

May 1, 2023... Japanese drugmaker Astellas said it would acquire eye drug developer Iveric Bio for $5.9 billion, betting on a prospective treatment for a form of vision loss that affects around 1 million people in the U.S.

An illustration of a desert oasis with plants made from money, pill, and auto-injectors to represent new weight loss drugs – biotech and pharma coverage from STAT

Beyond Wegovy and Ozempic: Biotechs vie for piece of red-hot weight loss market with novel strategies

May 1, 2023... You've probably heard of Ozempic and even Mounjaro. But a clutch of startups say they'll have even better, or at least less nauseating, drugs for weight loss.

An illustration of a cross-section of a prison with women isolated in each cell. – mental health coverage for STAT

‘We went from almost no lockdowns to daily lockdowns’: The mental health crisis inside California women’s prisons

April 28, 2023... “I'm not hopeful because lockdowns seem like our new normal,” said one prisoner who's advocating for more mental health services to help release stress and promote rehabilitation.

Illustration of a billboard promoting AI tech on top of a hospital, inside the hospital doctors struggle with computers - health tech coverage from STAT

A research team airs the messy truth about AI in medicine — and gives hospitals a guide to fix it

April 27, 2023... In public, hospitals rave about artificial intelligence. But on the front lines, the hype is smashing into a starkly different reality.

Colon cancer - left/right

Morphic study shows promise — and blockbuster potential — for a pill to treat ulcerative colitis

April 25, 2023... An experimental oral medicine to treat ulcerative colitis showed promise — and blockbuster potential — in a new study.


Maryland pushes first-of-its-kind bill to promote alternatives to animals in biomedical research

April 24, 2023... "We believe the best way to end animal testing is to pump up alternative R&D testing methods,” said Victoria Katrinak of the Humane Society.

Robert F Kennedy Jr on a projection screen behind a person who lifts up a anti-vaccine mandate sign — First Opinion coverage from STAT

How journalists can cover RFK Jr.’s antivax presidential run responsibly

April 24, 2023... Donald Trump showed us how dangerous it is to dismiss a conspiracy theorist with a chip on his shoulder and a famous name.

Silhouette of three EU leaders speaking — Pharmalot coverage from STAT

‘A tug of war’: Europe braces for new legislation with far-reaching impacts on pharma and patients

April 24, 2023... The European Commission on Wednesday will soon release draft legislation that could transform the way medicines are brought to market across the continent.

Boxes of the abortion pill mifepristone — Supreme Court coverage from STAT

Supreme Court maintains access to abortion pill mifepristone, at least for now

April 21, 2023... The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled 7-2 that a commonly used abortion pill could stay on the market pending further legal review.

Abortion rights activists gather during an International Women's Day abortion rights demonstration at the Texas State Capitol -- First Opinion coverage from STAT.

Judicial overreach is an immediate hazard to already precarious public health

April 20, 2023... It is reckless for courts to make decisions that disregard decades of clinical evidence on drug safety and effectiveness.

Illustration of a giant empty pill bottle labeled "long Covid treatment" with a "coming soon" sign taped on the front to illustrate the NIH failing to come up with a cure after billions in funding – government and policy coverage from STAT

The NIH has poured $1 billion into long Covid research — with little to show for it

April 20, 2023... The federal government has burned through more than $1 billion to study long Covid, and there's basically nothing to show for it.

Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

STAT-Harris Poll: Most Americans are worried about RSV

April 19, 2023... More than two-thirds of people in the U.S. who know about RSV said they're worried their kids will contract the virus.

Focal Adhesions in Breast Cancer

Relay’s breast cancer drug proves tolerable, but market is unimpressed

April 19, 2023... A drug by Relay Therapeutics shows it can attack breast cancer cells without causing a common toxic side effect. But it did little to slow progression.

Silhouetted cows stand in a pen. -- First Opinion coverage from STAT.

Where are the guidelines for the production of animals with intentional genomic alterations?

April 17, 2023... Realizing the benefits of animals with intentional genomic alterations depends on gaining consumers’ trust, which in turn requires a regulatory system that consumers can count on.

Alex Haile, a senior scientist at Sarepta Therapeutics, looks at immunofluorescence images of muscle fibers in the lab in Columbus, OH on April 6, 2023 – biotech coverage from STAT

A bellwether moment: Once a distant dream, gene therapy for Duchenne nears historic decision

April 17, 2023... For Sarepta, an experimental gene therapy is a story of foresight, savvy dealmaking, scientific puzzle solving, and perseverance.

Pharmalittle: Telehealth abortion providers are scrambling; Express Scripts launches new pricing plan amid PBM scrutiny

April 14, 2023... U.S. telehealth abortion providers scrambled after a court ruled the abortion pill mifepristone could be distributed only after in-person doctor visits.

Two Adderall XR capsules in a pill bottle – First Opinion coverage from STAT

I’m a biopharma supply chain specialist — and even I can’t find the Adderall I’m prescribed

April 14, 2023... Adding transparency to the supply chain is crucial to give people access to essential medications

Health officials prepare to administer a malaria vaccine in the Malawi village of Tomali

Promising new malaria vaccine for kids approved in Ghana

April 13, 2023... Ghana on Thursday became the first country to approve a new malaria vaccine for young children, one that officials hope will offer better protection against the disease that kills hundreds of thousands every year.

Lindsay London holds protest sign reading "defend medication abortion" in front of the federal court building in Amarillo, Texas.

Abortion drug battle will head to Supreme Court after appeals court decision

April 13, 2023... A federal appeals court is allowing continued access to a common abortion medication, mifepristone, but with some additional restrictions.