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Top Ten most popular articles on this week!

Published on 16/08/19 at 10:03am

Novartis’ faulty data scandal dominated the headlines this week, as the Swiss firm faced fierce backlash over covering up the use of bad data in getting its $2.1 million gene therapy Zolgensma approved by the FDA. While executives at Novartis subsidiary AveXis were kicked out, the US Senate demanded answers.

Still the past week was a good one for CAR-T therapies as Medicare said it would cover the cost of Kymriah and Yescarta while new research showed a boosted form of the immunotherapy, duoCAR-T showed promise in fighting HIV.

In other news, research found a new use for a drug in the fight against Ebola as UC, Sand Diego scientists discovered a multiple sclerosis drug boosted the effectiveness of cancer drugs in fighting glioblastoma. For all this and more, check out this week’s top 10!

10. Senate Finance Comittee Chairman, Chuck Grassley calls on Novartis to reveal details of data scandal

Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has demanded that Novartis give up details on the faulty data scandal surrounding Zolgensma.

9. Living in polluted city for ten years increases risk of lung disease as much as pack of cigarettes a day for 29 years

Air pollution in cities dramatically increases the risk for and risk of progression of emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study from researchers in the United States.

8. Britain call on companies to bid for 24 hour Brexit medicines shipping service contract

The British Government is calling on logistics companies to bid for a £25 million contract to run express freight containers carrying daily shipments of medicines into the UK after the Brexit deadline on 31 October.

7. FDA-approved drug could be used to treat Ebola, study shows

The FDA-approved anti-parasitic drug nitazoxanide could be used as a treatment for Ebola, according to researchers from the Boston Children's Hospital.

6. Senators call on FDA to use "forceful response" against Novartis over faulty data scandal

Five senators, including presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have condemned Novartis for using “falsified data… to obtain approval of its gene therapy, Zolgensma… the most expensive medication in American history.”

5. MS drug boosts effectiveness of cancer therapy in treating glioblastoma, study shows

The multiple sclerosis (MS) drug teriflunomide boosts the effectiveness of cancer drugs in treating glioblastoma, according to researchers from UC, San Diego.

4. Medicare will cover CAR-T therapies in United States

Medicare will cover the cost of Novartis’ and Gilead’s CAR-T therapies Kymriah and Yescarta, the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) said.

3. EU unprepared for no-deal Brexit, health experts warn

European health experts have warned that a no-deal Brexit could worsen medicines shortages in the European Union.

2. Scientists use duoCAR-T therapy to fight HIV

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, working with the biotech Lentigen, have found that an advanced form of CAR-T therapy is effective against HIV in human mouse models.

1. Executive shake-up at Novartis after Zolgensma data scandal

The AveXis executives that oversaw the marketing application for Zolgensma, the $2.1 million gene therapy at the centre of the faulty data scandal, are “no longer with the company” and “have not been involved” in any operations since early May, AveXis said.

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