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NHS Trust harnesses AI to speed up treatment

IMAGE: Brett Wells

The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust has teamed up with a provider of AI systems to introduce AI technology in order to improve treatment of patients who have experienced a heart attack.

The technology will be used to provide doctors with recommended evidence-based clinical treatment recommendations, which will use patient data, evidence and NICE guidance to provide individualised patient treatment.

The cause of the most common form of childhood cancer found

Professor Mel Greaves, of The Institute of Cancer Research, has spent 30 years uncovering what is behind the mysterious rise in rates of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in children.

The number of children developing this type of cancer has been creeping up by 1% every year in higher-income countries but no research had yet been able to ascertain exactly why.

Now, a Professor Greaves has suggested that it is likely due to children growing up in cleaner environments that result in a lack of exposure to bacteria and infection.

Nabriva closes in on bringing new class of antibiotic to market

Nabriva Therapeutics, a biotech based in Dublin, Ireland, has announced positive Phase 3 data for its antibiotic, lefamulin, which could result in a newly approved antibiotic for doctors to utilise – a type of approval that are few and far between.

The trial was able to show that, on a five-day course of treatment, the antibiotic was non-inferior to current treatment, moxifloxacin. It is the second Phase 3 clinical trial that has shown this result, standing the biotech in good stead for taking the antibiotic through to approval.

Gilead expands operations in Cork, Ireland

Gilead has unveiled the expansion of its Cork manufacturing site, involved in the creation of its treatments for HIV and hepatitis.

The €9.5 million quality control lab facility has been opened to accommodate the biotech’s growing presence in Ireland, after it invested close to €200 million to build a manufacturing infrastructure that now employs more than 500 people. It’s a rapid scale-up, considering Gilead established a presence in Ireland less than two decades ago.

Roche’s Hemlibra stakes claim to be haemophilia market leader

Hemlibra was widely expected to become the dominant therapeutic for treating haemophilia patients and its latest clinical trial results only cements its prospects in the field.

In two Phase 3 clinical trials, Hemlibra was able to demonstrate benefits to patients who did or did not receive factor VIII inhibitors.

In patients who had not received inhibitors, 96% showed a reduction in treated bleeds compared to those who received nothing. In addition to this, 55% of these patients experienced no treated bleeds.

Investigation of kickbacks in Greece sputters to halt

Greek parliament has decided against investigating allegations of bribery, involving Novartis and numerous high-level former politicians.

The case has dominated headlines in Greece for well over a year but now looks likely to lead nowhere, after both an investigating committee and now the Greek parliament opted not to pursue the allegations made by several unnamed witnesses.

Ebola threat intensifies in DR Congo

The Ebola virus

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is becoming increasingly serious, after it was confirmed that there was a case of a person infected by the virus in the city of Mbandaka.

The city has a population of approximately one million people and sits on the Congo River, a major trading avenue for the region.

Early this week it was announced that MSD would be supplying experimental as yet unapproved vaccines to attempt to curtail the Ebola outbreak but the situation threatens to potentially be beyond control if it spreads to other cities.

Amgen/Novartis potential blockbuster migraine med gets FDA nod

The first in a new class of migraine treatments has just received approval from the FDA; Amgen and Novartis’ Aimovig is the first CGRP inhibitor to receive approval but won’t be the last, as a number of competitors wait in the wings.

The first-to-market status the drug has achieved allowed Amgen to carefully consider the pricing of the drug in the US market and it has aired on the conservative side.

Study finds Herceptin use can be halved

IMAGE: Tiffany Trojca

A team of researchers from the University of Cambridge and Warwick Clinical Trials have revealed that Roche’s Herceptin is just as effective after a reduced treatment period of six months compared with the standard 12 months, in women with HER2 positive early-stage breast cancer.

This is a significant finding for a few reasons: the main one being that patients could receive less courses of treatment, which was found to be associated with reduced levels of side-effects.

Ipsen receives European first-line approval for Cabometyx

Ipsen has revealed that it has received approval for the use of Cabometyx for first-line use in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The approval builds on the second line approval it had previously received in 2016, although negotiations with numerous European countries over the price of medicine have delayed access for many nations until recently.

NICE gave approval for the use of the treatment in July 2017, close to a year after its EC approval.

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