Eight million people have bought health insurance under Obamacare, President Obama said yesterday, easily surpassing earlier projections by the Congressional Budget Office for 6-7M signups by the end of March.
The high number of enrollments was achieved despite the technical problems that the online exchanges suffered, particularly when the Affordable Care Act was launched last year.
Around 35% of those who purchased coverage were people under 35, who are thought to be less likely need to treatment and so can help balance the cost of claims for those who need care.
However, Obama didn't provide details about the number of enrollees who already had insurance before Obamacare was introduced.
The FDA approves Glaxo (GSK) and Genmab's (GNMSF) monoclonal antibody Arzerra (ofatumumab) as a first-line therapy for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) for whom fludarabine-based therapy is considered inappropriate.
"Arzerra is the only therapeutic CD20 antibody approved in combination with chlorambucil for first-line CLL and as a monotherapy for CLL refractory to fludarabine and alemtuzumab," says Jan de Winkel, Ph.D., Genmab's CEO.
In the Phase 3 COMPLEMENT 1 clinical trial the ofatumumab plus chlorambucil group's progression-free survival (PFS) was 22.4 months compared to 13.1 months for the chlorambucil alone group.
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa that killed 135 people was caused by a new strain of the virus that was not imported from Central Africa. Although it is 97% similar to the Zaire strain scientists believe it has been circulating undetected in the region for an undetermined amount of time.
WHO states that it will take as long as four months to contain the outbreak.
Scientists create patient-specific cell lines from the skin cells of two adult men in a procedure called somatic cell nuclear transfer demonstrating that the technique can work for people of all ages. The embryonic cells are genetically identical to the donor and have profound therapeutic potential.
The cloning procedure is difficult, however. Only one in thirty-nine attempts was successful.
In therapeutic cloning, a jolt of electricity fuses a grown cell (e.g. skin cell) with an ovum whose DNA has been removed. After ~5 days of dividing and multiplying it develops into a hollow sphere-shaped embryo. The interior cells are pluripotent stem cells which can develop into many different kinds of cells. The goal is to coax them to develop into specialized cells for therapeutic purposes.
Complicating the ability to create patient-specific cell lines for millions of people are women's reticence over donating eggs, a sometimes painful process. Widespread donations may not be ultimately necessary since many people have genetically similar immune systems so 100 human embryonic stem cell lines would match over 50% of the U.S. population according to the co-author of the study, Dr. Robert Lanza.
TriVascular Technologies (TRIV +12%) holds onto its gain from yesterday's debut that ended at $13.79 (+14.9%) on turnover of 2.2M shares. Volume thus far in today's trading is light at 63K, however.
The medical device maker's lead product is its Ovation System, an endovascular stent graft for the repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. It received CE Mark approval in August 2010 and FDA approval in October 2012. Commercial sales began in the U.S. in November 2012.
Revenues for 2012 and 2013 were $5.4M and $19.5M, respectively.
In a 28-2 vote, the Vermont Senate passes a bill that will require packaged food makers to label their products that contain genetically modified organisms ((GMOs)). If the State House of Representatives approves the Senates' changes to the version it passed before sending it the upper chamber, then the law will take effect July 1, 2016.
Vermont will be the first U.S. state to institute such mandatory labeling.
Predictably, food manufacturers oppose the bill saying GMOs are ubiquitous on grocery store shelves. The most popular GMO crops are corn, soybeans and canola which are found in almost every kind of packaged food. They say that GMOs are safe and the law, if enacted, will add unnecessary costs and complications for farmers and the food industry.
Consumer groups believe more safety testing needs to be done by independent researchers.
Vermont's bill would make it illegal to label a food product containing GMOs as "natural" or "all natural".
The new approach will select a range of drugs for a specific patient instead of designing a study around a specific drug. In a profound change it eliminates randomization, the hallmark of clinical trial design.
Some mutations occur on only 1% - 2% of patients so the traditional method of clinical trial design is too expensive, time-consuming and inefficient.
AstraZeneca (AZN) will supply up to twelve experimental drugs that will be given to patients who do not show one of twenty-one sets of genetic abnormalities.
In response to insurers' reticence over covering behavioral interventions, California tightens its rules over insurance coverage for autism to improve access to treatment. Now, coverage must be on par with doctor visits despite the fact that most therapies are administered by non-M.D.'s.
As e-cigarettes grow in popularity so have instances of burns, toxicity and respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Over the past 12 months, 50 complaints were filed with the FDA which matches the total for the previous five years.