ECRI INSTITUTE’S 2020 TECHNOLOGY HAZARDS LIST

ECRI INSTITUTE’S 2020 TECHNOLOGY HAZARDS LIST

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—ECRI Institute identified surgical stapler misuse as the number one health technology hazard in its Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2020report.  “Injuries and deaths from the misuse of surgical staplers are substantial and preventable,” said Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD, president and CEO, ECRI Institute. “We want hospitals and other medical institutions to be in a better position to take necessary actions to protect patients from harm.”  Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published an…

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With new report, ICER puts itself at center of drug pricing storm

With new report, ICER puts itself at center of drug pricing storm

Pharmaceutical companies often preach value. Yet, for seven top-selling drugs, prices went up in 2017 and 2018 despite limited new evidence showing patients receiving treatment experienced greater benefit, according to a new report. Taken together, the price hikes added more than $5 billion to U.S. spending on those drugs over the two-year period, a study published Tuesday by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review said.  The finding is the latest challenge from a group known for criticizing the drug…

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Waste accounts for one-quarter of healthcare spending

Waste accounts for one-quarter of healthcare spending

A new study found waste accounts for roughly one-quarter of all U.S. healthcare spending, an estimate that’s in the same ballpark as its predecessors.  The cost of waste in the U.S. healthcare system ranges from $760 billion to $935 billion annually, according to a JAMA review of 54 peer-reviewed studies, government reports and other information, released Monday. The study found one-quarter of that could be cut using interventions found to reduce waste. Two previous studies on the subject from 2012…

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Sarepta, in shadow of FDA setback, marks gene therapy progress

Sarepta, in shadow of FDA setback, marks gene therapy progress

Dive Brief: Three patients with a type of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy were able to stand up, walk and run faster after treatment with Sarepta Therapeutics’ gene therapy SRP-9003, which is on track to begin testing with a higher dose. SRP-9003 is one of three gene therapies Sarepta is developing for limb-girdle muscular dystrophies that target a type of the protein sarcogylcan, which protects muscles from damage. The data will be formally presented to physicians Saturday at a conference of the…

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CAR-T with a new target could address cancer relapses

CAR-T with a new target could address cancer relapses

The first generation of CAR-T cancer treatments, Novartis’ Kymriah and Gilead’s Yescarta, are personalized cell therapies that target CD19, a biomarker on B cells implicated in some blood cancers. Although the products have greatly improved the prognoses for patients with leukemia and lymphoma, as many as one-third of patients eventually relapse. Now, scientists at City of Hope are developing a new CAR-T treatment that they believe could be used to treat patients who have relapsed after receiving CD19-targeted cell therapies….

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Cincinnati Children’s Hospital researchers grow mini liver, pancreas and biliary ducts from stem cells

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital researchers grow mini liver, pancreas and biliary ducts from stem cells

Scientific researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital see a future where no patient risks dying while waiting for an organ transplant.  Developments with bioengineered miniature organs called organoids are not quite there yet. But a multidisciplinary team at the hospital’s Center for Stem Cell & Organoid Medicine(CuSTOM) say they have made a breakthrough discovery that brings them a step closer. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s CuSTOM team—made up of scientists, clinicians, geneticists, surgeons and bioengineers—has grown the world’s first-ever set of three functional organoids, liver, pancreas…

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CRISPR’d Stem Cells Could Provide Enduring Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy

CRISPR’d Stem Cells Could Provide Enduring Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy

In the past several years, we have seen some major advancements in the study of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare but devastating genetic disorder that causes muscle loss and physical impairments. Investigators using the gene-editing tool CRISPR have shown in previous studies, in rodent and canine models, that the repair or removal of key disease mutations is possible, as well as improvement of muscle function. Now, in a new study from researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) School…

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High-Dose Radiation a Game Changer in Fighting Deadly Prostate Cancer

High-Dose Radiation a Game Changer in Fighting Deadly Prostate Cancer

In what might be a major breakthrough, researchers report that high doses of radiation dramatically prolonged survival in men battling an advanced and aggressive form of prostate cancer. This particular type of cancer occurs when tumors resurface and spread to a number of areas beyond the prostate among patients who were in remission following radiation, surgery or chemotherapy. Generally, the outlook for the patient at this point is grim, the researchers noted. But in working with 54 patients, the investigators found…

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With eye to competition, Biogen explores higher doses of Spinraza

With eye to competition, Biogen explores higher doses of Spinraza

Dive Brief: Biogen isn’t finished with its clinical efforts to prove the effectiveness of its spinal muscular atrophy treatment Spinraza, announcing this week launch of a study designed to explore whether higher doses of the drug could deliver greater benefit to patients.  DEVOTE, as the trial’s called, will test doses of Spinraza roughly two times higher than the dosing regimen currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Notably, Biogen plans to enroll adults as well as children into the Phase 2/3…

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Penn team repurposes CAR-T cancer tech to treat heart disease

Penn team repurposes CAR-T cancer tech to treat heart disease

The University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center is credited with developing the chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) cancer treatment that ultimately became Novartis’ Kymriah, a personalized cell-based therapy for some blood cancers that was approved by the FDA in 2017. Now, researchers at Penn Medicine are adapting the technology to heart disease. The Penn team targeted cardiac fibrosis, a type of scarring that’s common in heart disease and that impedes the proper functioning of the heart. They genetically modified T…

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