Abbott’s valve-repairing MitraClip improves survival after heart damage
September 25, 2018
By Neozene

A randomized clinical trial showed that adding Abbott’s MitraClip device to standard drug-based therapies improved survival and helped reduce rehospitalizations—reducing a composite score of the two risks by 43%—in patients with a leaky heart valve that had been damaged by advanced heart failure. After two years, the study met its primary and secondary endpoints in mitral regurgitation, where small amounts of blood flow backward through the heart from the left ventricle. Mitral regurgitation is one of the most common heart valve diseases and affects one in 10 adults over the age

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Scientists weigh Zika vaccine challenge study after case count plummets
September 18, 2018
By Neozene

Zika captured the world’s attention when microcephaly cases started popping up in Brazil back in 2015, and in a fast response, governments and industry quickly committed resources for vaccine research. But after the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases pushed a vaccine into phase 2 testing, the outbreak has subsided, making it harder to test for efficacy, Science reports. In response to those challenges, scientists are now considering pressing ahead with a human challenge study in which investigators would infect study participants with the virus to test vaccine efficacy.

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Needed vaccines unlikely to launch at current funding levels
September 11, 2018
By Neozene

Despite hundreds of pipeline programs in testing and billions of dollars spent annually, the world isn’t doing enough to support research into infectious disease and meet global health goals, according to a new study funded by the Gates Foundation. As of Aug. 31, 2017, researchers identified more than 500 infectious disease candidates in development. Ushering them all through development would yield 128 launches by 2030—mostly in diagnostics—and cost $16.3 billion, according to the study authors. But given the current funding situation, researchers said the world is unlikely to see new

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