As we draw closer to March, Industry Watch brings readers a round-up of inspiring new medical discoveries and research to help us better understand diseases and the patient populations we serve. A key protein has been identified to help us in the fight against asthma, a new therapeutic approach to a vaccine which could cure Hepatitis B has been discovered by a team of German scientists, and an intravenous migraine prevention drug granted FDA approval. A new study on female risk factors for heart disease offers guidance on the prescribing of HRT, AI brings hope for endometriosis patients, and a combination of CRISPR and DNA sequencing is being refined by researchers to target highly specific and personal genetic alterations to more effectively guide cancer treatments.
Hopes of New Asthma Treatments in Five Years as a Key Cause is Identified
Researchers have been successful in identifying a protein that plays a key role in asthma. The breakthrough could be particularly beneficial for people with severe asthma - where there is the greatest need for new treatments. The protein, known as Caspase-4, paves the way to develop new treatments to tackle the disease.
Pairing CRISPR With DNA Sequencing Could Guide Cancer Treatment
In search of new ways to sequence human genomes and read critical alterations in DNA, researchers have successfully used the gene cutting tool CRISPR to make cuts in DNA around lengthy tumor genes. This could lead to streamlining the selection and use of cancer treatments that target highly specific and personal genetic alterations.
New Therapeutic Approach May Help to Cure Chronic Hepatitis B Infection
Around 260 million people, more than three percent of the world's population, are chronically infected by the hepatitis B virus. As a result, every year, 880,000 people worldwide die of liver failure or hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently no curative therapy is available. A team of German scientists have developed a novel vaccine which will enter clinical trials in 2021 bringing hope to patients.
Despite a "Double-Barreled" Flu Season, the Vaccine is Mostly Doing its Job
This year’s flu shot is working relatively well to prevent influenza, particularly among children, according to a new report. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated the flu shot’s effectiveness in more than 4,000 U.S. children and adults who visited the doctor for respiratory illness between Oct 2019 and Jan 2020 and found that the vaccine was 45% effective in adults and 55% effective in children.
ARTguide Test Shows Promise in Assessing Endometriosis Risk
A DNA-based diagnostic tool has shown promise in being able to assess a woman’s risk for endometriosis and other genetic causes of infertility. Launched in 2018, ARTguide is a first-in-kind, non-invasive test based on a mathematical algorithm that combines information from specific genetic markers and clinical predictors to calculate a woman’s risk of developing endometriosis.
FDA Approves Lundbeck’s Preventive Migraine Drug Vyepti
Danish pharma company Lundbeck has received approval from FDA for Vyepti as a preventive treatment for adults with migraines. This approval is based on the results of two Phase III studies – Promise-1 and Promise-2 – the former investigated the drug in patients with episodic migraines, defined as four to 14 headaches a month and at least four migraine days, whereas the latter studied Vyepti in chronic migraine patients who experience 15 to 26 headaches a month and at least eight migraine days.
Typical Risk Factors ‘Not to Blame’ for Menopause Heart Disease Links
The age at which women start the menopause does not appear to be linked to the development of risk factors typically associated with heart disease, found a new study by UK researchers. However, loss of oestrogen – which occurs around the menopause - does affect heart health so women should routinely be offered hormone replacement therapy (HRT), according to some experts.