Blog Archives

Vemurafenib [Zelboraf] Approved Together with a Companion Diagnostic Test by FDA for Advanced Melanoma in BRAF V600E Positive Patients

August 17, 2011 — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved the oral targeted therapy Vemurafenib [Zelboraf] for the first-line treatment of both metastatic and unresectable melanomas. The drug is specifically indicated for patients with melanoma whose tumors have V600E mutations in the BRAF gene. An estimated 50% of patients with melanoma have this type of BRAF mutation,

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Heart Medication Dronedarone [Multaq]: Risk of Severe Liver Injury

January 14, 2011 – The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notified today healthcare professionals and patients about cases of rare, but severe liver injury, including two cases of acute liver failure leading to liver transplant in patients treated with the heart medication Dronedarone [Multaq].

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Sitaxentan [Thelin] to be withdrawn from market worldwide due to cases of unpredictable serious liver injury

December 13, 2010 – We learn today that the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has been informed of Pfizer’s decision to voluntarily withdraw Sitaxentan [Thelin] from the market worldwide further to new information on two cases of fatal liver injury. Pfizer has also decided to discontinue all ongoing clinical trials.

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Sibutramine [Meridia]: Market Withdrawal Due to Risk of Serious Cardiovascular events

October 08, 2010 – Today, we learn that Abbott Laboratories and FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients about the voluntary market withdrawal of Sibutramine [Meridia], an obesity drug, from the U.S. market because of clinical trial data indicating an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Lamotrigine [Lamictal]: DrugLabel Change Because Risk of Aseptic Meningitis

2010-08-15 – From a recent health safety alert  we learn that  FDA notified healthcare professionals and patients that Lamotrigine [Lamictal], a medication commonly used for seizures in children two years and older, and bipolar disorder in adults, can cause aseptic meningitis. Symptoms of meningitis may include headache,

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Eltrombopag [Promacta]: Portal Venous System Thromboses in Study of Patients With Chronic Liver Disease

May 13, 2010 – The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted yesterday the following Safety Information Text (italic):

GlaxoSmithKline and FDA notified healthcare professionals of a new safety finding in patients with thrombocytopenia due to chronic liver disease treated with Eltrombopag [Promacta],

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European Medicines Agency (EMEA) recommends revocation of marketing authorisation for bufexamac containing medicines.

April 27, 2010 – From an announcement by the EMEA we learn that bufexamac-containing medicines were to be taken off EU markets because of high risk of contact allergies.

The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended that marketing authorisations for bufexamac- containing medicines be revoked.

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  • Scientists identify gene linked to thinness that may help resist weight gain May 21, 2020
    While others may be dieting and hitting the gym hard to stay in shape, some people stay slim effortlessly no matter what they eat. In a study publishing May 21 in the journal Cell, researchers use a genetic database of more than 47,000 people in Estonia to identify a gene linked to thinness that may […]
  • Tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia using genomics May 21, 2020
    Using genome sequencing to identify genetic mutations in SARS-CoV-2 cases in Victoria, researchers have identified clusters and transmission networks which has helped limit the spread of the virus, painting an important picture of transmission in Victoria.
  • COVID-19 study looks at genetics of healthy people who develop severe illness May 21, 2020
    To help unravel the mysteries of COVID-19, scientists are sequencing the DNA of young, healthy adults and children who develop severe illness despite having no underlying medical problems. The researchers are looking for genetic defects that could put certain individuals at high risk of becoming severely ill from the novel coronavirus.
  • Scientists discover more than 200 genetic factors that cause heart arrhythmia May 21, 2020
    Hundreds of new links have been found between people's DNA and the heart's electrical activity, according to a study of almost 300,000 people led by researchers at Queen Mary University of London and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
  • Weight loss surgery may alter gene expression in fat tissue May 21, 2020
    Altered gene expression in fat tissue may help explain why individuals who have regained weight after weight loss surgery still experience benefits such as metabolic improvements and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. The findings come from a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
  • New studies reveal extent and risks of laughing gas & stimulant abuse among young people May 23, 2020
    In one study, researchers from Turkey reported increasing stimulant use among medical students approaching their final exams, despite the substantial risks to their health. In the second study, researchers from the Netherlands detailed the neurological outcomes associated with recreational use of laughing gas (nitrous oxide), suggesting that, for some individuals, permanent neurological damage can occur.
  • Sleep-wake disturbances can predict recurrent events in stroke survivors May 23, 2020
    The study, conducted in Switzerland, found that having multiple sleep-wake disturbances such as sleep-disordered breathing, extreme long or short sleep duration, insomnia and restless leg syndrome independently and significantly increased the risk of a new cardio-cerebrovascular event in the two years following a stroke.
  • Does MRI have an environmental impact? May 23, 2020
    Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have surveyed the amount of gadolinium found in river water in Tokyo. Gadolinium is contained in contrast agents given to patients undergoing medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and it has been shown in labs to become toxic when exposed to ultraviolet rays. The researchers found significantly elevated levels, particularly […]
  • New native grass species have been discovered on the Iberian Peninsula and Menorca May 22, 2020
    The new species belong to the genus Aira, delicate herbaceous plants, which enjoy their greatest diversity in the Mediterranean Region. One of them, Aira minoricensis is a native species of the siliceous sands of Menorca. The other new species is called Aira hercynica and is widely found in the area of the Iberia Peninsula which […]
  • Combinatorial screening approach opens path to better-quality joint cartilage May 22, 2020
    High-throughput platform identifies complex conditions with biomaterial compositions, and mechanical and chemical stimuli that help stem cells produce more robust cartilage.
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