23andMe kicks off genetic study for depression, bipolar disorder

December 28, 2017 The first-of-its-kind study will consider cognitive assessments and survey responses as well as genetic data to learn how genes affect brain processes in people with major depressive or bipolar disorder, 23andMe said in a statement. Major depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S., affecting more than … Read more

Tiny, less invasive pump keeps weak hearts beating

Researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s (EPFL) Integrated Actuators Laboratory (LAI) have developed a small ring to be placed on the aorta to help those recovering from certain diseases or those waiting for a transplant.  In those circumstances, the heart is often weakened and needs some help pumping.

Pharma rep visits? They’re redundant, doctors say in new survey

December 27, 2017 The sales rep and physician study, now in its 15th year from DRG Digital’s Manhattan Research, found doctors say reps spend most of their time on material they already have or found on their own.  And the “stale detail” is even worse in some specialty areas.  Some 68% of the time pharma sales … Read more

FDA clears first MRI device for newborns

December 19, 2017 While MRI scanners may be used to image newborns, transporting babies out of the NICU to the MRI can put them at risk, said Vasum Peiris, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for the Pediatrics and Special Populations at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), in a statement.  “Having a system … Read more

Study: Machine learning could lead to objective measures for schizophrenia diagnosis

December 14, 2017 There is no single test for schizophrenia, so diagnosis typically involves observing symptoms and ruling out other potential causes for them, such as substance abuse or another mental health disorder.  And while scientists have observed differences in brain scans of healthy people and those with schizophrenia; however, these are not currently used … Read more

Cyndi Lauper showcases backstage psoriasis woes in Novartis’ new Cosentyx spot

December 12, 2017 “It was tough getting out there on stage,” she narrates, as the camera shows her in her dressing room, trying to disguise her psoriasis with spray makeup — and failing.  The commercial weaves Lauper’s story with those of two other patients, shown struggling with unwanted attention as people around them stare at the … Read more

Pharma’s U.S. reputation is bad — and Trump may be to blame: survey

December 07, 2017 Only 29% of groups recently surveyed by research firm PatientView believe pharma has an “excellent” or “good” corporate reputation, the most negative rating in the U.S. since 2013.  That compares with 38% of global patient groups that view pharma positively, according to a new U.S.-only breakout report by PatientView.  PatientView founder and CEO … Read more

EU watchdog asks if drug makers influence EMA decisions

December 05, 2017 Drug companies meet with the EMA to discuss their drugs and development programs throughout the R&D process.  The EMA sees such meetings as facilitating the speedy development of safe and effective medicines, leading it to make early, frequent engagement a cornerstone of its initiatives to cut the time it takes to get … Read more