Stem cell treatment cures HIV. The first person to be cured of HIV/AIDS was treated with HIV-resistant stem cells. The individual is a leukemia patient who was treated in Berlin. Standard treatment for leukemia is to kill off most of a patient’s blood cells with chemotherapy and then to rescue the patient with infusions of stem cells from a matched donor’s blood or bone marrow. The new stem cells then repopulate the immune system and kill off the leukemia cells that survived the chemo. The patient’s physician, Dr. Gero Hütter thought that since HIV hides in white blood cells, he should try to cure the patient of leukemia and HIV at the same time, reports WebMD.
Medicare head Berwick wants public input on how to fix healthcare. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid director Donald Berwick is holding a series of "listening sessions" around the country to hear ideas from doctors, health insurance executives, consumers and others about ways to get better outcomes at lower costs. The federal government has committed $10 billion over the next 10 years to the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, a program that will test new approaches, and models of care and payment, that can improve health services. Berwick sums it up by using a saying he learned while working in the African country of Ghana: “You don’t make a pig fatter by weighing the pig,” he said. “You do so by changing the way you’ve been taking care of the farm,” reports The San Francisco Chronicle.
Cook says Asia sales will triple by 2015. Privately held medical device maker Cook Medical expects its Asia sales to triple by 2015. Vice-president of Cook Medical Asia Pacific Barry Thomas said as the region grows wealthier, more of its people should be able to afford medical technologies and devices that promote health, which could drive his company’s sales in Asia from $240 million this year to $650 million by 2015, according to the Singapore-based newspaper Today.
Life Length S.L. hopes to measure biological age. Life Length, S.L. is a new biotechnology company set up to measure the length of telomeres which form caps at the end of chromosomes and that have a fundamental role in avoiding the break down and the aging of cells and organisms. Telomeres are the best known measure of biological, as opposed to chronological, age and are potential indicators of the state of health of an organism, according to the company.
It’s a generational thing. As the history of social legislation suggests — and as this week’s federal court ruling on the so-called individual mandate makes clear, the effects of healthcare reform on our politics may not be settled until a lot of President Obama’s aides are collecting Medicare checks, according to The New York Times.
Is Biomet eyeing Smith & Nephew? The latest rumor in orthopedics circles is that Warsaw, Indiana-based Biomet Inc. is trying to acquire rival Smith & Nephew Inc. But on Wednesday, a veteran industry analyst pooh-poohed the idea to The Journal Gazette.
More AIDS drugs needed in developing countries. More than three dozen non-profit organizations — largely international patient advocacy groups — are imploring the top execs at nine drugmakers to license HIV-related patents and data rights to the Medicines Patent Pool, according to the Pharmalot blog.
Philips pushes wireless monitors into hospitals. Royal Philips Electronics’ medical arm is planning a push into wireless monitoring of patients in hospital wards, according to mobihealthnews. Wireless hospital patient monitors, which transmit information from patient to nearby monitors, are expected to grow at about 13 percent between now and 2014.
CEO hopefuls at J&J running neck and neck. Two Johnson & Johnson execs, Alex Gorsky and Sherilyn McCoy, are the lead candidates to succeed CEO William Weldon, who is expected to retire in the next year or so, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Health blog.
Ramius buys Cypress Bioscience for $255M. After months of wrangling over a price, the investor group Ramius has finally landed a deal to acquire San Diego-based Cypress Bioscience for $255 million — a whopping 63 percent premium over its initial offer, FierceBiotech reports.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.