Monthly Archives: April 2018

FDA Gives “Breakthrough” Status To Meningitis B Vaccine.

Fierce Pharma (4/24, Liu) reports the Food and Drug Administration gave “breakthrough” status to Pfizer’s meningitis B vaccine Trumenba. The article points out that GlaxoSmithKline’s men B vaccine Bexsero was recently given the same status as the FDA, and the two vaccines are seen as rivals.


Agent May Provide New Approach For Treating Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, Study Suggests.

The Los Angeles Times (4/25, Healy) reports a new study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York may have uncovered “a way to weaken the bacterium that causes tuberculosis and boost its vulnerability to drugs that are rapidly losing their power to cure.” Results in petri dishes show “the agent that disrupted the formation of the TB bacterium’s fatty protective coating not only delivered a lethal blow, it suppressed the bacterium’s penchant for finding a way to bounce back.” Moreover, “in mice infected with tuberculosis, exposing TB’s innards had a more subtle effect: It boosted the killing power of rifampicin, the antibiotic that is a first-line of defense against TB.” The findings were published in Science and Translational Medicine.

New Malaria Research Shows Benefit Of Mass Treatment, Methylene Blue.

CIDRAP (4/25, Schnirring) reports on two new malaria studies examining “steps that decreased the artemisinin-resistant form of the disease in Myanmar” and ways to add “more evidence to methylene blue as a potential treatment.” In the first study, accompanied by a commentary and published in The Lancet, researchers examined how “community-based malaria posts offering rapid diagnostic testing and treatment with artemether-lumefantrine plus single low-dose primaquine” decreased cases in “malaria hot spots” and that mass drug administration “led to a fivefold decrease in malaria infections.” In the second study, published in BMC Medicine, researchers found methylene blue “was consistently reported to be highly effective…though it was linked to mild urogenital and gastrointestinal symptoms.”

Many Black Men Who Could Benefit From PrEP Are Not Taking It, CDC Report Says.

The Huffington Post (4/25, Moreno) reports many black men who are vulnerable to HIV infection and who could benefit from PrEP are not taking the treatment, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC found that while 50% of the Americans “who could benefit from PrEP were black,” they only accounted for 1% of PrEP prescriptions.