HEALTH

Shire, Acceleron Pharma ink development deal

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. British drug maker Shire is working with Cambridge, Mass.-based Acceleron Pharma to develop treatments for serious muscular disorders, Shire said Thursday.

 

The drug maker announced that the two companies would investigate ACE-031, a drug in mid-stage clinical trials as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and fatal muscle disorder with no current treatment. The drug belongs to a class known as activin receptor type IIB, or ActRIIB molecules.

 

 

The two companies will work together to advance ACE-031 into a global phase-2 and -3 clinical program designed to demonstrate disease modification in patients with DMD.

 

 

Under the agreement, Shire will pay Acceleron $45 million upfront, and the latter company will be eligible for milestone payments of up to $453 million for ACE-031 and other molecules. If the drug manages to win regulatory approval, Acceleron will have rights to commercialize it in the United States and Canada, while Shire will have rights in other countries.

 

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HEALTH

H1N1 prompts increase in thorough hand-washing among Americans

BY Michael Johnsen

MILWAUKEE Concerns about last year’s H1N1 virus have had an impact on Americans’ hand-washing habits, according to a national survey conducted by Bradley Corp.

In Bradley’s second Healthy Hand Washing survey, 50% of the 1,053 respondents said they "wash their hands more thoroughly or longer or more frequently" in public restrooms as a result of the H1N1 virus — that’s up from 45% in 2009 when the same question was asked.

 

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adults average two to four colds a year, and children have about six to 10. In fact, the common cold is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work.

 

 

Bradley’s Healthy Hand Washing survey was conducted online from July 7 to 15, 2010, and queried 1,053 American adults about their hand-washing habits in public restrooms. Participants were from around the country, ranged in age from 18 to 65 years and older, and the split between men and women was 46% and 54%, respectively.

 

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Lack of sleep may increase IFG risk, study finds

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Lack of beauty sleep may up one’s risk of developing a condition that leads to diabetes and heart disease, a new study found.

Researchers from Warwick Medical School and the State University of New York at Buffalo examined six years of data from 1,455 participants in the Western New York Health Study, all of whom were between the ages of 35 and 79 years, and found that people who sleep less than six hours a night may be three times more likely to develop incident-impaired fasting glycaemia. IFG causes the body to be unable to regulate glucose as efficiently as it should.

Lead author at Warwick Medical School Dr. Saverio Stranges said: "We found that short sleep, less than six hours, was associated with a significant, threefold increased likelihood of developing IFG, compared [with] people who got an average of six to eight hours sleep a night. Previous studies have shown that short sleep duration results in a 28% increase in mean levels of the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin so it can affect feeding behaviors. Other studies have also shown that a lack of sleep can decrease glucose tolerance and increases the production of cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress."

 

Stranges added that, "more research is needed, but our study does suggest a very strong correlation between lack of sleep and Type 2 diabetes and heart disease."

 

The study was published in the journal Annals of Epidemiology.

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