Gene Editing, Regulating DNA Sequencing Tests, and How Your Body Gets Its Energy

Scientific breakthroughs in the news this week promise many practical implications for myeloma patients.

Saturated fat reconsidered, traces of herbicide in ice cream, and a curcumin success story

News about food is often a mix of conflicting advice and dubious claims. Three thought-provoking articles published this week caught my eye and offer plenty of food for thought.

A busy news week focuses on drug access and costs

Patent extensions upheld and revealed

On Monday, July 17th, a US appeals court ruled that a patent on Takeda Pharmaceutical’s drug Velcade® (bortezomib) was extended to 2022. Generic drug companies had sued to invalidate Takeda’s patents but failed. This means that there will be no generic competition before the 2022 date. This is obviously very good news for Takeda and eliminates hopes that cheaper generics would be available much sooner. Paradoxically, this will also benefit Amgen’s Kyprolis® (carfilzomib), the other major proteasome inhibitor, which would have faced much stiffer competition from a much lower priced generic.

CAR T-cell therapy wins expert panel approval for leukemia treatment: What does this mean for myeloma patients?

On Wednesday, an advisory panel convened by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 10 to 0 to recommend the approval of CAR T-cell therapy for treatment of children and young adults with late-stage leukemia. Novartis’s CTL019 is a gene-altering treatment directed against the protein CD19 found on the leukemic B-cells. Wednesday’s unanimous endorsement paves the way for the first gene therapy to win FDA approval, which is expected in September.

Global Myeloma Voices Come Together to Drive Research and Improve Lives of Patients

Madrid BlogThis past week was very busy and important for the global myeloma community, which is increasingly coming together with a single voice for myeloma research and patient care. In Madrid, Spain, on the eve of the 2017 Congress of the European Hematology Association, the IMF provided platforms for many of these global research voices at the 2017 International Myeloma Working Group® (IMWG) Summit, as well as during the regular research update meeting of the IMF Black Swan Research Initiative® investigators team.