Trending News Today: FDA Panel Supports Expanded Use of Vascepa in Cardiovascular Risk

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

An advisory panel to the FDA unanimously recommended broader use of the prescription-strength fish oil drug icosapent ethyl (Vascepa, Amarin), The Associated Press reported. According to the article, Amarin is seeking approval for an expanded group of patients who have lower fat levels but are still at risk for heart problems despite taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. The panel of advisors unanimously supported the expansion based on recent study results showing that icosapent ethyl can reduce rates of life-threatening heart problems in high-risk patients, the article reported.

Obinutuzumab demonstrated positive results as a treatment for lupus nephritis in the phase 2 NOBILITY study presented at the 2019 American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, MD Magazine reported. According to the article, the NOBILITY trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of obinutuzumab in combination with mycophenolate mofetil in 125 patients. At 52 weeks, 34.9% of patients achieved the primary endpoint in the obinutuzumab group compared with 22.6% of the placebo group (12.3% delta; 80% CI, 2.1% to 22.6%; P=0.115), the article reported.

On Thursday, the CDC reported 2172 confirmed and probable cases and 3 more deaths from the mysterious respiratory illness tied to vaping, taking the death toll to 42 so far this year, Reuters reported. According to the article, the CDC last week reported 2051 confirmed and probable cases associated with e-cigarette use. Health officials also recently discovered vitamin E acetate in all lung samples from 29 patients as a potential chemical of concern, the article reported.