Top news of the week from across the health care landscape.
Over the next 5 years, the US Department of Health and Human Services is expected to invest $250 million in a public-private initiative to help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or superbugs, reported The Wall Street Journal. The trans-Atlantic partnership initiative, called Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X), will focus on providing money that will help small laboratories and companies in the earliest stages of developing new drugs, vaccines, or medical devices, to help combat the superbugs.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co has raised its earnings forecast for the year, after its second-quarter revenue received a boost of 17% from cancer drugs, according to The Wall Street Journal. Bristol-Myers was the first manufacturer to bring an immunotherapy onto the market that aimed to fight cancer using the body’s own immune system. Sales for the company’s newest immunotherapy, Opdivo, jumped to $840 million in the quarter, up from $718 million a year prior. The sales also accounted for a large proportion of Bristol’s revenue gains in the quarter.
A study examining the relationship between heart disease and astronauts who walked on the moon yielded clues worth further attention, but there was no conclusive evidence found in a recent study. Just 2 years after walking on the moon, astronaut James Irwin suffered his first heart attack at the age of 43, but he’s not the only one, reported The Washington Post. Although approximately 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, cardiovascular issues are considered fairly uncommon in astronauts. Unfortunately, the sample size for this type of study is too small, with only 24 people who have ever left Earth’s orbit. At the time of the study 7 astronauts had died, 3 from heart disease. Since the sample size is so small, NASA’s chief scientist for human research, Mark Shelhamer warned people to be cautious about drawing any conclusions from the data, but that he does not want to completely discount the findings. “I think what that says is that the space community needs to be a little more aware of the potential effects [of deep space travel] on the cardiovascular system,” researcher Michael Delp, cardiovascular physiology expert at Florida State University, told the Post.