Trending News Today: Pfizer Begins Trial for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gene Therapy

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

Pfizer has started a phase 1b trial for a Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene therapy acquired as part of its $700 million takeover of Bamboo Therapeutics in 2016, FierceBiotech reported. The trial got underway when the first patient received a single infusion of mini-dystrophin candidate PF-06939926, according to the article. The target enrollment in the trial is 12 patients and Pfizer is hoping to have the first results available in the first half of next year, the article noted.

A federal judge in Ohio has scheduled a trial date for part of a massive combined lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors over the opioid epidemic, according to The Hill. According to the article, Judge Dan Polster set a March 2019 trial date for cases from 3 of the cities and counties that are suing drug companies. The cases are being closely watched to see if they produce a settlement that forces changes meant to fight the opioid epidemic, The Hill reported.

Bipartisan senators are calling for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop efforts by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to slow medical marijuana research, The Hill reported. According to the article, at least 25 manufacturers have formally applied to produce federally-approved research-grade marijuana, but the DEA has not approved those requests. The senators asked Sessions for a commitment that the DEA would resolve all outstanding applications by August 11, according to The Hill.