According to a study published online in the International Journal of Obesity, "stevioside treatment was associated with increased adiponectin and insulin sensitivity and improved antioxidant defense in both the adipose tissue and the vascular wall, leading to inhibition of atherosclerotic plaque development and inducing plaque stabilization." After treating "14 mice...with 10 mg/kg stevioside and 20 with placebo for 12 weeks," researchers found that "stevioside treatment...lowered levels of glucose and insulin, improved adipose tissue maturation, and increased glucose transport, insulin signaling and antioxidant defense in white visceral adipose tissue, compared with placebo," and "reduced plaque volume in the aortic arch.
"Shire Plc's Replagal [agalsidase alfa] provided 'substantial and sustained' benefits to patients with a rare condition called" Fabry disease "after five years taking the enzyme replacement therapy, according to" data collected on 181 multinational patients. In fact, the "drug improved all areas studied, including heart mass and function, kidney function, pain, and quality of life," investigators noted in their paper in The Lancet. However, "advanced complications of Fabry disease do not appear to be fully reversible with treatment and that future studies [should] examine whether early initiation of treatment can improve long-term outcomes more than was evident in the current study."
Specific drug combination may be more effective in patient with high HIV viral load.
"In patients with a high HIV viral load at the start of initial therapy, regimens based on tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) were more effective than those based on abacavir/lamivudine (Epzicom)," Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers found after evaluating 1,858 patients. "Current guidelines for initial HIV therapy suggest a regimen based on two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and either a protease inhibitor or a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor."
While such combinations are "potent," it has "not been clear if they differ in antiviral activity, tolerability, and safety." The new "surprise finding," however, "suggests that physicians should be aware of the difference when prescribing initial treatment for patients with a high level of HIV-1 RNA in their blood," according to the paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Roche says experimental diabetes drug works better than Januvia.
In a clinical trial, Roche Holding AG's experimental diabetes treatment, taspoglutide, worked better than Merck & Co. Inc.'s Januvia [sitagliptin]. In a phase III trial for treatment of type 2 diabetes, the drug met its primary endpoints. Researchers found that the drug lowered blood-glucose levels more than Januvia, and showed superior HbA1c reduction compared to placebo.
Pharmaxis says Bronchitol improved lung function in patients with cystic fibrosis.
Drugmaker Pharmaxis Ltd. said "its Bronchitol [mannitol] drug improved patients' lung function" in "a study of 170 patients with cystic fibrosis." Researchers found that patients "who switched to the drug after taking a placebo for six months improved by 10.3 percent."
FDA rejects approval of Merck's cladribine to treat Multiple Sclerosis.
Merck KGaA announced that the FDA rejected approval of its cladribine drug to treat multiple sclerosis. The company sought approval of cladribine as a potential short-course treatment for the condition, but the agency said Merck's application is not adequately complete. Merck intends "to request a meeting with the FDA" to discuss the agency's "concerns with its application for approval," according to a spokesperson.