Immunotherapy a groundbreaking new cancer treatment, but prohibitively expensive

Original article by Tracy Bowden
abc.net au – Page: Online : 10-Sep-19

Developed by Swiss company Novartis, Kymriah is an innovative immunotherapy treatment that has been described by University of NSW cancer biologist Darren Saunders as a type of living drug. Saunders notes it has shown to be very beneficial for a large number of people with certain types of leukaemia and lymphoma, but not all patients. Dave Roberts, who has a type of lymphoma, says his doctor has told him that Kymriah is basically his only hope of survival. The federal government is not yet funding Kymriah for people with the type of cancer that Roberts has, so treatment would cost him $500,000.

CORPORATES
NOVARTIS AG, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

China’s $2b swoop on health giant

Original article by Carrie LaFrenz
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 4-Jan-19

Shares in pathology, imaging and medical centres operator Healius closed 7.8 per cent higher at $2.63 on 3 January, in response to a takeover bid from Jangho Group. The Chinese company already has a 15.93 per cent stake in Healius and is offering $3.25 per share. Healius, which changed its name from Primary Health Care in late 2018, has advised shareholders to take no action regarding the unsolicited offer at present. It has stressed that Jangho’s approach may not necessarily result in a deal.

CORPORATES
HEALIUS LIMITED – ASX HLS, JANGHO GROUP, VISION EYE INSTITUTE LIMITED, MONASH IVF GROUP LIMITED – ASX MVF, HEALTHSCOPE LIMITED – ASX HSO, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, CHEUNG KONG INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS LIMITED, APA GROUP – ASX APA, HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED – ASX API, SIGMA HEALTHCARE LIMITED – ASX SIG, AUSTRALIA. FOREIGN INVESTMENT REVIEW BOARD, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, KING AND WOOD MALLESONS, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD

Fitness tests for ageing doctors

Original article by Sean Parnell
The Australian – Page: 5 : 29-Nov-17

The Medical Board of Australia has recommended that doctors over the age of 70 be required to undergo fitness testing to ensure they are still capable of treating patients. However, Board chairwoman Joanna Flynn stressed that there were no plans to introduce a mandatory retirement age for doctors. The Board also wants registered doctors to undertake a minimum of 50 hours of continuing professional development each year, while it would like to see young doctors and medical students observed "for possible integrity issues"

CORPORATES
MEDICAL BOARD OF AUSTRALIA

Breath test to detect malaria

Original article by John Ross
The Australian – Page: 9 : 7-Nov-17

Biologists at Washington University in the US state of Missouri have developed a procedure for detecting signs of malaria in infected people’s breath. They trialled their procedure on patients in a children’s clinic in Malawi. When breath samples were returned to the US for testing, it was found they had correctly diagnosed 83 per cent of those already known to be carrying the disease as a result of blood tests. Australian researchers have previously observed high levels of certain chemicals being exhaled by malaria sufferers.

CORPORATES
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY,CSIRO,BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION,AMERICAN SOCIETY OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND HYGIENE

Swisse parent takes full ownership

Original article by Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 20 : 16-Dec-16

Biostime International has paid $A311m to acquire the 17 per cent of Swisse that it did not already own following its takeover of the Australian vitamin maker in 2015. Former Treasury Wines Estate executive Oliver Horn has been appointed as MD of Swisse after CEO Radek Sali advised that he will depart at the end of 2016. Sali is one of the minority shareholders who agreed to accept the buyout offer. He says the process of integrating Swisse with Biostime has gone well.

CORPORATES
SWISSE WELLNESS PTY LTD, BIOSTIME INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS LIMITED, TREASURY WINE ESTATES LIMITED – ASX TWE, PENFOLDS WINES PTY LTD, DIAGEO PLC, FOSTER’S GROUP LIMITED, BELLAMY’S AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX BAL, VITACO HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX VIT, SHANGHAI PHARMACEUTICAL HOLDING COMPANY LIMITED, PRIMAVERA CAPITAL GROUP, BLACKMORES LIMITED – ASX BKL, NATURE’S CARE

CSL shrugs off growth concerns, shares slide

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 18-Aug-16

CSL has posted a 2015-16 net profit of $US1.24bn ($A1.6bn), which is 10 per cent lower than previously. The blood products and vaccines group’s sales rose by eight per cent to $US6.13bn. Earnings per share fell by eight per cent to $US2.69, but increased by seven per cent on a constant currency basis. CSL has forecast underlying net profit and EBITDA growth of 11 per cent and 14 per cent respectively in 2016-17. Its shares closed five per cent lower at $A110.84 on 17 August 2016.

CORPORATES
CSL LIMITED – ASX CSL, SHIRE PHARMACEUTICALS GROUP PLC, NOVARTIS AG, CSL BEHRING, WILSONS ADVISORY AND STOCKBROKING LIMITED, SEQIRUS PTY LTD

Mesoblast falls 42pc as investors lose heart

Original article by Jessica Gardner, James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 15-Jun-16

The market capitalisation of Australian biotechnology group Mesoblast has fallen to $A750m following a 42.2 per cent fall in its share price on 14 June 2016. The stock closed at a seven-year low of $A1.11 after Teva Pharmaceutical Industries advised that it will not finance the final round of clinical trials for Mesoblast’s stem-cell treatment for heart failure. Mesoblast had cash reserves of around $US100m at the end of the March quarter, and CEO Silviu Itescu is confident that the group can secure funding partners before its cash reserves are exhausted.

CORPORATES
MESOBLAST LIMITED – ASX MSB, TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES LIMITED, CEPHALON INCORPORATED, CANACCORD GENUITY (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED

J&J to pay $250m for bad hip joints

Original article by Marianna Papadakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 1-Apr-16

Johnson & Johnson has reached a conditional agreement with lawyers representing 1,700 Australians who allegedly suffered adverse health effects related to hip replacements. The pharmaceutical and medical devices group agreed to pay $A250 million to settle the case. The class action settlement is yet to be approved by Federal Court.

CORPORATES
JOHNSON AND JOHNSON, DEPUY AUSTRALIA, SHINE LAWYERS, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Less popular surgery could hurt

Original article by Tim Binsted
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 4-Feb-16

Figures from Medicare indicate a decline in the growth rate of certain medical procedures. The number of surgical, obstetric and diagnostic procedures increased by 2.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared with the four-year average growth rate of 5.1 per cent. This trend may affect investors’ confidence in Ramsay Health Care and Healthscope.

CORPORATES
RAMSAY HEALTH CARE LIMITED – ASX RHC, HEALTHSCOPE LIMITED – ASX HSO, UNITING CARE, MACQUARIE SECURITIES PTY LTD, ST JOHN OF GOD HEALTH CARE INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HUMAN SERVICES. MEDICARE AUSTRALIA

Nurofen range to be pulled over claims

Original article by Patrick Hatch
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 15-Dec-15

The Federal Court has ruled that Reckitt Benckiser misled consumers by claiming that its Nurofen painkillers are specially formulated to treat specific medical conditions. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission took legal action after alleging that each Nurofen product contains the same active ingredient. Reckitt Benckiser has been given three months to withdraw the specific-pain products from sale, but it will be allowed to keep marketing them for 12 months provided the packaging indicates that the products can be used to treat other types of pain.

CORPORATES
RECKITT BENCKISER (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. THERAPEUTIC GOODS ADMINISTRATION