Press review

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Resistant bacteria kill 35,000 people each year

Country : Spain, U.S.

Keywords :
MADRID, 18 May (APM) - So-called superbugs, or multi-resistant bacteria, kill 30 times more people than traffic accidents but are not receiving adequate attention, it is widely reported in the Spanish press on Friday.
According to the Spanish Society of Infectious Disease and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC), multi-resistant bacteria kill around 35,000 people in Spain each year, daily El Mundo reports.
SEIMC spokesman Julio García Rodríguez told El Mundo that this is a serious public health problem, which is not being properly addressed. García said this at the presentation of a new patient registry including cases of multi-resistant bacteria in 82 healthcare centres across Spain.
The registry shows there could be up to 180,000 cases of infection caused by this kind of bacteria in Spain each year, El Mundo notes.
Dailies El País, La Razón, El Diario, El Periódico, Europa Press agency and a number of medical journals also carry the story.

New cancer drugs less efficient in women

Only one in three patients included in clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy are female, and new drugs are less efficient for them, according to a new study, daily El País reports on Friday.
The big challenge for immunotherapy is to benefit all patients. This new generation of drugs which boost the immune system to fight cancer are highly efficient in some patients, but lack efficiency in others. Genetics, environmental factors and even gut bacteria play a role in how these medicines work, the newspaper says.
A new study suggests gender is another factor in treatment success. This meta-analysis of 20 clinical trials of checkpoint inhibitors Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy (ipilimumab), AstraZeneca’s tremelimumab, Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab) and Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) included 11,300 patients.
All trials showed these drugs increased survival both in male and female patients, compared to controls. However, the average reduction of death risk was double among males. No cause for this disparity was identified, El País reports.
A number of factors could explain these results. Women’s immune systems tend to be stronger, which is why they suffer from infections less often and when they do, these are usually less severe. This also explains why women to have a better response to vaccines. On the other hand, it also explains why women are more vulnerable to autoimmune diseases.
El País quotes Fabio Conforti, study co-author, as saying: “It is possible that gender differences in the immune system play a role in the progression of diseases where chronic inflammation occurs, such as cancer, and how they respond to medication”.
Only 33% of patients enrolled in clinical trials are women, an imbalance which is quite common among scientific and medical studies, El País notes.
The authors of the new study, published in The Lancet, say that those in charge of designing clinical trials of immunotherapy drugs should guarantee the inclusion of female patients, El País reports.

Viagra inventor develops drug for common cold

Andy Bell, a former researcher at Pfizer and part of the team which developed erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil), and his colleagues at Imperial College London have developed a new molecule which can combat the common cold virus, daily ABC reported on Tuesday.
Though still in its initial phase, the experiment designed by these researchers suggests a new strategy to prevent the virus from 'hijacking' human cells, ABC said.
The team was looking for compounds to fight malaria when they made this finding by chance, according to the newspaper. Their work with the new molecule has been published in the journal Nature Chemistry, ABC added.

Novartis top lawyer resigns over Michael Cohen deal

Felix Ehrat, Novartis’ top lawyer and board member, resigned on Wednesday over a controversial $1.2 million deal he signed with U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, it was widely reported on Thursday. (APMHE 58109)
Financials Expansión, El Economista, dailies La Vanguardia and 20 Minutos also carried the story.
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