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Dave Canty, PhD

Recent Posts by Dave Canty, PhD

September 6, 2017

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Categories: Healthcare

Med-Sci Matters by Dr. Dave

This edition of Med-Sci Matters includes recent promising findings with type 1 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and human “healthspan”; the cost-benefit battle with a PCSK9 inhibitor; questions about the rigor of FDA accelerated approvals; and – not for geeks only! – “teleportation” of DNA. Advances in treating type 1 diabetes As reported in New Scientist, for the first time, a stem-cell implant is being used to treat type 1 diabetes.  The study, by the California-based company Viacyte, has so far enrolled two patients.  A credit-card-size implant, called PEC-Direct, containing progenitor cells derived from stem cells, was placed under the patients’ skin. Blood vessels grew and nourished the cells, which matured after about 3 months into insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells that respond to blood sugar levels and release insulin as needed. If consistently successful, the treatment could free people with type 1 diabetes from insulin injections, though they would have to take immunosuppressants to prevent rejection of the implanted cells. And a second “first” for treating type 1 diabetes:  immunotherapy was shown to successfully stabilize the disease in the early stage, according to a report of a trial in 27 patients published in Science Translational Medicine. Read more about the stemContinue Reading

July 10, 2017

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Categories: Global Healthcare

Med-Sci Matters by Dr. Dave

A lot of interesting news on multiple fronts in the last 10 days! A couple of surprisingly very positive studies in the cardiovascular area, promising findings on personalized therapies for cancer, how health insurance literally saves lives, use of artificial intelligence for accelerating drug development, how the recent global ransomware attacks hit some in the health care sector, a major study on the opioid addiction epidemic, studies related to longer lifespans, and some tidbits. HDL drug finally makes good We all know HDLs are the “good cholesterol” in the bloodstream, and raising their levels – e.g., by increasing exercise or drinking moderately – protects against CVD. Most CVD drugs don’t raise HDLs much except for an investigational class called CETP inhibitors, which can impressively increase HDLs by more than 100%. CETP stands for “cholesterol ester transfer protein” and is a key component of HDLs, allowing them to hand off their cholesterol to other lipoproteins. CETP inhibitors block that transfer and – somehow – raise HDL levels. Yet, years of studies with several CETP inhibitors basically failed – in fact, some actually increased CVD risk. Until now. Bucking that history, Merck’s recently announced initial results from REVEAL – a large, randomized,Continue Reading

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