Mesoblast cell treatment shows promise in rheumatoid arthritis : study

Mesoblast Ltd on Monday said its experimental stem-cell treatment led to significant improvements of symptoms and disease activity in patients whose rheumatoid arthritis had stopped being helped by widely used biotech medicines, according to data from a mid-stage trial.Treatment with the Australian company's mesenchymal precursor cell (MPC) product, MPC-300-IV, was deemed well tolerated with no serious side effects or infusion-related adverse events in the 48-patient, 12-week Phase II study, the company said.Among patients previously treated with at least one biologic drug, the common measure of 20 percent relief of signs and symptoms of the arthritis, known as ACR20, was achieved by 55 percent of those who received an infusion of 2 million cells per kilogram of weight. That compared with 33 percent in the placebo group who achieved ACR20.The higher bar of ACR70, or 70 percent improvement, was achieved by 36 percent after one infusion of the Mesoblast treatment, compared with no patients in the placebo group who reported such an improvement. The cell treatment also led to improvements in measures of physical function and overall disease activity versus placebo, the company said. "The safety and efficacy results of this study are very encouraging and suggest that Mesoblast’s cell therapy has the potential to fill the major unmet medical need" for patients who cannot take biologic treatments, Dr. Allan Gibofsky, rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, said in a statement.Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, often painful autoimmune disease affecting about 1 percent of the global population. It causes inflammation and potentially destruction of multiple joints. Mesoblast, which is 14.6-percent owned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, said it plans to line up a partner to help it move the treatment into larger Phase III trials.About one third of patients either do not respond sufficiently or cannot tolerate popular biologic treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, such as AbbVie's Humira, the world's top-selling prescription medicine, creating a need for new therapy options. To be competitive with current medicines, new treatments must address both pain and disease progression. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Leslie Adler) Read more

BRIEF-MediciNova receives notice of allowance for new patent covering MN-001 and MN-002 for the treatment of fibrosis

July 26 MediciNova Inc :* Says it received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office (Uspto) for a pending patent application which covers Mn-001 (Tipelukast) and Mn-002 (A Major Metabolite Of Mn-001) for the treatment of "Fibrosis" which includes a broad range of fibrosis / fibrotic disease in different organs due to different causes Source text in Japanese: hsvp.com/3381 Further company coverage: (Beijing Headline News) Read more

MOVES-BNY Mellon Wealth Management expands Chicago office with 5 hires

July 18 BNY Mellon Wealth Management has made five senior executive appointments to its Chicago office.The company, a part of the investment management unit of Bank of New York Mellon Corp, named Scott Sandee as a senior wealth director. Sandee was previously a private wealth adviser at BMO Private Bank and a wealth strategist with Northern Trust Corp.It named Kelly Demers as vice-president and residential mortgage banker. Demers joins from JPMorgan Chase, where she was a private client mortgage banker. Daniel Abbatacola has been named an underwriter in life insurance premium lending. Abbatacola was a senior underwriter at Northern Trust. Joseph Schwall has been appointed as a senior private banker. Schwall joins from Northern Trust. The firm also appointed Kevin Kosmak to a newly created team leader and senior wealth manager role. Kosmak, who comes from Northern Trust, was a senior portfolio manager and team leader there. (Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru) Read more

Man who shot Dallas police wanted to kill more officers: chief

DALLAS The U.S. military veteran who fatally shot five Dallas police officers in a racially motivated attack last week asked negotiators how many people he had shot and told them he wanted to kill more, the city's police chief said on Monday.Explosives found at the home of gunman Micah Johnson suggested he had been plotting a larger assault, said authorities, who were still trying to understand a message he wrote in his own blood on a wall before being killed by a bomb-equipped robot sent in by the police."We knew through negotiations this was the suspect because he was asking us how many did he get and he told us how many more he wanted to kill," Dallas Police Chief David Brown told reporters on Monday. The attack on Thursday night came at the end of a demonstration over police shootings that had been prompted by incidents earlier in the week in which police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and St. Paul, Minnesota, killed two black men. Johnson, a 25-year-old African-American, told police negotiators during an hours-long standoff that he had been angered by those deaths and had wanted to "kill white people."The deaths in Baton Rouge and St. Paul were the latest in a series of high-profile and controversial killings of black men by police in cities including New York, Ferguson, Missouri, Chicago and Baltimore. Even as officials and activists condemned the shootings and mourned the slain officers in Dallas, hundreds of people were arrested on Saturday and Sunday as new protests against the use of deadly force by police flared in U.S. cities. Scores of people were arrested in Baton Rouge on Sunday after authorities warned that violence during street demonstrations would not be tolerated.Brown said a search of Johnson's home showed the gunman had practiced using explosives, and that other evidence suggested he wanted to use them against law enforcement officers.His attack was the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the hijacked plane attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Nine law enforcement officers were also wounded, Brown said on Monday. 'DISAPPOINTED' WITH MILITARYJohnson, who had served with the U.S. Army Reserve and had been deployed in Afghanistan, had been "disappointed" in his experience with the military, his mother told TheBlaze.com in an interview broadcast online on Monday."The military was not what Micah thought it would be," Delphine Johnson told The Blaze. "He was very disappointed. Very disappointed." She did not give details.Several media organizations have reported that while Johnson was in Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014, a woman soldier in his unit accused him of sexual harassment. The U.S. Department of Defense and a lawyer who had represented Johnson in the past did not return requests for information on his military history or the status of his discharge.In Baton Rouge, protesters faced off with police officers wearing gas masks on Sunday evening. Media, citing Baton Rouge police, reported that at least 48 people were taken into custody after demonstrators clashed with police following a peaceful march to the state capitol.In St. Paul, Minnesota, 21 officers were injured on Saturday when they were pelted with rocks, bottles, construction material and fireworks.Three countries have warned their citizens to stay on guard when visiting U.S. cities rocked by the protests.A candlelight vigil was set for 8 p.m. on Monday in Dallas City Hall plaza. President Barack Obama was due to travel to the city on Tuesday to attend a memorial for the slain officers. (Additonal reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Writing by Daniel Wallis and Scott Malone; Editing by Paul Tait and Frances Kerry) Read more

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