Makers of devices for ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF) have struggled at times to overcome clinician skepticism, but a new report in a respected medical journal might persuade some of those cardiologists. A study of nearly 28,000 AF patients in South Korea demonstrated that device therapy yielded lower rates of death and admission for heart failure compared to medical therapy, suggesting that ablation is a valid alternative to medical therapy, at least for patients in Asia.
Keeping you up to date on recent developments in oncology, including: 3D-printed reservoir + magnetic sponge = new way to beat cancer; HRAS-driven translation helps skin prevent tumors; NETS and mets; Observational study supports cryoablation for RCC.
Policymakers in the U.S. are grappling with a disastrous pandemic as well as long-standing political tensions, but one aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic that might unify them is the need to ensure that patients in the U.S. are not at the mercy of other nations for needed diagnostics and therapies.
The patent lawsuit between Merck & Co. and Microspherix LLC began when the latter sued Merck for infringement of patents for brachytherapy in Merck’s implantable contraceptive device, but Merck was unable to prevail in an inter partes review (IRP) or in an appeal of the IPR at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. After wading through questions about purported prior art, Merck failed to persuade the two courts that Microspherix’s non-provisional filing had strayed too far from the written description of the related provisional, thus handing Microspherix a win against its much larger rival in the market for drug delivery with microspheres.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached into quarters that are not historically problematic for makers of diagnostics, including China’s import and export practices for test kits. According to one caller on an FDA diagnostic town hall, export officials in China have a blacklist and a whitelist for test kits, but there is some dispute as to whether kits that are eligible for distribution in the U.S. can get off the blacklist unless that kit is specifically called out via the emergency use authorization (EUA) program.
Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, vice director of logistics for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a Senate hearing that the one solution to managing pandemic supplies might be to use federal taxpayer dollars to sustain inventories in private-sector warehouses.
Keeping you up to date on recent developments in oncology, including: Hydrogen peroxide stimulates gold nanorods, paclitaxel, for cancer treatment; Oncometabolites mask DNA repair signals; Stress-induced mutagenesis leads to cancer drug resistance; Nanomotoring in bladder cancer.
The U.S. FDA’s effort to marry its quality systems regulations with ISO 13485 has hardly gone off without a hitch, but Melissa Torres, director of international programs at the FDA’s device center, said the agency is “very hopeful” it can publish a draft rule for that task by the end of this year.
The U.S. FDA’s Accreditation Scheme for Conformity Assessment program (ASCA) seems to promise a much less burdensome approach to device performance testing, but several stakeholders have made the case that as written, the draft guidance for the ASCA pilot does little more than create another layer of review of device testing, thus defeating the point of making more extensive use of testing labs.
The implementation date for the EU’s new med-tech regulatory framework has been pushed back a year, giving device makers much-needed breathing room for compliance work. At the same time, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has not fulfilled the planned May update of its device clinical investigations standard, ISO 14155.