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Abbott reports first-quarter 2014 results

AbbottAbbott (NYSE: ABT) has announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2014. First-quarter 2014 worldwide sales of $5.2 billion increased 0.5 percent on an operational basis and decreased 2.5 percent on a reported basis, including an unfavorable 3.0 percent effect of foreign exchange.

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Roche with good start in 2014

RocheGroup sales rose 5% in the first quarter, driven by demand for cancer medicines (in particular the HER2 breast cancer franchise, Avastin and MabThera/Rituxan), as well as Actemra/RoActemra for rheumatoid arthritis. Sales of Xeloda, a chemotherapy drug, were lower as the product is now off patent and faces generic competition in the United States and Europe.

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Enzyme revealed as promising target to treat asthma and cancer

In experiments with mice, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have identified an enzyme involved in the regulation of immune system T cells that could be a useful target in treating asthma and boosting the effects of certain cancer therapies. In research described online April 6 in Nature Immunology, the investigators show that mice without the enzyme SKG1 were resistant to dust mite-induced asthma.

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Virus-fighting genes linked to mutations in cancer

Researchers have found a major piece of genetic evidence that confirms the role of a group of virus-fighting genes in cancer development. Our understanding of the biological processes that cause cancer is limited. UV light and smoking are two well-understood cancer-causing processes. Exposure to either of these processes causes distinguishable patterns of genetic damage, or 'signatures', on the genome that can lead to cancer.

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Yeast provides genetic clues on drug response

Why do people respond differently to the same drug? For the first time, researchers have untangled genetic and environmental factors related to drug reactions, bringing us a step closer to predicting how a drug will affect us. Researchers at the University of British Columbia exposed 6,000 strains of yeast to 3,000 drugs. Yeast strains were modified so their response could be measured.

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Abbott completes enrollment of Absorb™ randomized clinical trials in the United States, Japan and China

AbbottAbbott (NYSE: ABT) today announced it has completed enrollment of three clinical trials to support approvals of the company's revolutionary Absorb™ Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS) in the United States, Japan and China. Combined, the U.S., Japan and China account for more than 50 percent of the world's heart stent market.

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Cancer's thirst for copper can be targeted

Drugs used to block copper absorption for a rare genetic condition may find an additional use as a treatment for certain types of cancer, researchers at Duke Medicine report. The researchers found that cancers with a mutation in the BRAF gene require copper to promote tumor growth. These tumors include melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer that kills an estimated 10,000 people in the United States a year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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