After cutting dose because of deaths, Astellas pauses gene therapy trial as new liver issue arises

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Astellas’ $3 billion bet on Audentes Therapeutics has hit yet another setback. Months after getting a clinical hold lifted, Astellas has voluntarily paused a gene therapy clinical trial after a patient suffered liver problems at the lower, supposedly safer dose.

Going into 2020, Astellas planned to file for approval of AT132 in a rare neuromuscular disease by the end of the year. Instead, three deaths linked to liver failure among the 17 patients who received the high dose of the AAV8 vector gene therapy led to a clinical hold. The FDA lifted the hold in December after Astellas dropped the

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Mesoblast’s Novartis-partnered COVID-19 cell therapy hits a wall as FDA requests new trial

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Mesoblast has been put on blast by the FDA yet again after the agency requested another trial for its failed, Novartis-backed COVID-19 respiratory treatment.

The Australian cell therapy biotech will have to conduct another study of remestemcel-L to have a shot at an emergency use authorization from the FDA. It’s another blow to Novartis, which doled out $50 million upfront and more than $1 billion in biobucks for a global license to the drug for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

The treatment failed last December in a phase 3 study in 222 ventilator-dependent COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe ARDS

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Equine Therapy: Horses Help Veterans Struggling With PTSD | Health News

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By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) — As a Marine Corps veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Matthew Ryba understands what life in a combat zone can do to soldiers’ minds, leaving many struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Now, new research shows that equine therapy might go a long way in starting the healing process for these veterans. In the program, participants learned about horses, stroking their sides, cleaning hooves and building trust with the animals.

“We saw with the study that a lot of people who were not amenable to going

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Northborough school’s therapy dog helps students transition back to school

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Staff at Melican Middle School in Northborough are getting back on their feet ready to welcome students for the first day.Betty, the school’s therapy dog, is also ready.“She’s really a big part of what we do here,” said Principal Michelle Karb.Karb owns and trains Betty.“My two passions are dogs and middle school students,” Karb said.Karb has been working with therapy dogs since 2013 and eventually introduced them to her school environment.“Dogs and kids naturally, sort of, go together. Theres’ a lot of research that supports the bond between humans and animals,” Karb said.Betty isn’t the only therapy dog in the … Read the rest

Joe Rogan falsely says mRNA vaccines are ‘gene therapy’

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Joe Rogan, who hosts one of the most popular podcasts on Spotify, wrongly claimed that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are “really gene therapy,” conflating the vaccines’ pioneering mRNA technology with the experimental technique that involves modifying genes to treat or cure disease.

The inaccurate claim came about 51 minutes into the Aug. 20 episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” as Rogan discussed the vaccines with guest Meghan Murphy, a Canadian freelance writer and journalist.

Here’s what Rogan said:

“It’s not really a vaccine in the traditional sense. A vaccine is where they take a dead virus, and they

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