Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
New virus hits 12 globally with new British case
LONDON (Reuters) - A fourth person in Britain has contracted a potentially fatal SARS-like virus which was unknown in humans until a few months ago, but health officials said on Friday the risk to the population remained very low. Confirming the third British case this week of infection the new virus - known as novel coronavirus, or NCoV - the Health Protection Agency said the patient was one of a cluster of three in the same family.
GSK wins priority status for new HIV drug in U.S
LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators gave priority review status to an experimental GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L> drug for HIV/AIDS, which industry analysts view as a possible multibillion-dollar-a-year seller. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration awards certain drugs priority status when they have the potential to offer significant improvement over existing treatments.
FDA warns of flu protection claims by supplement sellers 2013-02-15T191639Z_1_BRE91E10T_RTROPTC_0_US-DIETARY-SUPPLEMENTS -FDA.XML () -
Menus labels may sway those who need them most
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Showing diners how many calories are in restaurant food items may influence how much they eat - especially among the least health-conscious people, a new study suggests. "It's encouraging because the information may help the people who will need it the most," said Lorien Urban, who has researched menu labeling at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Boston's Tufts University.
Sanofi says Gaucher pill studies meet goals
PARIS (Reuters) - Sanofi <SASY.PA> said its experimental pill for Gaucher disease met its main targets in two late-stage studies, which the French drugmaker will use to bolster its case for regulatory approval. Eliglustat tartrate could become the first oral treatment for Gaucher disease - a rare genetic disorder affecting some 10,000 patients - and shake up the market for therapies that currently have to be injected bi-weekly.
Germany discovers bird flu case on poultry farm
HAMBURG (Reuters) - German authorities said a case of H5N1 bird flu had been discovered during initial tests on a poultry farm in the eastern state of Brandenburg. The case was discovered in a duck farm, which was carrying out its own tests, the Brandenburg state agriculture ministry said on Friday.
Novo to sell Tresiba in Europe at 60-70 percent premium over Lantus
COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's Novo Nordisk <NOVOb.CO>, the world's biggest insulin producer, will sell its long-acting insulin Tresiba in Europe at a 60-70 percent premium over rival product Lantus from France's Sanofi <SASY.PA>. Novo is in the process of negotiating prices of the new insulin in Europe, and recently agreed with authorities in the United Kingdom to price the insulin 60-70 percent above competing products in the market, as it is believed to hold some advantages over its rivals.
High-stakes cholesterol study could lift Merck cloud
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Favorable results from a huge heart study could help redeem investors' faith in Merck & Co <MRK.N> and its two biggest cholesterol drugs, Vytorin and Zetia, and potentially add billions of dollars in annual revenue. Investors have soured on the No. 2 U.S. drugmaker since late December, following setbacks to a closely watched experimental drug for osteoporosis and a newer cholesterol medicine.
Estrogen alternative eases sex pain for older women
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A daily dose of ospemifene, an estrogen-like drug, helped lessen pain during intercourse caused by vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women, in a new study. "This appears to be a good alternative for women who can't or choose not to use estrogen therapy," Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, medical director of the Midlife Health Center at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, told Reuters Health.
No increased cancer risk after IVF: study
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women getting fertility treatments can be reassured that in vitro fertilization (IVF) does not increase their risk of breast and gynecological cancers, according to a new study of Israeli women. "The findings were fairly reassuring. Nothing was significantly elevated," said lead author Louise Brinton, chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland.