First gene therapy poised for U.S. approval

The Novartis CAR-T cancer therapy — aka CTL019 — was unanimously approved by an FDA panel. What makes CAR-T interesting? It’s the first cancer therapy that’s custom made for each user, reprogramming his or her immune cells to fight a particular type of leukemia.

To use the technique, a separate treatment must be created for each patient — their cells removed at an approved medical center, frozen, shipped to a Novartis plant for thawing and processing, frozen again and shipped back to the treatment center.

Science-fiction authors, take note

CRISPR can potentially cure diseases and bring woolly mammoths back from extinction, but more importantly — it’s been used to store a movie in a bacteria’s genes. Science!

Brits worry about pharmaceutical ‘chaos’

If you thought the pharma bureaucracy here was bad, imagine what they’re looking at in Britain post-Brexit. The word “chaos” keeps popping up.

It probably depends what else they’re saying

If the voices in your head are saying you don’t need meds, [it ]mightbe OK to listen to them.

[T]here are now “hearing voices” support groups on all five continents, and over 180 in the U.K., alone, anchored by the Hearing Voices Network. The idea has been slower to take hold in the U.S., which has a strong medical model for treating mental illness, but is gaining steam there, too.

Dogs and cats, living together

The Senate is considering the nuclear option to craft an Obamacare replacement: bipartisanship.