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KENILWORTH, N.J., April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and the American Diabetes Association today revealed common challenges affecting the millions of Americans living with type 2 diabetes as part of the program...


COURBEVOIE, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MSD Vaccins soutient la Semaine mondiale de la vaccination de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé.


TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cerveau Technologies, Inc. today announced finalization of a clinical supply agreement with Merck, known as MSD outside the US and Canada, providing access to an investigational imaging agent being evaluated in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans for assessing the status and progression of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain. NFTs made up of aggregated tau protein are believed to provide a hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. As part of the agreement Cerveau will be responsible for providing access to MK-6240 at multiple sites globally to be used in Merck-specific research initiatives. Cerveau will be accelerating technology transfer and site qualification in over fifteen sites to provide access to support broad availability. “At Cerveau, we are focused on providing information and technologies to researchers and clinicians in order to improve brain health,” said Rick Hiatt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cerveau Technologies, Inc. “We are excited by the opportunity to work with Merck and the pharmaceutical industry in providing access to this investigational imaging agent to the broader scientific community. We are rapidly establishing collaborations and agreements to improve processes in order to support multiple initiatives around the world.” “There is a critical need for new imaging agents that provide sensitive biomarkers to enable early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases and allow for more appropriate staging of disease states, and measuring the effect of disease-modifying therapeutics,” said Cyrille Sur, Executive Director, Translational Imaging Biomarkers, Merck Research Laboratories. “Agreements such as this provide a platform to evaluate the potential of our novel Tau imaging agent.” In early studies published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Merck scientists reported that [18F]MK-6240 has a high specificity and selectivity for neurofibrillary tangles with favorable physicochemical properties and in vivo pharmacokinetics that warranted clinical investigation as a potential PET neuroimaging agent. Merck and Cerveau are currently conducting an open-label Phase 1 study to investigate the safety and efficacy of [18F]MK-6240 as a PET imaging agent for quantifying brain burden of neurofibrillary tangle pathology. For further information about the trial please go to clinical trials.gov (NCT02562989). Cerveau Technologies, Inc. is a partnership between Enigma Biomedical Group, Inc. and Sinotau Pharmaceutical Group. Cerveau's vision is to globally develop diagnostics and technology that will impact patients with neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

ILC 2017: Eight studies being presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2017 demonstrate contrasting evidence on the potential link between direct-acting antiviral treatment for hepatitis C and liver cancer According to data from eight studies being presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, there remains continued debate on whether patients are at risk of developing liver cancer after achieving sustained virologic response (SVR) with a direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimen for Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Investigators will present the results of their studies that show both sides of the argument - DAA therapy is associated with a higher risk of liver cancer compared with interferon-based therapy, versus there is no difference in liver cancer risk following cure with either therapy. Whilst remarkable progress has been made in the development of successful antiviral therapies for HCV infection, some recent studies suggest that curing patients does not eliminate the risk of developing liver cancer. There also appears to be an unexpectedly high rate of liver cancer (also known as hepatocellular carcinoma [HCC]) recurrence in patients who previously had their tumour treated successfully and had received DAAs.1 This claim was further supported by a Spanish study led by Dr Maria Reig and Dr Mariño, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, Spain in which patients with HCV and HCC who had previously been cured of HCC received DAA therapy. After a median 12.4 month follow-up, following treatment with DAAs, the rate of HCC coming back (recurrence) was 31.2% (24/77) and of those who received HCC treatment at recurrence, 30% (6/20) of patients presented progression in the immediate 6-month follow-up. This is an update of the study that will be published in the May 2017 issue of Seminars in Liver Disease, and is available here: https:/ . "Our study offers further support to previous findings that there is an unexpected high recurrence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma associated with DAAs, and that this association may result in a more aggressive pattern of recurrence and faster tumour progression," said Dr Maria Reig, Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer Group, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, Spain, and lead author of the study. "These data indicate that there needs to be further research conducted in this area, clarifying the mechanism for the association between liver cancer recurrence and DAA therapy." Identifying those patients at risk of liver cancer is essential, a task that Dr Etienne Audureau, Public Health, Henri Mondor University Hospital, Créteil, France, and colleagues attempted to achieve by developing a prognostic tool for HCC. They found that in patients with severe scarring of the liver due to HCV (compensated cirrhosis), failure to achieve SVR was the most influential factor in predicting liver cancer. In addition, risk factors for liver cancer differ according to SVR status. The investigators recommend that in patients with compensated cirrhosis, eradication of HCV should be achieved before liver function is impaired and people who have achieved SVR should be monitored for liver cancer after 50 years of age. The mechanisms behind the development of liver cancer following HCV cure are not yet understood. One group of investigators led by Prof Thomas Baumert, Inserm Institute for Viral and Liver Diseases, University of Strasbourg, France, aimed to investigate if HCV infections produce epigenetic and transcriptional changes that persist after the infection is cured, and whether these epigenetic changes drive liver disease and HCC following cure. They found that the epigenetic and transcriptional changes are only partially reversed by DAAs and persist after HCV cure, suggesting that these changes are a driver for liver cancer that develops after HCV infection has been cured. The investigators concluded that these findings open a new perspective to develop novel biomarkers to identify patients at high risk of HCC and provide an opportunity to develop urgently needed strategies for HCC prevention. On the other side of the debate, a systematic review, meta-analyses, and meta-regression study, by Prof Gregory Dore and Dr Reem Waziry from The Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney, and colleagues, found no evidence for higher risk of HCC occurrence or recurrence following DAA treatment, compared with interferon-based HCV therapy. A total of 41 studies, including 26 on HCC occurrence and 15 on HCC recurrence (in total, n=13,875 patients) were included. In studies assessing HCC occurrence, average follow up was shorter and average age was higher in DAA studies compared to interferon studies; incidence was lower with longer follow-up and younger age. In studies assessing HCC recurrence, average follow up was also shorter. Ultimately, in the meta-regression analysis, no evidence in favour of a differential HCC occurrence or recurrence was found between DAA and interferon regimens, after adjusting for study follow-up and age. "Recent studies have reported contradicting evidence on risk of hepatocellular carcinoma following direct-acting antiviral therapy; our aim was to bring some clarity to this," said Prof Gregory Dore, Kirby Institute and lead author of the study. "These data show the higher incidence of HCC observed following DAA therapy can be explained by the shorter duration of follow-up and older age of participants, rather than the DAA treatment regimen." A Scottish study, led by Dr Hamish Innes, School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland, found that the risk of liver cancer following SVR was not associated with the use of DAAs, but baseline risk factors. Furthermore, risk of HCC development was similar in patients taking interferon-free regimens versus interferon-containing regimens, following a multivariate adjustment (IRR: 0.96, p=0.929) and no significant differences in HCC risk were found when treatment regimen was defined in terms of DAA containing regimens versus DAA free regimens. These data indicate that rather than the treatment regimens themselves, it is the baseline risk factors that determine risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. Another interesting study in Japanese patients with HCV genotype 1 infection, found a reduced incidence of liver cancer following achievement of SVR after 12 weeks of therapy with an interferon-free regimen (ledipasvir plus sofosbuvir) to a similar degree as that obtained with an interferon-containing regimen (simeprevir with peginterferon plus ribavirin). This study, which was conducted by Dr Masaaki Korenaga, Kohnodai Hospital, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Chiba, Japan, and colleagues, also found that unexpected development of liver cancer following SVR in patients without previous liver cancer could potentially be predicted by imaging procedures (computer tomography or enhanced magnetic resonance imaging). Similarly, a Chinese study led by Dr George Lau, from the Beijing 302-Hong Kong Humanity and Health Hepatitis C Diagnosis and Treatment Centre, in Beijing, China, found no increase in the incidence of liver cancer in patients who achieved SVR12 with DAA compared to peginterferon plus ribavirin. A Sicilian study conducted by Dr Vincenza Calvaruso, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy, and colleagues, demonstrated that patients who achieved SVR with DAAs had a similar risk of developing liver cancer when compared to historical controls of patients with compensated cirrhosis who achieved SVR after interferon-based therapy. In addition, those who achieved SVR with DAAs had a lower risk of developing liver cancer than those patients whose HCV infection was not cured. "The original observations made by researchers from the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer Group have sparked a huge number of studies aimed at verifying the potential association between DAA treatment and increased HCC recurrence after cure," said Prof Francesco Negro, Divisions of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of Clinical Pathology, University Hospital of Geneva, and EASL Governing Board Member. "At this stage, there is no reason to alter treatment guidelines until the issue is definitively clarified. We cannot exclude, however, that we may have to revise post-SVR surveillance in some specific patient subgroups." This annual congress is the biggest event in the EASL calendar, attracting scientific and medical experts from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research. Attending specialists present, share, debate and conclude on the latest science and research in hepatology, working to enhance the treatment and management of liver disease in clinical practice. This year, the congress is expected to attract approximately 10,000 delegates from all corners of the globe. The International Liver Congress™ 2017 will take place from April 19 - 23, at the RAI Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. About The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) Since its foundation in 1966, this not-for-profit organisation has grown to over 4,000 members from all over the world, including many of the leading hepatologists in Europe and beyond. EASL is the leading liver association in Europe, having evolved into a major European Association with international influence, with an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy. Contact For more information, please contact the ILC Press Office at: Session title: Parallel session: Liver tumours: from patient stratification to management Time, date, and location of session: 16:00 - 18:00, Thursday 20 April, Elicium 2 Abstract: No evidence for higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma occurrence or recurrence following direct-acting antiviral HCV therapy: A systematic review, meta-analyses, and meta-regression (PS160), 16:00 - 16:15 Gregory Dore, Australia Session title: Parallel session: HCV: post SVR management and complications Time, date, and location of session: 16:00 - 18:00, Thursday 20 April, Hall 5 Abstracts presented in order of appearance in press release: Tumour recurrence after Interferon-free treatment for hepatitis C in patients with previously treated hepatocellular carcinoma discloses a more aggressive pattern and faster tumour growth (PS031), 16:00 - 16:15 Maria Reig, Spain Identifying residual risk of hepatocellular carcinoma following hepatitis C virus eradication in compensated cirrhosis: decision-tree and random forest models developed in the French multicenter prospective ANRS CO12 CirVir cohort (PS034), 16:45 - 17:00 Etienne Audureau, France Hepatitis C virus-induced epigenetic and transcriptional changes persist post cure (PS033), 16:30 - 16:45 Thomas Baumert, France Among cirrhotic patients with a hepatitis C sustained viral response, the risk of de-novo hepatocellular carcinoma relates to baseline factors and not the use of direct acting antivirals: results from a nationwide cohort (PS035), 17:00 - 17:15 Hamish Innes, United Kingdom Sustained virologic response by ledipasvir/sofosbuvir reduces the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in Japanese patients with HCV genotype 1 infection. - Comparison with Simeprevir with peginterferon plus ribavirin (PS036), 17:15 - 17:30 Masaaki Korenaga, Japan No increase in the occurrence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma in Chinese treated by direct-acting antivirals compared to Interferon after eradication of hepatitis c virus: A long-term follow-up (PS037), 17:30 - 17:45 George Lau, China Occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with hepatitis C virus related liver disease treated with direct-acting antivirals (PS038), 17:45 - 18:00 Vincenza Calvaruso, Italy Gregory Dore: Advisory board member and receives honorarium from Gilead, Merck, Abbvie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen, has received research grant funding from Gilead, Merck, Abbvie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen, and travel sponsorship from Gilead, Merck, Abbvie, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Vincenza Calvaruso: Advisory Board for AbbVie, BMS, Gilead Sciences and Intercept. Grant and research support for MSD 1 Reig M et al. Unexpected early tumor recurrence in patients with HCV-related HCC undergoing interferon-free therapy; a note of caution. J Hepatol. 2016;65:719-726.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today that Roger Perlmutter, president, Merck Research Laboratories, is scheduled to present at the Deutsche Bank 42nd Annual Health Care Conference in Boston on May 4, 2017 at 8:40 a.m. EDT. Investors, analysts, members of the media and the general public are invited to listen to a live audio webcast of the presentation at http://investors.merck.com/events-and-presentations/default.aspx. For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).


Le 22 septembre 2016, l'assemblée générale a autorisé le conseil d'administration de la Société à émettre 2 006 097 nouvelles actions (représentant 100% du capital émis et en circulation à ce moment) et exclure tout droit de préemption pour les actionnaires existants dans le cadre de cette émission pour une période de trois ans. Les nouvelles Actions liées au placement privé ont été émises par le Conseil d'Administration, avec l'approbation du Conseil de Surveillance, en vertu de cette délégation existante par l'assemblée générale. En outre, le Conseil de Surveillance a préalablement consenti à l'émission par le Conseil d'Administration d'un nombre supplémentaire d'Actions au besoin lors de l'exercice des BSA et de la conversion des ODIRNANE. Le placement privé de nouvelles Actions et Warrants n'est pas basé sur un prospectus approuvé par l'Autorité Néerlandaise pour les Marchés Financiers, l'AFM ou l'Autorité Française, l'AMF. Par ailleurs, Kreos Capital a signé un accord avec l’Investisseur dans lequel (i) celui-ci s’engage à (a) ne faire valoir aucun de ses droits en lien avec la Dette Kreos jusqu’au 30 novembre 20185 et (b) limiter ses ventes d’actions sur le marché jusqu’au 30 septembre 2017 (Kreos Capital (x) ne pourra pas vendre d’actions si la liquidité moyenne quotidienne de l’action de la Société est inférieure à 25 k€, (y) pourra vendre un montant maximum de 100 k€ d’actions par mois calendaire si la liquidité moyenne quotidienne de l’action de la Société est comprise entre 25 k€ et 75 k€, et (z) pourra vendre un montant maximum de 250 k€ d’actions par mois calendaire si la liquidité moyenne quotidienne de l’action de la Société est supérieure à 75 k€), et (ii) Kreos Capital donne une option d’achat à l’Investisseur sur la Dette Kreos au nominal. NOXXON Pharma N.V. est une société biopharmaceutique développant principalement des traitements contre le cancer. L'objectif de NOXXON est d'améliorer significativement l'efficacité des traitements anticancéreux, notamment les approches immuno-oncologiques (inhibiteurs de point de contrôle immunitaire) et les traitements actuels plus courants (chimiothérapie et radiothérapie). La plateforme de Spiegelmers de NOXXON a permis le développement d’un portefeuille exclusif de produits candidats au stade clinique, dont son candidat médicament anticancéreux phare, NOX-A12 qui est le sujet d’un collaboration en immuno-oncologie avec Merck & Co. Inc / MSD (NYSE:MRK) pour réaliser une étude clinique sur NOX-A12 associé au Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) dans le cancer du pancréas et le cancer colorectal. NOXXON est soutenu par des investisseurs internationaux de renom, dont TVM Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, DEWB, NGN et Seventure. Son siège social se situe à Amsterdam, aux Pays-Bas et ses bureaux à Berlin, en Allemagne. De plus amples informations peuvent être consultées sur www.noxxon.com. Ce communiqué contient des déclarations prospectives ou des termes se rapportant aux développements futurs ou futurs, ainsi que les négations de telles formulations ou termes, ou une terminologie similaire. Ces déclarations ne constituent pas des faits historiques. Ces déclarations comprennent des projections et des estimations ainsi que les hypothèses sur lesquelles celles-ci reposent, des déclarations portant sur des projets, des objectifs, des intentions et des attentes concernant des résultats financiers, des événements, des opérations, des services futurs, le développement de produits et leur potentiel ou les performances futures. La société ne prend aucun engagement de mettre à jour les informations et déclarations prospectives, qui ne représente que l'état des choses le jour de la publication. i. Concernant les tranches n°2 à n°6, plus de 2 mois se sont écoulés depuis le plus tard de (i) la date de la demande de souscription d’ODIRNANE (dans le cas où la souscription est effectuée à la demande de la Société) et (ii) la date de souscription d’ODIRNANE (dans le cas où la souscription est effectuée à la discrétion de l’Investisseur), et concernant les tranches suivantes, aucune ODIRNANE ne doit être en circulation ; vi. la Société dispose d’un nombre d’actions autorisé et disponible égal à au moins (i) 2 fois le nombre d’actions à émettre sur exercice du Droit à l’Attribution des ODIRNANE à émettre et en circulation (sur la base du prix d’attribution applicable à la date de demande de souscription des ODIRNANE) plus (ii) 1 fois le nombre d’actions à émettre sur exercice des BSA à émettre ; 1 D’un commun accord entre la Société et YA II PN, Ltd., ce dernier pourra souscrire des actions nouvelles pour 250 k€ supplémentaires, avant l’émission de la première tranche d’ODIRNANE, à un prix égal à 75% du plus bas cours quotidien moyen pondéré par les volumes de l’action de la Société parmi les jours de bourse au cours desquels YA II PN, Ltd. n’aura pas vendu d’actions de la Société parmi les dix (10) jours de bourse consécutifs précédant immédiatement la date d’émission des actions. 2 Les actionnaires ayant signé l’engagement de conservation représentent environ 65% du capital de la Société : NGN BioMed Opportunity II, L.P., SOFINNOVA CAPITAL, Entities affiliated with Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners SCA, certain entities affiliated with Seventure Partners, DEWB Deutsche Effecten- und Wechsel-Beteiligungsgesellschaft AG, CD-Venture GmbH, Entities affiliated with TVM Capital GmbH, VC Fonds Berlin GmbH & VC Fonds Technologie Berlin GmbH 5 Kreos Capital récupérera ses droits sur la Dette Kreos notamment dans les cas suivants : (1) suite à un cas de défaut sur les ODIRNANE et à la demande de YA II PN, Ltd. du remboursement en cash des ODIRNANE en circulation, les ORDINANE ne seraient pas remboursées par la Société dans un délai de 14 jours suivant la demande de remboursement, (2) aucune ODIRNANE reste en circulation et aucune ODIRNANE n’a été émise dans les trois mois suivant le dernier remboursement ou conversion d’ODIRNANE et (3) toutes les ODIRNANE prévues dans l’accord entre YA II PN, Ltd. et la Société ont été émises et remboursées ou converties en totalité.


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

For the consecutive year, DHL has topped the list both in Morocco and Algeria with outstanding workplace culture for small and medium size companies. Teleperformance Morocco,  the worldwide leader in outsourced omnichannel customer experience management ranked first in the Morocco large companies program along with Helpline Tunisia, a digital services company based in Tunisia. Over 25 companies has been awarded last year as best places to work in North Africa including Total Call Morocco, Dell Morocco, Umanis Morocco, SGS Morocco, Alten Morocco, MSD Morocco, Zodiac Aerospace Morocco, Nestle Morocco, Arval Morocco Masen Morocco, Novonordisk Algeria, Novartis Algeria, Roche Algeria, Total Lubrifiants Algeria and many other companies. The experience of working with organizations across different sectors in the region tells us that leaders at the best workplaces place employees at the heart of their business strategy and consider building a great workplace among their top business goals. The Best Places To Work Program certifies and recognizes leading workplaces in more 50 countries including leading programs in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. The program focuses on 8 Worplace factors including workplace culture, opportunities for growth and overall employee satisfaction with the company's people practices. An HR audit is also conducted to examine HR Pratices within the organization. Further, the certification is only awarded to companies with the highest standards of excellence in regards to employee working conditions. The initiative is also covering most of African countries, Middle East and GCC countries. For more information, please visit the program websites at http://www.bestplacestoworkinafrica.com, http://www.bestplacestoworkinme.org


News Article | May 3, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

For the consecutive year, DHL has topped the list both in Morocco and Algeria with outstanding workplace culture for small and medium size companies. Teleperformance Morocco,  the worldwide leader in outsourced omnichannel customer experience management ranked first in the Morocco large companies program along with Helpline Tunisia, a digital services company based in Tunisia. Over 25 companies has been awarded last year as best places to work in North Africa including Total Call Morocco, Dell Morocco, Umanis Morocco, SGS Morocco, Alten Morocco, MSD Morocco, Zodiac Aerospace Morocco, Nestle Morocco, Arval Morocco Masen Morocco, Novonordisk Algeria, Novartis Algeria, Roche Algeria, Total Lubrifiants Algeria and many other companies. The experience of working with organizations across different sectors in the region tells us that leaders at the best workplaces place employees at the heart of their business strategy and consider building a great workplace among their top business goals. The Best Places To Work Program certifies and recognizes leading workplaces in more 50 countries including leading programs in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. The program focuses on 8 Worplace factors including workplace culture, opportunities for growth and overall employee satisfaction with the company's people practices. An HR audit is also conducted to examine HR Pratices within the organization. Further, the certification is only awarded to companies with the highest standards of excellence in regards to employee working conditions. The initiative is also covering most of African countries, Middle East and GCC countries. For more information, please visit the program websites at http://www.bestplacestoworkinafrica.com, http://www.bestplacestoworkinme.org


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New York, NY, May 5, 2017 - An international group of experts has concluded that, for patients with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders, antipsychotic medications do not have negative long-term effects on patients' outcomes or the brain. In addition, the benefits of these medications are much greater than their potential side effects. These findings, by Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeon and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and colleagues from institutions in the United States, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Japan, and China, were published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Nearly seven million Americans take antipsychotic medications for the treatment of schizophrenia and related conditions. The medications are prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of psychosis and longer-term, to prevent relapse. In recent years, however, concerns have been raised that these medications could have toxic effects and negatively impact long-term outcomes. This view, if not justified by data, has the potential mislead some patients (and their families) to refuse or discontinue antipsychotic treatment. For this reason, the researchers undertook a comprehensive examination of clinical and basic research studies that examined the effects of antipsychotic drug treatment on the clinical outcomes of patients and changes in brain structure. "The evidence from randomized clinical trials and neuroimaging studies overwhelmingly suggests that the majority of patients with schizophrenia benefit from antipsychotic treatment, both in the initial presentation of the disease and for longer-term maintenance to prevent relapse," said Dr. Lieberman. Moreover, whatever side effects that these medications might cause are greatly outweighed by their therapeutic benefits. "Anyone who doubts this conclusion should talk with people whose symptoms have been relieved by treatment and literally given back their lives," Lieberman added. The studies also revealed that delaying or withholding treatment has been associated with poorer long-term outcomes. "While a minority of patients who recover from an initial psychotic episode may maintain their remission without antipsychotic treatment, there is currently no clinical biomarker to identify them, and it is a very small number of patients who may fall into this subgroup," said Dr. Lieberman. "Consequently, withholding treatment could be detrimental for most patients with schizophrenia." And while preclinical studies in rodents suggested that antipsychotic medications can sensitize dopamine receptors, there is no evidence that antipsychotic treatment increases the risk of relapse. While antipsychotic medications can increase the risk for metabolic syndrome, which is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, the study did not include a risk-benefit analysis. "While more research is needed to address these questions, the strong evidence supporting the benefits of antipsychotic medications should be made clear to patients and their families, while at the same time they should be used judiciously" said Dr. Lieberman. The paper is entitled, "The Long-Term Effects of Antipsychotic Medication on Clinical Course in Schizophrenia." The authors are Donald Goff, MD (New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY), Peter Falkai, MD, PhD (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Germany), Wolfgang Fleischhacker, MD, (Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria), Ragy Girgis, MD (Columbia University Medical Center), Rene M. Kahn, MD, PhD (University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands;), Hiroyuki Uchida, MD, PhD (Keiyo University, Tokyo, Japan), Jingping Zhao, MD, Ph.D. (Central South University, Chengsha, China), and Jeffrey Lieberman, MD (Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute). Dr. Goff has received research support from Avanir Pharmaceuticals, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Stanley Medical Research Institute. Dr. Fleischhacker has received research support from Boehringer-Ingelheim, Janssen, Lundbeck, and Otsuka; he has received honoraria for serving as a consultant to and/or on advisory boards for Allergan, Dainippon-Sumitomo, GedeonRichter, Janssen, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Takeda, and Teva; and he has received speaker's fees and travel support from AOP Orphan, Dainippon Sumitomo, Gedeon Richter, Janssen, Lundbeck, Pfizer, Otsuka, and Teva. Dr. Girgis receives research support from Allergan, BioAdvantex, Genentech, and Otsuka. Dr. Kahn has received consulting fees from Alkermes, Forrest, Forum, Gedeon-Richter, Janssen-Cilag, Minerva Neurosciences, and Sunovion and speaker's fees from Janssen-Cilag and Lilly. Dr. Uchida has received grants from Astellas Pharmaceutical, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Eisai, Eli Lilly, Meiji-Seika Pharmaceutical, Mochida Pharmaceutical, Novartis, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, and Shionogi; speaker's honoraria from Dainippon-Sumitomo Pharma, Eli Lilly, Janssen Pharmaceutical, Meiji-Seika Pharma, MSD, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Pfizer, Shionogi, and Yoshitomi Yakuhin; and advisory panel payments from Dainippon-Sumitomo Pharma. All other authors report no financial relationships with commercial interests. New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University Department of Psychiatry (NYSPI/Columbia Psychiatry). New York State Psychiatric Institute (founded in 1896) and the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry have been closely affiliated since 1925. Their co-location in a New York State facility on the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center campus provides the setting for a rich and productive collaborative relationship among scientists and physicians in a variety of disciplines. NYSPI/Columbia Psychiatry is ranked among the best departments and psychiatric research facilities in the nation and has contributed greatly to the understanding of and current treatment for psychiatric disorders. The Department and Institute are home to distinguished clinicians and researchers noted for their clinical and research advances in the diagnosis and treatment of depression, suicide, schizophrenia, bipolar and anxiety disorders and childhood psychiatric disorders. Their combined expertise provides state of the art clinical care for patients, and training for the next generation of psychiatrists and psychiatric researchers. Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. The campus that Columbia University Medical Center shares with its hospital partner, NewYork-Presbyterian, is now called the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. For more information, visit cumc.columbia.edu or columbiadoctors.org.

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