Biogen MS treatment’s trial results send shares soaring (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including BIIB stocks close at year high after MS drug succeeds in Phase 3 clinical trials, FDA funds research for approval process reform, and a new approach to chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about healthcare.

Biogen Idec may have an MS blockbuster. After the release of results from a late-stage clinical trial, some are expecting Biogen Idec Inc.’s new MS drug, BG-12, to oust Copaxone as the market leader for multiple sclerosis. When given three times a day, the drug cut relapse in MS patients by more than 50 percent at two years. Biogen’s (NASDAQ:BIIB) stocks closed at a high for the year yesterday.

FDA funds research centers for approval processes. The FDA designated $2 million to fund the creation of research centers to improve the approval processes for new medical devices and drugs.

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New approach to breast cancer treatment. Researchers say a new approach to breast cancer treatment was successful in rats and a small group of human patients. They say targeted chemotherapy delivered through the nipple effectively treated small, early-stage breast tumors without the side effects of traditional chemotherapy.

Removing skull base tumors through the mouth. Johns Hopkins researchers have taken a new approach to removing tumors buried in the skull: they’re going through a natural hole at the back of the mouth, above the jawbone but below the cheekbone, through an incision made inside the cheek. The researchers say they’ve already completed seven surgeries this way that have yielded faster recoveries and fewer complications.

What’s the real cost of an ACO start up? CMS estimates it would cost an organization $1.7 million to become an ACO, but the American Hospital Association estimates between $5.3 and $12 million. The Institute for Health Technology Transformation reports the cost even higher — at $7.5 to $11.3 million for a 200-bed hospital.