HIV prevention gel fails, deals AIDS researchers a setback (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including HIV prevention gel for women surprises researchers by failing in a trial, EndoStapling system gets FDA nod, and Supreme Court justices questioned over ethics.

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

Gel for HIV prevention disappoints. It was a big disappointment for AIDS researchers and patients when a trial of a microbicide gel intended to prevent HIV infection in women was canceled after researchers reported it wasn’t working. It was especially surprising because the drug seemed to do well in a previous trial. AIDS researchers have been working on a vaginal drug for a long time because it can be used secretly by women. Researchers are unsure why it didn’t work and will not be able to figure that out until all portions of the trial are stopped in 2012.

EndoStapling system fixes graft problems. A catheter that delivers spiral-shaped staples to fix problems with endovascular grafts used to repair aortic aneurysm has received FDA clearance. Aptus Endosystems’ EndoStapling system was approved through the de novo reclassification process since it was low- to moderate-risk and has no comparable competition on the market.

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Supreme Court justices questioned over ethics. Congress is putting the pressure on Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan to disqualify themselves from the upcoming healthcare law decision, due to conflicts of interest. But neither judge is showing any signs of sitting this one out.

Will 2012 look more like 2008 or 2011? Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital warns that many of the VCs that have been feasting over the past few years may be taking a break in 2012. Do you agree?

Expect a backlash from women without children. A small study of women without children in Australia concluded that childless women experienced better physical functioning than the average Australian female. But, they also experienced poorer general health, liveliness, social functioning and mental health, the study said.

Doc profiles. A little over a month ago, Illinois’ Department of Financial and Professional Regulation began posting online profiles of all of the states’ physicians, which have since generated more than 750,000 hits. Officials say they’re pleased with the interest but need to continue piecing together all the pieces of the profiles, including medical malpractice payments and criminal backgrounds.