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US drug firm offers cure for blindness at $425,000 an eye

Spark Therapeutics says responsible price for Luxturna gene therapy ensures access for patients with retinal defect A drug whose inventors claim it can cure a rare form of blindness is to be one of the most expensive medicines ever sold at $850,000 (630,000). Luxturna is injected directly into the eye to address the root cause of visual impairment by replacing a defective gene in the retina. It is the first gene therapy to be approved for use in the US, and was given the go-ahead by the Federal Drug Administration…

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From Viagra to Valium, the drugs that were discovered by accident

From Alexander Fleming onwards, the lives of millions have been transformed and saved by treatments that scientists were not even looking for When scientists in New Zealand discovered that a meningitis vaccine antibiotic, which he called penicillin. For his accidental discovery, he shared the Nobel prize for medicine in 1945 with Florey and Chain, Oxford chemists who perfected the process of penicillin mass production in time to treat infected battlefield injuries sustained in the second world war. When I woke up just after dawn on 28 September, 1928, I certainly…

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Con man or brilliant? Clashing portraits of Martin Shkreli offered as trial begins

At start of securities fraud trial, US prosecutor accused ex-pharmaceutical CEO of building a bogus hedge fund empire by telling lies on top of lies on top of lies Martin Shkreli is either a con man who scammed hedge fund investors of millions or a nerdy genius who made them even richer. The conflicting portraits were offered Wednesday at opening statements of Shkrelis securities fraud trial, a case colored by the ex-pharmaceutical CEOs antics on social media which, despite the urging of his lawyers to lay low, have never subsided….

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