Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

New virus hits 12 globally with new British case

LONDON (Reuters) - A fourth person in Britain has

contracted a potentially fatal SARS-like virus which was

unknown in humans until a few months ago, but health officials

said on Friday the risk to the population remained very low.

Confirming the third British case this week of infection the

new virus - known as novel coronavirus, or NCoV - the Health

Protection Agency said the patient was one of a cluster of

three in the same family.

GSK wins priority status for new HIV drug in U.S

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators gave priority review

status to an experimental GlaxoSmithKline drug for

HIV/AIDS, which industry analysts view as a possible

multibillion-dollar-a-year seller. The U.S. Food and Drug

Administration awards certain drugs priority status when they

have the potential to offer significant improvement over

existing treatments.

FDA warns of flu protection claims by supplement sellers


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Menus labels may sway those who need them most

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Showing diners how many

calories are in restaurant food items may influence how much

they eat - especially among the least health-conscious people,

a new study suggests. "It's encouraging because the information

may help the people who will need it the most," said Lorien

Urban, who has researched menu labeling at the Jean Mayer USDA

Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Boston's Tufts


Sanofi says Gaucher pill studies meet goals

PARIS (Reuters) - Sanofi said its experimental

pill for Gaucher disease met its main targets in two late-stage

studies, which the French drugmaker will use to bolster its

case for regulatory approval. Eliglustat tartrate could become

the first oral treatment for Gaucher disease - a rare genetic

disorder affecting some 10,000 patients - and shake up the

market for therapies that currently have to be injected


Germany discovers bird flu case on poultry farm

HAMBURG (Reuters) - German authorities said a case of H5N1

bird flu had been discovered during initial tests on a poultry

farm in the eastern state of Brandenburg. The case was

discovered in a duck farm, which was carrying out its own

tests, the Brandenburg state agriculture ministry said on


Novo to sell Tresiba in Europe at 60-70 percent premium

over Lantus

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's Novo Nordisk ,

the world's biggest insulin producer, will sell its long-acting

insulin Tresiba in Europe at a 60-70 percent premium over rival

product Lantus from France's Sanofi . Novo is in the

process of negotiating prices of the new insulin in Europe, and

recently agreed with authorities in the United Kingdom to price

the insulin 60-70 percent above competing products in the

market, as it is believed to hold some advantages over its


High-stakes cholesterol study could lift Merck cloud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Favorable results from a huge heart

study could help redeem investors' faith in Merck & Co

and its two biggest cholesterol drugs, Vytorin and Zetia, and

potentially add billions of dollars in annual revenue.

Investors have soured on the No. 2 U.S. drugmaker since late

December, following setbacks to a closely watched experimental

drug for osteoporosis and a newer cholesterol medicine.

Estrogen alternative eases sex pain for older women

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A daily dose of ospemifene, an

estrogen-like drug, helped lessen pain during intercourse

caused by vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women, in a new

study. "This appears to be a good alternative for women who

can't or choose not to use estrogen therapy," Dr. JoAnn

Pinkerton, medical director of the Midlife Health Center at the

University of Virginia in Charlottesville, told Reuters Health.

No increased cancer risk after IVF: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women getting fertility

treatments can be reassured that in vitro fertilization (IVF)

does not increase their risk of breast and gynecological

cancers, according to a new study of Israeli women. "The

findings were fairly reassuring. Nothing was significantly

elevated," said lead author Louise Brinton, chief of the

Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at the National

Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland.