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Faster Than You Think

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FDA critics often say that the agency is too slow in approving new cancer drugs, says Pharmalot's Ed Silverman. But a new study by researchers at nonprofit think tank Friends of Cancer Research recently published in Health Affairs shows that the median approval time for oncology drugs in the US is about half that of Europe. The researchers looked at 35 cancer drugs reviewed by FDA and the European Medicines Agency between 2003 and 2010. The median time for approval in the US was six months. FDA approved 32 drugs, of which 20 were approved within 184 days, Silverman says. The EMA approved 26 of the drugs and took a median of 350 days to do it. The researchers say that continued financial support will be important in keeping FDA efficient.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.