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Slow Adoption

Some cancer patients are choosing experimental treatments rather than approved CAR-T therapies, Reuters reports.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved both Novartis' Kymriah and Kite Pharmaceuticals' Yescarta in 2017 for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and large B-cell lymphoma, respectively. But the treatments come with high price tags — $475,000 for Kymriah and $373,000 for Yescarta — that insurers aren't sure how to handle.

And this, Reuters says, may have contributed to their slow adoption. It reports that Novartis has posted $58 million in Kymriah sales for the second quarter, while Gilead, which owns Kite, is expected to announce $110 million in Yescarta sales. But Medicare in the US is still figuring out how to pay for the treatments and private insurers are largely doing so for cases individually rather than developing coverage standards, it adds.

A number of lymphoma patients who are undergoing CAR-T treatment, meanwhile, are enrolled in clinical trials, Reuters says, noting that that's unusual, as patients typically try approved treatments before experimental ones.

The Scan

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.

DNA Biobank Developed for French Kidney Donors, Recipients

The KiT-GENIE biobank described in the European Journal of Human Genetics contains DNA samples, genotyping profiles, immune patterns, and clinical features for thousands of kidney donors or transplant recipients in Nantes, France.

Cardiometabolic Disease May Have Distinct Associations With Microbial Metabolites in Blood, Gut

By analyzing gut microbes in combination with related metabolites in feces and blood, researchers in Nature Communications found distinct cardiometabolic disease relationships at each site.

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.