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Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak: Latest information, news and updates. Microsoft launches new Synchronized Shopping retail solution. US technology company Microsoft has launched its new retail solution to enhance the online and offline shopping experience for consumers.

Microsoft launches new Synchronized Shopping retail solution

The Microsoft Synchronized Shopping solution makes use of ‘intelligent Cloud technology’ and has been developed in partnership with its Gold partner Popcornapps. Cancer Research UK announces research network for radiotherapy. Cancer Research UK has announced a £56m research network to transform the UK into a global hub for radiotherapy study.

Cancer Research UK announces research network for radiotherapy

By leveraging the use of the latest techniques, such as FLASH radiotherapy and artificial intelligence (AI), the network aims to accelerate the development of advanced radiotherapy. The network, Cancer Research UK RadNet, will bring together the Universities of Cambridge, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford, as well as the Cancer Research UK City of London Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research and London in partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. Oil prices rise but on track for weekly loss. Oil prices have slightly edged higher on China’s factory data but are on track for a weekly loss.

Oil prices rise but on track for weekly loss

Brent crude futures were down $0.27 at $59.89 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down $0.32 at $54.50 per barrel, reported Reuters. Reuters said that concerns on global economy and oil demand are affecting the market, while a 16-month trade dispute between the US and China continues. National Australia Bank commodity research head Lachlan Shaw told Reuters: “There’s renewed doubts about a US-China trade deal… and at the same time we’ve had inventory lifts quite a lot more than expected at the crude level out of the US this week.”

US crude stock rose by 5.7 thousand barrels (Mbbls) in the week ended on 25 October, compared to analyst expectations for a gain of 494 Mbbls. According to government data, US crude production surged nearly 600,000 barrels per day in August to a record of 12.4m, buoyed by a 30% gain in the output from Gulf of Mexico. Close. Hudson Group to acquire controlling stake in OHM’s assets.

North American travel retailer Hudson Group has agreed to purchase a controlling stake in beverage concessions operator OHM Concession Group’s (OHM) assets.

Hudson Group to acquire controlling stake in OHM’s assets

Details about the transaction and the interest being acquired remain undisclosed. The acquisition is expected to complement the retailer’s presence in the restaurant space. Hudson operates around 50 quick service and café concepts in the US and Canada. OHM is a food and beverage (F&B) concessions operator in North America. It has 60 F&B restaurants at 13 airports across the US and generated $62m revenue last year.

Hudson Group CEO Roger Fordyce said: “This acquisition is a pivotal step in accelerating Hudson’s growth strategy within the $6bn North American food & beverage airport concessions market. “It expands our existing stake and adds new capabilities, including full-service, fast-casual, sports restaurants and fine dining locations to our portfolio, ultimately bringing unmatched offerings to suit all types of travellers’ needs. US researchers find liquid biopsy can predict prognosis of glioblastoma. UK’s Marks & Spencer to launch instalment payments facility online. British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has unveiled plans to launch an instalment payments facility online for its UK customers.

UK’s Marks & Spencer to launch instalment payments facility online

On M&, customers will now be able to pay interest-free within six weeks of purchasing M&S clothing and home products. Launching in partnership with secure payment processing solutions provider Clearpay, the new facility will be accessible by all UK M& customers. Payments can be done through the Clearpay app, which records payment history and status. The new facility can be used for purchases starting from £30. Clearpay UK CEO Carl Scheible said: “We are thrilled to launch with Marks & Spencer especially as we head into the busy Christmas shopping and trading season.

MedRhythms launches RCT for post-stroke walking rehabilitation device. MedRhythms, a US-based digital therapeutics company, has launched its five-site randomised controlled trial (RCT) at rehabilitation hospitals and research centres to examine a post-stroke walking rehabilitation device.

MedRhythms launches RCT for post-stroke walking rehabilitation device

This is the first product in the company’s pipeline of digital therapeutics. This RCT will study the product’s effect on walking among a group of patients who are stroke survivors and have post-stroke walking impairments. ESMO 2019: New early colon cancer detection test yields positive results. Immuno-Transcriptomics firm Novigenix has received positive results from its early colon cancer detection blood test at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019.

ESMO 2019: New early colon cancer detection test yields positive results

Held in Barcelona, Spain, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information. The company undertook the study of Immuno-Transcriptomic signature for early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) in blood. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) Immuno-Transcriptome profiles were generated from RNA sequencing of 282 subjects in the study. Of the total patients, 78 had CRC, 65 advanced adenomas, 39 other cancers and 100 had no colorectal lesions. Novigenix said a final signature of 524 genes demonstrated high clinical performance, with an AUC of 90%, 88% specificity and 83% sensitivity for CRC detection.

The company launched a prospective colon cancer clinical validation trial in the first half of the year. Close. Lung cancer blood test may replace tumour biopsy. Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) may soon be offered a blood test to assess their treatment options, instead of having to provide a tumour sample for analysis.

Lung cancer blood test may replace tumour biopsy

Data from the Blood First Assay Screening Trial (BFAST) presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019 has shown that the test can identify DNA mutations in NSCLC patients by picking up tiny pieces of tumour DNA shed by cancer cells into the blood. This information can be used to assess patient suitability for targeted medicines. In the BFAST analysis, over 2,200 patients with untreated NSCLC had blood tests to check for multimer genetic mutations. Cancer treatment: benefits of new anti-cancer treatments under question. Advances in cancer treatments, such as immunotherapies and precision medicines, have been associated with a corresponding rise in the cost of new and innovative medicines.

Cancer treatment: benefits of new anti-cancer treatments under question

Two studies presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO 2019) meeting in Barcelona, Spain indicated that many new anti-cancer medicines in Europe and the US added little clinical benefit for patients, as determined by improved outcomes such as survival, quality of life or treatment complications, compared to standard treatment, and therefore, are not worth their higher costs. The study found that 48% of new drugs were rated as having low added values according to ESMO-MCBS scores, and 70% according to ASMR rating. On average, the monthly cost of new drugs was €2,525 (approximately $2,800), more expensive than comparator drugs for the same cancer type, but these price increases were not correlated with added value. Related reports. Renal cell carcinoma: ESMO hears about combination treatments.

Despite advances in the renal cell carcinoma (RCC) therapy landscape, the majority of patients with RCC will eventually develop resistance to available therapies and the disease will progress through several stages, requiring further lines of treatment.

renal cell carcinoma: ESMO hears about combination treatments

According to the 2019 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Kidney Cancer guidelines, 20─30% of patients with stage I–III localised tumours will relapse after nephrectomy and progress to stage IV metastatic RCC (mRCC), which requires systemic drug therapy. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) interviewed by GlobalData agreed that, on average, mRCC patients go through two to three lines of treatment, with refractory metastatic RCC often showing poor outcomes when treated with the currently available therapies.

Related reports. ESMO Congress 2019 conference Barcelona. Digital health interventions (DHIs) are fast emerging as vital tools to promote personal health and provide essential services. DHIs can be accessed through mobile phones, tablets and computers, as well as serve as effective support systems to improve personal health. Pharmaceutical Technology lists seven promising digital health intervention companies that are participating in the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019. WeHealth Digital Medicine Established in November 2016, WeHealth Digital Medicine is a part of the Servier Group.

The France-based company offers innovative digital and connected solutions that help in monitoring a patient’s progress and predicting the evolution of a disease. WeHealth adopts an open innovative approach and collaborates with start-ups in the e-health field to co-develop solutions that provide autonomy to patients and minimise medical examinations and hospitalisations. Kaiku Health. UK researchers develop AI-based blood test for brain cancer. A research team led by the University of Strathclyde in the UK has developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based blood test for the diagnosis of brain cancer. The test uses infrared light to generate a ‘bio-signature’ of a blood sample and then applies AI to identify any signs of cancer.

Strathclyde researchers developed the technology in collaboration with researchers at the University of Liverpool, the Walton NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool and the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. The researchers had their work published in the journal Nature Communications. According to the publication, the blood test demonstrated favourable sensitivity and specificity in distinguishing cancer and control patients in a clinical validation study.

ESMO 2019: ImmunoGen's ovarian cancer drug fails to meet PFS. ImmunoGen has presented full data from the Phase III Forward I study of mirvetuximab soravtansine in ovarian cancer at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019 Congress in Barcelona, Spain, saying that it failed to meet the primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS). Mirvetuximab soravtansine is the first folate receptor alpha (FRα)-targeting antibody-drug conjugate (ADC). It uses a humanised FRα-binding antibody to target the ADC specifically to FRα-expressing cancer cells and potent anti-tumour agent DM4 to kill the targeted cancer cells. The Phase III study was conducted in North America and Europe and assessed mirvetuximab soravtansine compared to chemotherapy in women with folate receptor alpha (FRα)-positive, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

ESMO: Kisqali shows superior overall survival in breast cancer. Novartis has said that Kisqali delivered superior overall survival (OS) in the Monaleesa-3 trial, demonstrating more life for postmenopausal human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced breast cancer patients. The company stated that it will present data from the trial as a late-breaker oral presentation in the Presidential Symposium at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019. Kisqali (ribociclib) is a CDK4/6 inhibitor used to treat several kinds of breast cancer.

The Monaleesa-3 trial is claimed to be the largest trial to assess a CDK4/6 inhibitor plus fulvestrant as initial therapy in postmenopausal women. It is the second Phase III trial where the Kisqali combination therapy has met the secondary endpoint of OS at the pre-planned interim analysis. ESMO 2019: Merck unveils neoadjuvant/adjuvant TNBC trial results. ESMO 2019: Samsung Bioepis unveils results from Bevacizumab trial.