Thumbs-Up, Conditionally: An FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended the accelerated approval of brentuximab vodotin, an experimental lymphoma drug that Seattle Genetics wants to market under the brand name Adcetris, the WSJ reports. Accelerated approval requires further studies to be conducted after the drug is on the market; Seattle Genetics would prefer regular approval, which isnt conditional. The FDA often, but not always, follows the advice of its outside committees.
Fewer Butts: A report published by the CDC finds that Time Warner, Comcast and the Walt Disney Co. cut the number of tobacco scenes in movies rated G, PG or PG-13 by 96% between 2005 and 2010, the Associated Press reports. Those companies had established policies to reduce the prevalence of tobacco in their films. Films from other companies with no such policies, including News Corp. (which owns the Wall Street Journal), Sony and Viacom, saw a 42% drop in tobacco scenes, the AP says. The MPAA tells the AP all its members have been working to reduce onscreen smoking.
Grim Discovery: Shares in Medicis Pharmaceutical fell about 3.7% yesterday after the girlfriend of the companys founder and CEO was found dead at his home. CEO Jonah Shacknai wasnt at home at the time, the WSJ reports, and the body of Rebecca Nalepa was discovered by his brother. The WSJ couldnt reach Jonah Shacknai but the San Diego County Sheriffs Department says it knows where he is. Its unclear if the death is a suicide or homicide, the sheriffs department says, adding that everyone it is speaking with is considered a witness at this point, the paper reports.
Offering an Alternative: Food makers are proposing a less-stringent alternative to the federal governments proposed voluntary standards for marketing food to kids, the New York Times reports. One-third of the cereals, crackers and other foods now marketed to kids would not meet the industrys proposed guidelines, which include caps on sugar, sodium and calories in different food items.