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Red Blood Cells

BUSINESS
July 7, 1998 | BARBARA MURPHY
Medicare has decided to broaden its criteria for payment of Amgen's top drug, the anemia treatment Epogen. The Health Care Financing Administration, which runs Medicare, indicated in March that it would raise the limit on red blood cell production for Epogen users. The agency recently sent a letter to insurers about the change, Amgen said. "It's the first time they agreed to the change in writing," said David Kaye, a spokesman for the Thousand Oaks-based Amgen. Epogen made up almost half of Amgen's $2.4 billion in 1997 revenue.
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SCIENCE
November 25, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Sickle cell anemia causes pain, fatigue and delayed growth, all because of a lack of enough healthy red blood cells. And yet genetic mutations that cause it — recessive genes for the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin protein — have survived natural selection because they also seem to provide a natural defense against malaria. Scientists have long known this, and they have long wondered how it worked. In a paper published this month in the journal Science, researchers describe their look into how mutated hemoglobin genes defend their cells against attacks by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum . Study lead author Marek Cyrklaff, an electron microscopist and molecular biologist at Heidelberg University in Germany, explained the results.
NEWS
November 21, 1993 | KATHLEEN DOHENY
That spinach salad, a great source of vitamins, wasn't met with much gusto by your little eater? Here are some vegetable options: Vitamin A. Good vision; healthy skin, teeth and bones. Romaine lettuce, asparagus, green beans, tomatoes, carrots. Vitamin B family. Healthy nervous system and digestive system; development of red blood cells. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Spinach, asparagus, salad greens. Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Cauliflower, sweet potatoes, broccoli.
BUSINESS
June 23, 1989
Drug Reimbursements Approved: The federal Health Care Financing Administration has agreed to reimburse kidney dialysis centers when patients use Amgen Inc.'s new Epogen drug, retroactive to June 1. Epogen is the brand name for erythropoietin, a protein developed by the Thousand Oaks biotechnology company that is used to treat chronic anemia by stimulating production of red blood cells. Amgen said the U.S. will reimburse about 80% of a patient's treatment costs, with states covering the balance.
BUSINESS
July 21, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Genentech Inc. warned doctors of a potential anemia risk for users of its Raptiva psoriasis drug and updated earlier cautions about infections and a bleeding disorder. Two people had a form of anemia stemming from premature destruction of red blood cells during studies conducted to win Raptiva's U.S. approval in 2003, the South San Francisco-based company said in a letter to doctors posted on the Food and Drug Administration's website.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Although the genetic defect that causes sickle cell disease has been known for more than 30 years, researchers have not been able to develop an effective therapy for the disease, which strikes one in 400 blacks born in the United States. When the oxygen content of blood from individuals with the disease falls below normal levels, as from exercise, red blood cells become deformed and impair circulation, causing damage to organs.
SCIENCE
April 15, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Researchers at UC San Diego have invented a microscopic sponge that can mop up toxins, including a drug-resistant staph bacterium and even snake venom. The so-called nanosponge was tested only on mice. It worked well when injected into healthy mice that then were infected with the toxin from a strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has become resistant to multiple antibiotics. About 89% survived the lethal doses. Fewer than half, or 44%, survived when the nanosponge was injected after the infection.
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