Reuters – GlaxoSmithKline shingles vaccine hits goal in major study
An experimental vaccine against shingles from GlaxoSmithKline met its goal in a late-stage study, in a boost for the company’s vaccine unit, which is expanding part of its overall healthcare business.
The vaccine, known as HZ/su, reduced the risk of shingles by 97.2 percent in adults aged 50 years and older compared to placebo in the Phase III clinical trial involving more than 16,000 individuals, the drugmaker said on Thursday.
HZ/su combines a protein found on the virus that causes shingles with an adjuvant, or booster, which is intended to enhance the immunological response. The adjuvant includes a component from U.S. biotech firm Agenus, which is entitled to royalties on any future sales.

Fox News – Global population living six years longer than in 1990, study says
Global life expectancy has risen by more than six years since 1990 thanks to falling death rates from cancer and heart disease in rich countries and better survival in poor countries from diarrhea, tuberculosis and malaria.
In an analysis from the 2013 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, health researchers said, however, that while life expectancy is rising almost everywhere in the world, one notable exception is southern sub-Saharan Africa, where deaths from HIV/AIDS have erased some five years of life expectancy since 1990.
“The progress we are seeing against a variety of illnesses and injuries is good — even remarkable — but we can and must do even better,” said Christopher Murray, a professor of global health at the University of Washington in the United States, who led the study. It was published in The Lancet medical journal.

The Sacramento Bee – 14 charged in meningitis outbreak that killed 64
Federal prosecutors charged 14 people in a 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people nationwide in what authorities called the largest criminal case ever brought in the U.S. over contaminated medicine.
The co-founders, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy are accused of using expired ingredients and failing to follow standards for cleanliness at the now-closed New England Compounding Center in Framingham, which is blamed for tainted steroids that caused the deadly outbreak.
According to an indictment announced Wednesday, mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers’ gloved fingertips. Pharmacists were accused of failing to test drugs for purity before sending them to hospitals and pain clinics.

NPR – Dreaming up a safer, cooler PPE for Ebola fighters
Here’s what it takes to design a better Ebola suit: a roomful of university students and professors, piles of canvas and Tyvek cloth, sewing machines, glue guns … and chocolate syrup.
Even Youseph Yazdi, head of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID), still isn’t sure what the syrup was for.
But the reason to make a better protective suit for Ebola workers is very clear. The current “personal protective equipment” doesn’t work very well. The suits, which look like futuristic space garb, overheat. The visor fogs up. And the disposable garments can end up carrying Ebola virus out of the wards and contaminating the very people they’re supposed to protect.