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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Friday, May 4, 2007

Today's Globe: biotech party tips, Serono acquittal, tainted food, Tysabri, breast cancer drop, diabetes and sperm

bio.bmpWhere does a biotechie go for a good time in Boston? As more than 20,000 biotech industry executives, researchers, and salespeople flock to town this weekend for the BIO International Convention, Biogen Idec is offering them some unique answers.

A jury yesterday acquitted four former Massachusetts executives of drug maker Serono SA of charges they bribed doctors to prescribe an AIDS drug, a major setback for local Justice Department prosecutors who have focused on the pharmaceutical industry.

Pets in the United States could have eaten food laced with industrial chemicals for years, the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday, but so far there is no indication that such tainted Chinese imports went directly into human food.

Ten months and 10,000 patients after the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri returned to the market, there have been no new cases of the potentially fatal brain infection that led to the treatment's temporary withdrawal in February 2005, its makers said yesterday.

The recent drop in breast cancer cases started in the late 1990s, before the plunge in hormone use that has been credited with the decline, researchers said. The drop in cancer rates dovetails with a leveling off in the number of mammograms done on women age 40 and older since 1999, the study from the American Cancer Society found.

Diabetes is linked to a higher level of damaged sperm and may affect fertility, a study found.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:27 AM
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