Biogen/Eisai Win On Aduhelm Approval Bet And Wager Next On Price

The first disease modifying drug for Alzheimer’s disease will be priced at a $56,000 a year for an average weight patient, setting the drug up to be a mega blockbuster if Biogen can get it reimbursed.

Biogen, Inc. and Eisai Co., Ltd. won a groundbreaking approval for Aduhelm (aducanumab) as the first disease-modifying drug for Alzheimer’s disease, and now attention turns to the commercial ramp. The big question is if the companies can convince patients, physicians and payers that the uncertain efficacy of the drug justifies the price Biogen has set.

Aduhelm was granted an accelerated approval by the US Food and Drug Administration on 7 June in a controversial decision that had Alzheimer’s patient advocates, investors and the biopharma community riveted. In recognition of the limited clinical trial data supporting the approval, FDA agreed only to an accelerated approval and said it would require a confirmatory trial to prove efficacy or else it will pull the drug from the market – but getting that information will take years.

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Nissan Says It Will Never Give Up On The Skyline, However …

Other sedans don’t seem so safe.
The Nissan brand is in a weird place around the world as the automaker and its partners institute a new global business plan. The automaker’s executive vice president Asako Hoshino says the venerable Skyline is safe, though. However, don’t get too excited yet.

Hoshino is specifically referring to the current Skyline sedan, which Americans would know as the Infiniti Q50 sedan. She’s not talking about the GT-R.

A newspaper report in Japan recently claimed that Nissan was discontinuing the development of all sedans, including the Cima, Fuga, and Skyline models in the country. The Fuga is related to the former Infiniti Q70, and the Cima is similar to the Q70L.

“Last weekend, the Nikkei Shimbun reported that the development of the Skyline had been suspended and that the curtain had come down on the development of this symbol of Nissan. Nissan will never give up on the Skyline,” Hoshino said during the launch of the Nissan Note Aura e-POWER, according to Car Watch Impress.

It’s worth noting that she didn’t deny that the Fuga and Cima were going away.

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Seven-year-old make-me-root bug in Linux service polkit patched

Error handling? Nah, let’s just unlock everything and be done with it.

A seven-year-old privilege escalation vulnerability that’s been lurking in several Linux distributions was patched last week in a coordinated disclosure. In a blog post on Thursday, GitHub security researcher Kevin Backhouse recounted how he found the bug (CVE-2021-3560) in a service called polkit associated with systemd, a common Linux system and service manager component.

Introduced in commit bfa5036 seven years ago and initially shipped in polkit version 0.113, the bug traveled different paths in different Linux distributions. For example, it missed Debian 10 but it made it to the unstable version of Debian, upon which other distros like Ubuntu are based.

Formerly known as PolicyKit, polkit is a service that evaluates whether specific Linux activities require higher privileges than those currently available. It comes into play if, for example, you try to create a new user account. Backhouse says the flaw is surprisingly easy to exploit, requiring only a few commands using standard terminal tools like bash, kill, and dbus-send. “The vulnerability is triggered by starting a dbus-send command but killing it while polkit is still in the middle of processing the request,” explained Backhouse.

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Nvidia acquires hi-def mapping startup DeepMap to bolster AV technology

Chipmaker Nvidia is acquiring DeepMap, the high-definition mapping startup announced. The company said its mapping IP will help Nvidia’s autonomous vehicle technology sector, Nvidia Drive.

“The acquisition is an endorsement of DeepMap’s unique vision, technology and people,” said Ali Kani, vice president and general manager of Automotive at Nvidia, in a statement. “DeepMap is expected to extend our mapping products, help us scale worldwide map operations and expand our full self-driving expertise.”

One of the biggest challenges to achieving full autonomy in a passenger vehicle is achieving proper localization and updated mapping information that reflects current road conditions. By integrating DeepMap’s tech, Nvidia’s autonomous stack should have greater precision, giving the vehicle enhanced abilities to locate itself on the road.

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Ultra-high-density hard drives made with graphene store ten times more data

Graphene can be used for ultra-high density hard disk drives (HDD), with up to a tenfold jump compared to current technologies, researchers at the Cambridge Graphene Centre have shown.

The study, published in Nature Communications, was carried out in collaboration with teams at the University of Exeter, India, Switzerland, Singapore, and the US. HDDs first appeared in the 1950s, but their use as storage devices in personal computers only took off from the mid-1980s. They have become ever smaller in size, and denser in terms of the number of stored bytes. While solid state drives are popular for mobile devices, HDDs continue to be used to store files in desktop computers, largely due to their favourable cost to produce and purchase.

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