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Business Highlights

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm •  Published: November 24, 2014
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FDA strengthens warning on device linked to cancer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. regulators on Monday strengthened their warning against use of a once-popular device for gynecologic surgery that can spread unsuspected cancer, saying its risk is only justified in a fraction of patients.

The Food and Drug Administration updated its April safety warning, saying doctors should not use the devices, called laparoscopic power morcellators, for performing a hysterectomy or removing uterine fibroids "in the vast majority of women."

The FDA's Dr. William Maisel said there are safer options for the procedures for most patients. But he said the device may be appropriate for a small number of women who need to have fibroids removed, but want to protect their uterus in case they decide to have a baby in the future. Fibroids are benign, but sometimes painful, tumors in the wall of the uterus.

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Merck, Iowa firm sign Ebola vaccine licensing deal

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Merck & Co., a top creator and seller of vaccines, has joined the fight against Ebola, the often-fatal hemorrhagic virus that's been ravaging parts of West Africa for months.

Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, said Monday it has entered a global partnership with a small U.S. drug developer to research and manufacture a potential Ebola vaccine now in initial patient testing.

The exclusive deal involves rVSV-EBOV, a vaccine candidate under early development by BioProtection Systems, the vaccine-development subsidiary of NewLink Genetics Corp. of Ames, Iowa.

It was created in labs of the Public Health Agency of Canada, which in 2010 signed a deal giving BioProtection Systems an exclusive license for the vaccine and the technology for producing it.

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United Technologies CEO retires, succeeded by CFO

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Aerospace and building systems giant United Technologies announced Monday the abrupt retirement of CEO Louis Chenevert, and named Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes to succeed him.

Chenevert, 56, is also stepping down as chairman. He had been appointed to both jobs in 2008.

He steered United Technologies' $18.4 billion purchase of aerospace parts maker Goodrich Corp. in 2012. It was the industry's largest deal and boosted the company's presence in the profitable commercial airline business as its military segments declined.

The company said he informed the board of directors that his retirement from both posts was effective immediately. Edward A. Kangas, lead independent director, has been elected non-executive chairman of the board.

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Honda admits failing to report deaths, injuries

DETROIT (AP) — Honda is admitting that it failed to report more than 1,700 injury and death claims about its vehicles to U.S. safety regulators, a violation of federal law.

The Japanese automaker, in statements issued Monday, also said it became aware of the omissions in 2011, yet it took about three years to take action.

The company said it filed documents detailing the lapses on Monday with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which had demanded an explanation on Nov. 3. The agency said at the time that Honda may have failed to report incidents related to air bags made by Takata Corp. as well as other defective parts. Honda has recalled more than 5 million vehicles in the U.S. since 2008 to fix a potentially fatal defect in air bags made by Japanese auto supplier Takata. The bags can rupture after a crash and injure occupants with shards of metal.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones Industrial average climbed 7.84 points, or 0.3 percent, to 17,817.90. The S&P 500 index added 5.91 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,069.41. The Nasdaq composite rose 41.92 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,754.89.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 73 cents to settle at $75.78 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 68 cents to close at $79.68 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. In other energy futures trading on the NYMEX, wholesale gasoline fell 2.3 cents to $2.033 a gallon, heating oil fell a penny to $2.395 a gallon and natural gas fell 11.5 cents to $4.151 per 1,000 cubic feet.