Health News Roundup: China to ramp up COVID vaccinations for its elderly; Roche withdraws Tecentriq from U.S. bladder cancer indication and more
The move is seen as a crucial element in a strategy to unwind nearly three years of strict curbs that have eroded economic growth, disrupted the lives of millions, and sparked unprecedented weekend protests. Roche withdraws Tecentriq from U.S. bladder cancer indication Roche has voluntarily withdrawn the U.S. indication of Tecentriq for treating a form of bladder cancer following consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Swiss drugmaker said on its website on Tuesday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Up to 100,000 nurses across England, Wales, N. Ireland to strike -union
Nurses at half of all National Health Service locations in England, including London's Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, will take part in unprecedented strikes next month over pay, their trade union said on Tuesday. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) had already said that nurses would walk out on Dec. 15 and 20, the first such action in its 100-year history, after the government refused to meet demands for pay hikes of 5% above inflation.
Amid homeless crisis, New York to step up forced hospitalization of mentally ill
New York City Mayor Eric Adams rolled out a plan on Tuesday to allow more homeless and mentally ill people to be hospitalized against their will in order to tackle "a crisis we see all around us." Speaking from City Hall, Adams said the city had a "moral obligation" to help New Yorkers struggling to meet their own basic needs because of mental illness, even if those people resisted intervention.
China to ramp up COVID vaccinations for its elderly
China will speed up COVID-19 vaccinations for elderly people, health officials said on Tuesday, aiming to overcome a key stumbling block in efforts to ease unpopular "zero-COVID" curbs. The move is seen as a crucial element in a strategy to unwind nearly three years of strict curbs that have eroded economic growth, disrupted the lives of millions, and sparked unprecedented weekend protests.
Roche withdraws Tecentriq from U.S. bladder cancer indication
Roche has voluntarily withdrawn the U.S. indication of Tecentriq for treating a form of bladder cancer following consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Swiss drugmaker said on its website on Tuesday. The move follows the failure of a clinical trial that aimed to convert accelerated approval of the drug to regular approval for this indication, Roche said. The decision does not affect other approved indications for Tecentriq in the U.S. market.
Half of Britain's free-range Christmas turkeys lost to bird flu crisis
Britons may struggle to get hold of a free-range turkey or goose for the Christmas table this year after an industry head said about half of them have either died or been culled due to the country's largest-ever outbreak of avian flu. Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, told lawmakers that British farmers usually produce 1.2 to 1.3 million free-range birds for the festive period.
CDC awards over $3 billion to strengthen U.S. public health infrastructure
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday it is awarding more than $3 billion to help strengthen public health workforce and infrastructure across the United States after the COVID-19 pandemic put severe stress on them. The public health agency's funding includes $3 billion from the American Rescue Plan announced by President Joe Biden's administration last year, and would cover all state, local and territorial health departments across the country.
UK regulator calls for review of reactions in eyes to Sanofi asthma drug
Britain's medicines regulator said on Tuesday that any new or worsening reactions in patients' eyes arising from use of Sanofi's best-selling asthma and eczema drug Dupixent should be promptly reviewed by healthcare professionals. The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said most ocular reactions seen with the drug are mild and can be managed.
AstraZeneca boosts cancer portfolio with $320 million Neogene deal
AstraZeneca will acquire biotechnology company Neogene Therapeutics for up to $320 million, the London-listed drugmaker said on Tuesday, seeking to build its pipeline of cell-based cancer treatments. Though AstraZeneca's oncology portfolio accounted for more than a third of the company's revenue last year, it does not have an approved cell-based cancer therapy and is behind rivals such as Novartis and Gilead.
Mistakes at UK COVID testing lab may have led to deaths of 20 people
England's government agency responsible for responding to public health emergencies said mistakes at a testing laboratory led to misreporting of tens of thousands of positive COVID-19 cases as negative and may have resulted in the deaths of about 20 people. Britain has one of the highest coronavirus death tolls in the world, with more than 177,000 deaths since the pandemic started in 2020.
Rare success for Alzheimer's research unlocks hope for future therapies
The first big breakthrough in 30 years of Alzheimer’s research is providing momentum for clinical trials of “cocktail” treatments targeting the two hallmark proteins associated with the mind-robbing disease, according to interviews with researchers and pharmaceutical executives. Drugmakers Eisai Co Ltd and Biogen
(With inputs from agencies.)