Health News Roundup: China approves Astra drug Imfinzi for an aggressive form of lung cancer; BioNTech strengthens cancer therapy expertise with U.S. acquisition and more
The Central Asian nation already produces the Sputnik V vaccine, developed earlier, at a local plant in addition to importing it from Russia. Cuba, gripped by unrest, battles highest COVID caseload in the Americas Cuba, which kept coronavirus infections low last year, now has the highest rate of contagion per capita in Latin America.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
China approves Astra drug Imfinzi for an aggressive form of lung cancer
China has approved AstraZeneca's drug Imfinzi to treat an aggressive type of lung cancer in adults, the company said on Monday, in a boost to its efforts to tackle the disease. China's National Medical Products Administration has okayed use of the drug with chemotherapy in adults with extensive-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker said.
BioNTech strengthens cancer therapy expertise with U.S. acquisition
BioNTech said it was acquiring a production site and a research and development platform from a subsidiary of U.S. biotech company Gilead to expand its footprint in north America and in novel cancer treatments. The German biotech firm on Monday said it was buying a solid tumour neoantigen T-cell receptor therapy (TCR-Ts) R&D platform and a manufacturing plant in the city of Gaithersburg in the state of Maryland from Kite Pharma.
"Don't get sick": Indonesia's poor miss out on COVID care
In the teeming, impoverished North Jakarta neighbourhood of Muara Baru, people have made a grim joke out of the acronym for the Indonesian government's lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic: PPKM. "Pelan Pelan Kita Mati," Herdayati, a 48-year-old mother of six and sole breadwinner for a family living in a narrow, claustrophobic alley, said, explaining the gallows humour.
Thailand warns daily COVID-19 cases could hit 30,000 in worst case
Thailand's COVID-19 task force on Monday called on people to follow stricter containment measures, warning that without cooperation record daily infection rates could roughly treble to reach 30,000 under a worst-case scenario. The Southeast Asian country reported on Monday 11,784 new cases, the fourth consecutive day of record infections, and 81 new deaths, bringing total fatalities to 3,422 and cases to 415,170, with most infections from an outbreak started in April.
Singapore sees COVID-19 cases double overnight as testing ramps up
Singapore on Monday saw new local coronavirus cases almost double from the previous day to 163, the highest daily tally in 11 months, driven by clusters of infections linked to a fishery port and karaoke bars. The rising cases has prompted the city-state to tighten some restrictions on social gatherings from Monday, just a week after easing them.
EU evaluates arthritis drug to treat COVID-19 patients with pneumonia
The European medicines regulator said on Monday it is evaluating an application to use arthritis drug, Kineret, to treat COVID-19 in adult patients with pneumonia who are at risk of developing severe respiratory failure. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it will assess data including results from two ongoing clinical studies investigating the safety and efficacy of the drug in patients hospitalised with COVID-19.
Brazil's health regulator Anvisa said on Monday that it has approved trials with a third dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19. Anvisa said a third dose of the vaccine would be administered to 10,000 volunteers between 11 and 13 months after the second shot.
Exclusive: J&J exploring putting talc liabilities into bankruptcy, sources say
Johnson & Johnson is exploring a plan to offload liabilities from widespread Baby Powder litigation into a newly created business that would then seek bankruptcy protection, according to seven people familiar with the matter. During settlement discussions, one of the healthcare conglomerate's attorneys has told plaintiffs' lawyers that J&J could pursue the bankruptcy plan, which could result in lower payouts for cases that do not settle beforehand, some of the people said. Plaintiffs' lawyers would initially be unable to stop J&J from taking such a step, though could pursue legal avenues to challenge it later.
Kazakhstan considers producing second Russian vaccine locally
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered his cabinet on Monday to look into the possibility of importing and locally producing the Russian-developed Sputnik Light vaccine, his office said. The Central Asian nation already produces the Sputnik V vaccine, developed earlier, at a local plant in addition to importing it from Russia.
Cuba, gripped by unrest, battles highest COVID caseload in the Americas
Cuba, which kept coronavirus infections low last year, now has the highest rate of contagion per capita in Latin America. That has strained its healthcare sector and helped stoke rare protests that have roiled the Communist-run island.
The Caribbean nation of 11 million people reported nearly 4,000 confirmed cases per million residents over the last week, nine times more than the world average and more than any other country in the Americas for its size.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)