Health News Roundup: Moderna completes FDA submission for use of COVID shot in adolescents, kids; Pfizer's $11.6 billion Biohaven buy could spark more biotech deals and more
With a new urgency, Democratic lawmakers are moving to protect abortion access in their states after a leaked draft last week showed the U.S. Supreme Court poised to overturn the 1973 Roe v.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
More than 2.8 million courses of Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid have been made available at pharmacies around the United States, with the Biden administration working to improve access to the drug. As Paxlovid has become more widely used, some patients have reported that COVID-19 symptoms recurred after completing treatment and experiencing improvement. Here is the latest information on these rebounds:
Moderna completes FDA submission for use of COVID shot in adolescents, kids
Moderna Inc has made all necessary submissions required by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents and children, it said on Wednesday. The company is seeking approval for the use of its vaccines in three distinct age groups - adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, children aged six to 11 and those between six years and six months. The submissions for all three groups were made on May 9, it said.
In New York, lawmakers have introduced a bill to expand funding for abortion care. California legislators will soon vote on measures aimed at increasing the number of abortion providers. And Connecticut just enacted a law aimed at protecting providers from lawsuits in states where abortion is banned. With a new urgency, Democratic lawmakers are moving to protect abortion access in their states after a leaked draft last week showed the U.S. Supreme Court poised to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Pfizer's $11.6 billion Biohaven buy could spark more biotech deals
Pfizer Inc's $11.6 billion deal for migraine specialist Biohaven Pharmaceutical has kindled expectations on Wall Street that it may usher in more buyouts as cash-flush drugmakers look to snap up beaten-down smaller biotechs. The deal, announced on Tuesday, is the biggest in the sector so far this year and ends a dearth of large acquisitions, which along with clinical failures and investor exits following a gradual easing of the pandemic have pummeled biotech stocks.
Legislation to make abortion legal throughout the United States was defeated in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, amid solid Republican opposition. Democrats had sought to head off an impending Supreme Court opinion that is expected to overturn the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision that established the national right to abortion. Wednesday's effort was a protest gesture that never stood much chance of success.
GE medical dye shortage felt beyond US as German hospital affected
A shortage of dye for medical scans produced by General Electric's healthcare unit in China is affecting regions beyond the United States with a German hospital warned of a supply squeeze. GE Healthcare, through a spokesperson, said on Wednesday that the weeks-long outage at the company's Shanghai production plant due to the city's COVID-19 lockdown is not only affecting U.S. hospitals but also other world regions it did not specify, though to a less extent.
New class of cancer drugs down, not out, after Roche trial setback - analysts
The fresh blow to Roche's hopes in a closely watched class of cancer immunotherapies cast a long shadow across the crowded field on Wednesday, but the latest setback is not the end of the road for these oncology treatments, analysts say. Roche said an interim analysis of an ongoing clinical trial showed that its experimental drug, tiragolumab, failed to meaningfully slow disease progression in newly diagnosed patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with its approved PD-L1 immunotherapy Tecentriq, versus Tecentriq alone.
Inside a Ukraine hospital where medics work as rockets fall
The hospital in the small Ukrainian town of Bakhmut was never intended to receive queues of ambulances bringing the wounded and traumatised from the front line of Europe's biggest battlefield. Nor did the volunteer paramedics expect, four months ago, to be shuttling back and forth to the front line of a brutal tank battle, within earshot of rockets and shelling.
Abbott could restart infant formula production at Michigan plant in two weeks
Abbott Laboratories said on Wednesday it could restart production of infant formula at its troubled Michigan facility within two weeks. The company in February recalled some baby formulas, including certain Similac products, made at the plant in Sturgis after complaints about bacterial infections in infants who had consumed the products.
Arkansas sues drugmakers, pharmacy benefit managers over insulin costs
Arkansas's attorney general on Wednesday accused drugmakers and pharmacy benefit managers of colluding to drive up the price of insulin drugs, the latest in a series of lawsuits to take aim at skyrocketing costs for the life-sustaining medicine. The lawsuit, filed in Pulaski County, Arkansas state court, targets Eli Lilly and Co, Novo Nordisk A/S and Sanofi SA, which together make the vast majority of the insulin drugs sold in the United States.
(With inputs from agencies.)