Health News Roundup: At mercy of zealous residential committees, Shanghai's locked-down vent frustration; Moderna completes FDA submission for use of COVID shot in adolescents, kids and more
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. Abortion bill fails in U.S. Senate as Supreme Court weighs overturning Roe v.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
At mercy of zealous residential committees, Shanghai's locked-down vent frustration
Last week, Elizabeth Liu and her husband were excited about the prospect of leaving their Shanghai residential compound for the first time in over a month. All but one building in the compound had just been reclassified as low risk after 14 days of no COVID cases. "My husband put on the hazmat suit and went to pick up our groceries from the supermarket because our building was technically a precautionary zone, she said. "According to law, we should be able to go out."
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.
N.Korea reports first COVID-19 outbreak, orders lockdown in "gravest emergency"
North Korea confirmed its first COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday, calling it the "gravest national emergency" and ordering a national lockdown, with state media reporting an Omicron variant had been detected in Pyongyang. The first public admission of COVID infections highlights the potential for a major crisis in a country that has refused international help with vaccinations and kept its borders shut.
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 intended to protect providers from lawsuits in states where abortion is banned. With new urgency, Democratic lawmakers are moving to preserve 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.
COVID claims 1 million U.S. lives
The United States has now recorded more than 1 million COVID-19 deaths, according to a Reuters tally, crossing a once-unthinkable milestone about two years after the first cases upended everyday life and quickly transformed it. The 1 million mark is a stark reminder of the staggering grief and loss caused by the pandemic even as the threat posed by the virus wanes in the minds of many people. It represents about one death for every 327 Americans or more than the entire population of San Francisco or Seattle.
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.
A 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.
Abbott could restart infant formula production at the 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.)