Health News Roundup: Italy drops COVID-19 face mask rule for public transport; Amylyx prices newly approved ALS drug at $158,000 per year and more
In a typical year, fewer than 20 countries report outbreaks of the disease which is spread by the ingestion of contaminated food or water and can cause acute diarrhoea. Intercept's NASH drug fails late-stage trial, shares tumble Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Friday its treatment for patients with advanced liver scarring due to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) failed to meet the main goal of a late-stage study, sending its shares down as much as 21%.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Italy drops COVID-19 face mask rule for public transport
Italians will no longer have to wear face masks on public transport, the health ministry said late on Thursday, in the latest easing of rules against the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry said a decree requiring mask wearing on trains, buses and ferries, expiring on Friday, would not be renewed. The obligation was extended, however, for hospitals and care homes.
Around two-thirds of adults in the United States do not plan to get updated COVID-19 booster shots soon, according to a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a health policy nonprofit organization. Only a third of adults polled said they either already received the updated shots or plan to get the booster as soon as possible, the poll found.
A Chinese mRNA COVID vaccine is approved for the first time - in Indonesia
Indonesia said it has granted emergency use approval to an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Chinese company, becoming the first country, ahead of even China, to do so. Indonesia's food and drugs agency (BPOM) greenlighted the use of Walvax Biotechnology Co Ltd's mRNA vaccine, which has been in development for more than two years and targets the original strain of the coronavirus.
Amylyx prices newly approved ALS drug at $158,000 per year
Amylyx Pharmaceuticals Inc on Friday set the list price of its newly approved drug to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at about $158,000 per year in the United States, a discount to its most recently approved competitor. The drug Relyvrio was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, making it the third ALS treatment to get the regulator's nod after Japanese firm Mitsubishi Tanabe's Radicava, priced at around $170,000 per year, and the generic drug riluzole.
As Australia calls end to COVID emergency response, doctors warn of risk to public
Australia will end the mandatory five-day home quarantine for COVID-infected people on Oct. 14, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday, even as some doctors warned the move would put the public at risk. The decision to let COVID-infected Australians decide whether they need to isolate or not removes one of country's last remaining restrictions from the pandemic era, and comes about a month after the quarantine period was cut to five days from seven.
Analysis-Eisai's trial success raises hope for Alzheimer's prevention
Clear evidence this week that Eisai and Biogen's drug lecanemab slows cognitive decline in early stage dementia has galvanized efforts among Alzheimer's researchers toward a tantalizing goal - preventing dementia even before symptoms start. Lecanemab is an antibody that targets and removes toxic clumps of a protein called amyloid beta that accumulate in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's. Results from the companies' 1,800-patient trial released on Tuesday showed convincingly that doing so also slows the advance of the mind-robbing disease.
Chinese artist records era of COVID, one test at a time
For most of China's 1.4 billion people, regular COVID-19 tests have become a way of life. Siyuan Zhuji is trying to turn them into a work of art. Since March, the 33-year-old multi-disciplinary artist from Jiangsu province has been filming his own nucleic acid tests with a small camera in his mouth.
Cholera outbreaks surging worldwide, fatality rates rising - WHO
Cholera cases have surged this year, especially in places of poverty and conflict, with outbreaks reported in 26 countries and fatality rates rising sharply, a World Health Organization official said on Friday. In a typical year, fewer than 20 countries report outbreaks of the disease which is spread by the ingestion of contaminated food or water and can cause acute diarrhoea.
Intercept's NASH drug fails late-stage trial, shares tumble
Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Friday its treatment for patients with advanced liver scarring due to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) failed to meet the main goal of a late-stage study, sending its shares down as much as 21%. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is a serious progressive liver disease that is one of the fastest-growing causes of liver transplant and does not have any FDA-approved treatments.
France raises bird flu alert level after resurgence of virus
France will tighten measures to contain bird flu after a resurgence of the virus that swept through poultry flocks last winter, said the agriculture ministry, adding that the nationwide alert level on bird flu had been raised to 'moderate' from 'low'. France experienced its worst-ever bird flu crisis between November and May, with over 19 million animals being culled to stem a severe strain of the disease that spread in major poultry breeding regions in western France.
(With inputs from agencies.)