Health News Roundup: Looming obesity drug rivalry not a concern for Novo CEO; Japan's new daily COVID cases to exceed 100,000 for first time in 2 months -Fuji TV and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs. Looming obesity drug rivalry not a concern for Novo CEO The benefits of obesity drugs such as Novo Nordisk's Wegovy on healthcare systems in countries such as the United States are so significant that the expected entry of rival drugs will not hurt its margins, CEO Lars Jorgensen told Reuters on Tuesday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Looming obesity drug rivalry not a concern for Novo CEO
The benefits of obesity drugs such as Novo Nordisk's Wegovy on healthcare systems in countries such as the United States are so significant that the expected entry of rival drugs will not hurt its margins, CEO Lars Jorgensen told Reuters on Tuesday. The Danish drugmaker raised its full-year earnings outlook earlier this month, after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit driven by strong sales of its diabetes treatment Ozempic.
Japan's new daily COVID cases to exceed 100,000 for first time in 2 months -Fuji TV
New daily COVID-19 infections in Japan will exceed 100,000 on Tuesday for first time in two months, Fuji Television reported. Cases have been on the rise in recent weeks in what some authorities have called the eighth wave in the course of the pandemic. New daily infections in Japan have not reached 100,000 since Sept. 14, according to health ministry data.
Australia recommends against fifth vaccine dose as fresh Covid wave builds
Australian health authorities have recommended against getting a fifth COVID-19 vaccine shot, even as they urged those eligible to sign up for their remaining booster doses as the country's latest COVID wave grows rapidly. Average daily cases had been 47% higher last week than the week before, said Health Minister Mark Butler at a press conference on Tuesday, announcing new vaccination recommendations. But cases remain 85% below the previous peak, of late July.
Japan's Daiichi Sankyo says mRNA COVID vaccine successful in booster trial
Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Co said on Tuesday its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine had reached its primary endpoint in a trial of the shot as a booster. In a trial of about 5,000 Japanese adults, those who had received the vaccine, known as DS-5670, developed levels of COVID-neutralising antibodies that were as good as or better than those of people who had had other mRNA shots, the company said in a release.
China's COVID frustrations spark unrest in Guangzhou as cases rise
Crowds of people in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou crashed through COVID barriers and marched down streets in chaotic scenes on Monday night, according to videos posted online, in a show of public resentment over coronavirus curbs. Among the latest outbreaks in China, Guangzhou's is the largest, with new daily infections of COVID-19 topping 5,000 for the first time and fuelling speculation that localised lockdowns could widen.
Indonesia leader says intellectual property waiver must be widened on health issues
Indonesia President Joko Widodo at the G20 Summit on Tuesday said an intellectual property waiver "must be widened" for all health solutions, including diagnostics and therapeutics. The president in a speech before opening a session on health also said the COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder that the world should brace for other health threats in future.
Amazon launches virtual healthcare clinic in U.S. for common ailments
Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday launched Amazon clinic, a virtual platform where users can connect with healthcare providers to help treat common ailments like allergies and skin conditions. Amazon has for years sought to expand its presence in healthcare. It bought online pharmacy PillPack in 2018, underpinning a prescription delivery and price-comparison site it later launched as Amazon Pharmacy, which lets users buy over-the-counter drugs via Prime memberships.
U.S. FDA staff flags unclear benefits of Ardelyx's kidney disease drug
U.S. Food and Drug Administration staff reviewers on Monday raised concerns over unclear benefits of Ardelyx Inc's drug for kidney disease patients, but the company's shares rose 20% on expectations over a possible approval. The FDA's staff reviewers said, "the magnitude of treatment effect appears less than that observed with approved drugs," in briefing documents released on Monday.
Roche's Alzheimer's drug fails to meet goal in long-awaited trial
Roche's Alzheimer's drug candidate could not be shown to slow dementia progression in two drug trials, leaving rivals Biogen and Eisai as leaders in a high-stakes race to launch a treatment for the memory-robbing disease. Roche said in a statement on Monday that twin studies known as Graduate 1 and 2 had not reached their main goal of showing that the drug gantenerumab could preserve abilities such as remembering, solving problems, orientation and personal care in patients suffering from early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Skin-to-skin 'kangaroo' care boosts premature babies' chances - WHO
Babies born too early or too small should be kept in "skin-to-skin" contact with a caregiver rather than being put in an incubator straight after birth to improve their chances of survival, the World Health Organization said. The new guidelines around "kangaroo mother care" mark a significant shift from current protocols for premature babies and the U.N. health agency's earlier advice. The guidelines are also particularly pertinent for births in areas with poor access to technology and reliable electricity, the WHO said.
(With inputs from agencies.)