Health News Roundup: WHO to use 'mpox' for monkeypox to tackle stigma; China to ramp up COVID vaccinations for its elderly and more
A woman receiving lecanemab, an experimental drug developed by Eisai and its U.S. partner Biogen Inc, recently died from a brain haemorrhage, research paper publisher Science.org reported on Sunday. China records drop in new daily COVID cases for Nov. 28 China reported a decline in new COVID-19 infections for Nov. 28, posting of 38,645 cases, of which 3,624 were symptomatic and 35,021 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
WHO to use 'mpox' for monkeypox to tackle stigma
The World Health Organization said on Monday it would start using a new preferred term, "mpox", as a synonym for monkeypox and urged others to follow suit after receiving complaints that the current name for the disease was racist and stigmatising. "Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while 'monkeypox' is phased out," the WHO said in a statement.
China to ramp up COVID vaccinations for its elderly
China will speed up COVID-19 vaccinations for elderly people, health officials said on Tuesday, aiming to overcome a key stumbling block in efforts to ease unpopular "zero-COVID" curbs. The move is seen as a crucial element in a strategy to unwind nearly three years of strict curbs that have eroded economic growth, disrupted the lives of millions, and sparked unprecedented weekend protests.
French COVID cases on the rise again - government spokesman
New COVID-19 infections are on the rise again in recent days, French government spokesman told journalists on Tuesday. "The COVID epidemic seems to be picking up again", Olivier Veran said, adding there was a 40% rise in new cases since last week.
Roche withdraws Tecentriq from U.S. bladder cancer indication
Roche has voluntarily withdrawn the U.S. indication of Tecentriq for treating a form of bladder cancer following consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Swiss drugmaker said on its website on Tuesday. The move follows the failure of a clinical trial that aimed to convert accelerated approval of the drug to regular approval for this indication, Roche said. The decision does not affect other approved indications for Tecentriq in the U.S. market.
Eisai shares plunge in Tokyo after report of death in Alzheimer's trial
Shares in Japanese drugmaker Eisai Co fell more than 6% on Tuesday after a report that a woman in a trial of the company's Alzheimer's disease treatment died. A woman receiving lecanemab, an experimental drug developed by Eisai and its U.S. partner Biogen Inc, recently died from a brain hemorrhage, research paper publisher Science.org reported on Sunday.
China records drop in new daily COVID cases for Nov. 28
China reported a decline in new COVID-19 infections for Nov. 28, posting of 38,645 cases, of which 3,624 were symptomatic and 35,021 asymptomatic, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday. On Monday, China posted a record daily high of 40,347 cases – 3,822 symptomatic and 36,525 asymptomatic infections, which China counts separately.
AstraZeneca boosts cancer portfolio with $320 million Neogene deal
AstraZeneca will acquire biotechnology company Neogene Therapeutics for up to $320 million, the London-listed drugmaker said on Tuesday, seeking to build its pipeline of cell-based cancer treatments. Though AstraZeneca's oncology portfolio accounted for more than a third of the company's revenue last year, it does not have an approved cell-based cancer therapy and is behind rivals such as Novartis and Gilead.
Boston Scientific to buy Apollo Endosurgery for $417 million
Boston Scientific Corporation said on Tuesday it will buy medical technology firm Apollo Endosurgery Inc for $417 million to expand its portfolio of gastric devices. With debt, the deal is valued at about $615 million.
Chinese authorities seek out COVID protesters
Chinese authorities have begun inquiries into some of the people who gathered at weekend protests against COVID-19 curbs, people who were at the Beijing demonstrations told Reuters, as police remained out in numbers on the city's streets. Two protesters told Reuters that callers identifying themselves as Beijing police officers asked them to report to a police station on Tuesday with written accounts of their activities on Sunday night. A student also said they were asked by their college if they had been in an area where a protest happened and to provide a written account.
Rare success for Alzheimer's research unlocks hope for future therapies
The first big breakthrough in 30 years of Alzheimer’s research is providing momentum for clinical trials of “cocktail” treatments targeting the two hallmark proteins associated with the mind-robbing disease, according to interviews with researchers and pharmaceutical executives. Drugmakers Eisai Co Ltd and Biogen reported in September that their therapy lecanemab could slow progress of the disease by 27% over 18 months compared with a placebo [.
(With inputs from agencies.)