Health News Roundup: Vaccine makers prep bird flu shot for humans 'just in case'; rich nations lock in supplies; BioNTech signs deal to co-develop OncoC4's cancer drug and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Vaccine makers prep bird flu shot for humans 'just in case'; rich nations lock in supplies
Some of the world's leading makers of flu vaccines say they could make hundreds of millions of bird flu shots for humans within months if a new strain of avian influenza ever jumps across the species divide. One current outbreak of avian flu known as H5N1 clade 188.8.131.52b has killed record numbers of birds and infected mammals. Human cases, however, remain very rare, and global health officials have said the risk of transmission between humans is still low.
BioNTech signs deal to co-develop OncoC4's cancer drug
Germany's BioNTech SE said on Monday that it signed a deal with privately held OncoC4 Inc to co-develop and commercialize its cancer antibody drug candidate. OncoC4 will get a $200 million upfront payment and is eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments as well as double-digit tiered royalties.
Karuna shares jump as schizophrenia drug meets goal in late-stage trial
Karuna Therapeutics said its lead experimental drug significantly reduced symptoms of schizophrenia in a late-stage trial, sending its shares up 14% in premarket trading on Monday.
The drug, KarXT, met its primary goal with an 8.4-point reduction in a medical scale used to measure the severity of schizophrenia symptoms like delusions, hallucinations and emotional withdrawal among others.
WHO, advisors urge China to release all COVID-related data after new research
Advisors to the World Health Organization have urged China to release all information related to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic after new findings were briefly shared on an international database used to track pathogens. New sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as additional genomic data based on samples taken from a live animal market in Wuhan, China in 2020 were briefly uploaded to the open access GISAID database by Chinese scientists earlier this year, allowing them to be viewed by researchers in other countries, according to a Saturday statement from the WHO's Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).
Wyoming governor signs law outlawing use of abortion pills
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon on Friday signed into law a bill outlawing the use or prescription of medication abortion pills that was passed by the state's Republican-controlled legislature earlier this month. Gordon, a Republican, signed the law as a federal judge in Texas considers ordering a nationwide ban on the abortion pill mifepristone in response to a lawsuit by anti-abortion groups.
(With inputs from agencies.)