Health News Roundup: AstraZeneca to stop developing Crohn's disease drug; J&J faces new trial over talc cancer claims, amid settlement push and more
The Catholic country and homeland of Pope Francis approved a law allowing abortion up to 14 weeks in December 2020, part of a wave of liberalizing legislation around the region, even as the United States further north has seen abortion access tightened. US FDA approves Pfizer's RSV vaccine The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer Inc's respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for older adults, making it the second shot against the common respiratory disease that can be fatal for seniors.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
AstraZeneca to stop developing Crohn's disease drug
British drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Thursday it would stop developing its drug brazikumab to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The company said the discontinuation was due to a delay in the drug's development timeline, affected by global events and "the context of a competitive landscape".
J&J faces new trial over talc cancer claims, amid settlement push
Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday faced the first trial in almost two years over claims that asbestos in its baby powder and other talc products causes cancer, as it seeks to settle thousands of similar cases in bankruptcy court. Emory Hernandez, 24, says he developed mesothelioma, a deadly cancer, in the tissue around his heart as a result of exposure to J&J's talc products beginning when he was a baby. The company has denied that its talc contains asbestos, which is linked to mesothelioma, or causes cancer.
FDA flags issues at Coherus partner's China plant for cancer drug
Coherus BioSciences Inc said on Wednesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had flagged three observations at its partner's manufacturing site in China when the agency was conducting inspections related to its experimental cancer drug. However, the company said those observations, raised in Form 483, were "easily addressable", adding that it planned to submit its response to the FDA in early June.
Exclusive-Roche looking to sell or shut down California biologic drug plant
Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG plans to sell its 800-employee drug manufacturing plant in Vacaville, California, or it will shut the factory by 2029, according to e-mailed letters to workers seen by Reuters on Wednesday. In a statement, Roche confirmed the divestiture plan for the site, which makes monoclonal antibodies from genetically modified living cells, but did it not address the potential closing of the plant or its timeline.
Abbott accuses one of its former scientists of trade-secrets theft in US court
Healthcare company Abbott Laboratories on Tuesday sued one of its former scientists, accusing him in U.S. court of "secretly downloading" sensitive corporate files containing competitive information about nutrition products. The lawsuit in Chicago federal court alleged Roger Tyre committed "flagrant misconduct" prior to leaving Illinois-based Abbott, which sells the Ensure brand nutrition powders and shakes. Abbott said it learned of the alleged downloads of thousands of files in March.
AstraZeneca drug combo gets US nod to treat a type of prostate cancer
AstraZeneca said on Thursday that a combination of its cancer drug Lynparza and abiraterone has been approved in the United States for the treatment of BRCA-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The company said the combination treatment reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 76% compared with usage of abiraterone alone.
Argentina eases access to 'morning after pill', broadening reproductive rights
Argentina will no longer require a prescription to obtain emergency contraception, commonly known as the 'morning after pill', the government said on Wednesday, broadening reproductive rights in the traditionally conservative South American country. The Catholic country and homeland of Pope Francis approved a law allowing abortion up to 14 weeks in December 2020, part of a wave of liberalizing legislation around the region, even as the United States further north has seen abortion access tightened.
US FDA approves Pfizer's RSV vaccine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved Pfizer Inc's respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for older adults, making it the second shot against the common respiratory disease that can be fatal for seniors. The approval comes less than a month after the FDA approved a similar shot by rival GSK Plc. Pfizer's vaccine was approved for people aged 60 and older, the company said, the same age group as GSK's shot.
India makes tobacco warnings mandatory for streaming sites
India unveiled guidelines on Wednesday requiring streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to display prominent warnings about smoking and other forms of tobacco use while airing shows with such scenes. While film and television certification bodies already moderate public content in India, its laws have few provisions to censor content on popular online platforms.
Factbox-US FDA approves Pfizer RSV vaccine a month after greenlighting GSK shot
Pfizer Inc late on Wednesday received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's nod for its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for older adults, nearly a month after GSK's shot was approved by the regulator. RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms but can also lead to serious illness and hospitalization. The market for RSV vaccines could exceed $10 billion by 2030, according to analysts.
(With inputs from agencies.)