Health News Briefs: Novo Nordisk Fire, Mergers, and Avian Flu Cases

Recent health news covers various incidents, including a fire at Novo Nordisk’s headquarters, mergers by Gerresheimer and Biogen, avian flu cases in humans, and lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson. Additional updates feature Bristol Myers’ liability in Hawaii, Pfizer’s cost-cutting initiatives, and the FDA’s recall classification on Hologic's implants.

Reuters | Updated: 23-05-2024 10:26 IST | Created: 23-05-2024 10:26 IST
Health News Briefs: Novo Nordisk Fire, Mergers, and Avian Flu Cases

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Fire at Novo Nordisk office building under control

A large fire that broke out at a Novo Nordisk office building in Denmark on Wednesday has been brought under control, the local fire department said. The blaze started outside but later spread to an office building at the company's Bagsvaerd location, which houses the global headquarters of Novo, maker of the blockbuster Wegovy weight-loss treatment and the Ozempic diabetes drug.

Germany's Gerresheimer to acquire Blitz LuxCo for $866 million

German packaging and medical equipment maker Gerresheimer said on Thursday it signed a purchase agreement for acquiring Blitz LuxCo Sarl, the holding company of the Bormioli Pharma Group, for an enterprise value of 800 million euros ($866.32 million). ($1 = 0.9234 euros)

US FDA staff flags risk of low blood sugar for Novo Nordisk's weekly insulin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's staff said on Wednesday the use of Novo Nordisk's long-acting weekly insulin had an increased risk of low blood sugar in patients with type 1 diabetes, who are more insulin-dependent. Novo is aiming to become the first to bring to the market a weekly insulin product, offering an alternative to the daily insulin injections for millions of patients with type 1 diabetes and the more common type 2 patients.

Australia reports first human avian flu infection

Australia reported its first human case of avian influenza on Wednesday in a child who authorities said had been infected in India but made a full recovery, while a different highly contagious strain was found on an egg farm. The H5N1 strain of avian flu has swept the globe in recent years, killing billions of farmed and wild birds and spreading to tens of mammal species.

Cancer victims sue Johnson & Johnson over 'fraudulent' bankruptcies

A group of cancer victims sued Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday, accusing the healthcare company of committing fraud through repeated and continued efforts to use a shell company's bankruptcy to resolve tens of thousands of lawsuits alleging its talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. Five plaintiffs who seek to represent over 50,000 people who have sued J&J over its talc products filed the proposed class action in New Jersey federal court. They allege that J&J's bankruptcy strategy put billions of dollars out of the reach of plaintiffs in an attempt to "hinder, delay, and defraud these women and prevent them from ever having their day in court."

Biogen in up to $1.8 billion deal as rare diseases take center stage

Biogen said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy privately held Human Immunology Biosciences for up to $1.8 billion, bulking up on rare disease medicines as its older multiple sclerosis drugs face tepid demand due to rising competition. Human Immunology's (HI-Bio) felzartamab has completed mid-stage studies for a type of kidney disease called primary membranous nephropathy, and in patients with a disease where the immune system makes antibodies that damage their transplanted organ.

Bristol Myers, Sanofi liability in Hawaii Plavix case grows to $916 million

A judge in Hawaii on Tuesday ordered Bristol Myers Squibb and Sanofi to pay more than $916 million to the state for failing to warn non-white patients of health risks from its blood thinner Plavix, up from an earlier judgment of $834 million. The ruling from Judge James Ashford, of Hawaii's First Circuit Court, follows a non-jury trial held last fall. It was the second trial in the case, after the state's Supreme Court found that the judge in the first trial that resulted in the $834 million award had made a legal error.

Pfizer rolls out another cost-cutting program, sets $1.5 billion target by 2027

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer on Wednesday launched a new multi-year program to reduce its expenses by about $1.5 billion by the end of 2027, adding on to a $4 billion cost cutting plan it announced last year. Investors have fled from Pfizer as pandemic worries declined and billions of dollars in COVID-19 vaccine and treatment sales disappeared. The company responded with a $43 billion purchase of cancer drugmaker Seagen, the cost cuts, and an internal restructuring.

Second US dairy worker infected with bird flu confirmed in Michigan

A second human case of bird flu has been confirmed in the United States since the virus was first detected in dairy cattle in late March, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. The infection of a dairy worker in Michigan expands the outbreak of the virus that has circulated in poultry for years, though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the risk to the general public remains low.

FDA classifies recall of Hologic's implant as 'most serious'

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday classified a recall of Hologic's devices that are implanted in soft tissue such as breast tissue as "most serious", and urged doctors to more actively monitor for side-effects. The FDA said the recall of the device BioZorb Marker, initiated by Hologic in March, was not a product removal, but a correction.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Give Feedback