Global Health Shake-Ups: FDA Overhaul and New Cancer Therapy Breakthroughs

A roundup of current health news covers FDA's October food division overhaul, Summit Therapeutics' lung cancer therapy success in China, the waterborne illness threat in flood-affected Brazil, increasing dengue cases in the Americas, bird flu testing in dairy farms, and various health crises and treatments, including an impending Moderna bird flu vaccine trial and a rapid STI test by Sherlock Bio.


Reuters | Updated: 31-05-2024 02:32 IST | Created: 31-05-2024 02:32 IST
Global Health Shake-Ups: FDA Overhaul and New Cancer Therapy Breakthroughs
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

U.S. FDA set to reorganize its food division starting October

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) said on Thursday it plans to restructure its food division starting in October helping it to oversee human food supply chains and agricultural products more efficiently. The regulatory body had come under fire over its slow response to the infant formula shortage in 2022.

Summit Therapeutics cancer therapy succeeds in late-stage China study

Summit Therapeutics said on Thursday its experimental therapy to treat patients with a type of lung cancer met the main goal of a late-stage study conducted in China, sending its shares soaring 177%. The company said its therapy showed statistically significant improvement compared to Merck's Keytruda in a head-to-head setting.

Waterborne illness now threaten flood-ravaged southern Brazil

Waterborne diseases are now a risk in Brazil's southernmost state, authorities say, as residents begin to return to flooded homes and clean up after catastrophic floods that killed at least 169 people. Rains that started in late April swelled several rivers and lakes in Rio Grande do Sul state to record highs and more than 580,000 people were driven from their homes by the flooding, according to state officials.

Dengue cases in Americas surpass last year's record high, WHO says

Dengue cases have substantially increased in the Americas this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday, which indicates the mosquito-borne viral illness remains a high-risk threat to public health. The UN agency said the number of cases in the Americas exceeded 7 million by the end of April, already surpassing the annual high of 4.6 million in 2023.

US allows bulk milk testing for bird flu before cattle transport

U.S. farmers will be able to test bulk supplies of milk from their dairy cows for bird flu rather than milk from individual cows before gaining approval to ship them across state lines, the Agriculture Department said on Thursday, in a move aimed at expanding testing. The change shows how government officials are trying to contain the disease while minimizing economic damage to farmers after the bird flu virus spread to cows and three dairy workers since late March. But some veterinarians warn the bulk tests may be insufficient.

Bird flu infects third US dairy worker; Michigan set to expand testing

A third U.S. dairy worker tested positive for bird flu after exposure to infected cows, and was the first to suffer respiratory problems, U.S. officials said on Thursday. The infection was the second human case in Michigan, which has confirmed more cases of bird flu in dairy cattle than any other state. It also expands the symptoms for human cases, after the two workers who previously tested positive experienced only conjunctivitis, or pink eye, and recovered.

WHO emergencies team faces funding crunch as health crises multiply

The World Health Organization's emergencies department is facing "existential threats" as multiplying health crises have left it so short of cash that it needed emergency funds to pay staff salaries at the end of last year, an independent report said. It will likely have to ask for funding again to cover salaries up to June, the document, released ahead of the WHO's annual meeting in Geneva this week, said.

US nears deal to fund Moderna's bird flu vaccine trial, FT reports

The U.S. government is nearing an agreement to fund a late-stage trial of Moderna's mRNA bird flu vaccine, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, as the outbreak spreads in dairy cows. Moderna told Reuters it was in discussions with the government on advancing its vaccine candidate, but did not confirm the funding, saying it has nothing further to add.

Sherlock Bio evaluates over-the-counter rapid test for STIs, aims launch in 2025

Sherlock Bio said on Thursday it had begun a trial of its over-the-counter rapid test for detecting sexually transmitted infections (STI) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, and aims to launch it by mid-2025. The Massachusetts-based startup expects to become the first to launch a prescription-free rapid test for the infections, which affected 2.3 million people in the United States in 2022. Current options include lab tests from Quest and LabCorp, among others.

Wegovy maker Novo Nordisk sues nine spas, clinics and pharmacies over copycat drugs

Novo Nordisk said on Thursday it had sued nine more medical spas, wellness clinics and pharmacies in the U.S. for selling products claiming to contain semaglutide, the key ingredient in its popular weight-loss drug Wegovy. The Danish drugmaker has now filed 21 lawsuits since June over the sale of copycat versions of semaglutide. Five sellers have been barred from selling their disputed products. One lawsuit has been amended after samples it tested were found to be as much as 33% impure.

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

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