Global Health Roundup: Cancer Drug Failures, Transgender Rights, and Bird Flu Vaccinations

Current health news highlights include AstraZeneca's cancer drug Imfinzi failing in a late-stage trial, Peru removing transgender individuals from the list of mental disorders, and Finland initiating world-first bird flu vaccinations for humans. Other stories cover medical cannabis in South Africa, Eli Lilly’s AI collaboration, and increased dengue cases in the US.

Reuters | Updated: 26-06-2024 02:32 IST | Created: 26-06-2024 02:32 IST
Global Health Roundup: Cancer Drug Failures, Transgender Rights, and Bird Flu Vaccinations
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

AstraZeneca's Imfinzi fails in late-stage trial to treat certain lung cancers

AstraZeneca's blockbuster cancer drug Imfinzi has failed as a follow-up therapy to improve disease-free survival in a late-stage trial in patients with a type of early-stage lung cancer, the group said on Tuesday. Imfinzi is a human monoclonal antibody, which works to block a tumour's ability to evade and dampen the immune system, while also boosting the body's anti-cancer immune response, offering an alternative to chemotherapy.

Peru to stop labeling transgender people as mentally ill

Peru will stop listing individuals who identify as transgender, among others, as suffering from mental disorders, the country's health ministry announced on Tuesday, following a backlash to the move that critics derided as unnecessary and discriminatory. The decision comes after hundreds of protesters took the streets of the capital Lima last month to demand the scrapping of a new law that described those who identify as transgender, along with "cross dressers" and those with "gender identity disorders" as mentally ill and eligible for health services via both public and private providers.

Cilo Cybin becomes first medical cannabis company to list in South Africa

South Africa's Cilo Cybin on Tuesday became the first medical cannabis company to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange's Alternative Exchange, as it hopes to capitalise on growth in the legal marijuana industry. South Africa in 2018 legalised marijuana for personal use and in 2019 legalised the sale of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant.

Finland to start bird flu vaccinations for humans, in world first

Finland plans to offer preemptive bird flu vaccination as soon as next week to some workers with exposure to animals, health authorities said on Tuesday, making it the first country in the world to do so. The Nordic country has bought vaccines for 10,000 people, each consisting of two injections, as part of a joint EU procurement of up to 40 million doses for 15 nations from manufacturer CSL Seqirus.

South Africa records third mpox death after 16 confirmed cases

South Africa has recorded its third death from the viral infection mpox in an outbreak that started in May and has seen 16 laboratory-confirmed cases so far, its health ministry said on Tuesday. The third person who died was a 40-year-old man from KwaZulu-Natal province who had mpox-like symptoms including a rash all over his body, the ministry said.

Lilly partners with OpenAI to develop medicines for drug-resistant bacteria

Eli Lilly said on Tuesday it will collaborate with OpenAI to leverage its generative AI to develop antimicrobials that can be used to treat drug-resistant bacteria. WHY IT'S IMPORTANT

US FDA rejects AbbVie's Parkinson's disease therapy for the second time

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve AbbVie's therapy for patients with Parkinson's disease due to problems at a third-party manufacturer, the company said on Tuesday, marking the second rejection for the treatment. AbbVie added the FDA had not identified issues with the therapy's safety or efficacy and did not request additional trials.

High risk of famine persists across Gaza, global hunger monitor says

A high risk of famine will persist across the Gaza Strip as long as the war between Israel and Hamas continues and humanitarian access remains restricted, despite some more aid arriving in northern areas, a global hunger monitor said on Tuesday. More than 495,000 people are facing the most severe, or "catastrophic", level of food insecurity, according to an update from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC).

US food safety regulators expand bird flu testing in milk products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has begun testing more dairy products for evidence of the bird flu virus as outbreaks spread among dairy herds across the country. More than 120 dairy herds in 12 states have tested positive for bird flu since March, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Federal officials have warned that further spread among dairy cows could heighten the risk of human infections.

US CDC alerts healthcare providers of increase in dengue cases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory on Tuesday alerting healthcare providers about an increased risk of dengue virus infections in the United States. Cases of the mosquito-borne viral illness have touched a record high in the Americas this year, the agency said, echoing a similar statement from the World Health Organization last month.

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

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