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Health News Roundup: GSK signs up gene-editing pioneers in drug discovery alliance; IBM, Walmart, Merck in blockchain collaboration with FDA

Updated: 14-06-2019 02:38 IST
Health News Roundup: GSK signs up gene-editing pioneers in drug discovery alliance; IBM, Walmart, Merck in blockchain collaboration with FDA

Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

GSK signs up gene-editing pioneers in drug discovery alliance

British drugmaker GSK said it has struck a research deal with the early pioneers of a prominent gene-editing technology at the University of California, in a boost to its prospects for developing new drugs. GlaxoSmithKline, Britain's largest drugmaker, will pay up to $67 million over a five-year period for the new Laboratory for Genomics Research, which will be jointly run with the University of California and led by researchers such as Jennifer Doudna, a co-inventor of the CRISPR gene-editing technology.

Many epinephrine self-injectors still potent long after expiration date

EpiPens and other autoinjectors filled with epinephrine to treat severe allergic reactions may still be potent enough to work many months past their labeled expiration date, according to a new study that concludes patients might need expensive refills less often. These autoinjectors contain a pre-set dose of epinephrine, a life-saving drug used by people at risk of experiencing anaphylaxis, a severe allergy attack. Untreated, anaphylactic shock can be fatal because blood pressure can drop suddenly and airways can narrow, making it difficult to breathe.

IBM, Walmart, Merck in blockchain collaboration with FDA

IBM, Merck and Walmart have been chosen for a U.S. Food and Drug Administration pilot program that will explore using blockchain technology to improve the security of prescription drug supply and distribution. The companies said they would work with consultancy KPMG to create a shared blockchain network that will allow real-time monitoring of products in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Ebola not known to be spreading in Uganda: WHO

There has been no known person-to-person spread of Ebola in Uganda despite the deaths of two people there who arrived with the disease from Congo, the top World Health Organization (WHO) expert told Reuters on Thursday. Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO's emergencies program, said that he expected Uganda to approve the use of experimental therapeutic drug treatments, to be shipped "in coming days". Monitoring and vaccination had been stepped up, but there had been "no panic reaction" so far to the cases there.

U.S. pet doctors steel themselves for online pharmacy challenge

A David and Goliath battle is brewing in the business of selling prescription medicines for pets, pitching veterinarians against online giants moving into this lucrative corner of the growing market for animal supplies. Americans spent $72.56 billion last year on their pets, according to American Pet Products Association. Prescription drugs were expected to account for over $10 billion, according to an estimate from the Federal Trade Commission, and overall pet product sales are expected to keep growing by 4% a year.

Female soldiers wanting to suppress periods face barriers

Military women wanting to stop menstruating while they are deployed may face a number of barriers, a new commentary suggests. The majority of surveyed military women say they would like to suppress menstruation during deployment but very few are doing so, according to the paper in Obstetrics & Gynecology that explores why more military women are not accessing that option.

Family sent back to DR Congo after two die of Ebola in Uganda

Authorities repatriated the relatives of two people who died of Ebola in Uganda back to the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, including a 3-year-old boy confirmed to be suffering from the disease, the Ugandan health minister said. The cases marked the first time the virus has crossed an international border since the current outbreak began in Congo last August. The epidemic has already killed 1,390 people in eastern Congo.

China agriculture ministry says no proof natural compound prevents swine fever

China's ministry of agriculture said on Thursday a company which claimed a natural compound was effective in preventing African swine fever did not have government approval to research the virus and its assertions were not scientifically sound. Shopping mall operator Guangdong Highsun Group Co was questioned by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange earlier on Thursday after this week announcing it was backing development of an African swine fever vaccine.

Philips upbeat on digital care as patients warm to data sharing

Dutch health technology company Philips expects sales at its digital care business to grow this year as patients see the benefits of sharing more medical data with doctors, Chief Executive Frans van Houten told Reuters. Philips' connected care division offers platforms to remotely monitor patients and for doctors to share patient data.

Brazil lifts suspension of beef exports to China

Brazil's government said on Thursday it has lifted a suspension of beef exports to China after dealing with an atypical case of mad cow disease, sending shares of Marfrig Global Foods, Minerva SA and other Brazilian meatpackers soaring. The suspension had been in effect since June 3 after a case was reported in a 17-year-old cow in the state of Mato Grosso. Cases can arise spontaneously in cattle herds, usually in animals 8 years old or older.

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