Health News Roundup: U.S. FDA approves Genmab-AbbVie's blood cancer therapy; Animal health body backs bird flu vaccination to avoid pandemic and more
Following is a summary of current health news briefs. Brazil investigates four more suspect cases of avian flu in wild birds Brazil is investigating another four new potential cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in wild birds, according to authorities from the state of Espirito Santo, where Brazil's first ever cases were confirmed this week.
Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Brazil investigates four more suspect cases of avian flu in wild birds
Brazil is investigating another four new potential cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in wild birds, according to authorities from the state of Espirito Santo, where Brazil's first ever cases were confirmed this week. After the birds showed symptoms consistent with H5N1, samples were taken from the four, all of them from the Thalasseus acuflavidus species (Cabot's terns), according to a statement from Espirito Santo's Agriculture, Supply, Aquaculture and Fisheries agency on Friday.
Animal health body backs bird flu vaccination to avoid pandemic
Governments should consider vaccinating poultry against bird flu, which has killed hundreds of millions of birds and infected mammals worldwide, to prevent the virus from turning into a new pandemic, the head of the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) said. The severity of the current outbreak of avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, and the economic and personal damage it has caused, has led governments to reconsider vaccinating poultry. However, some, like the United States, remain reluctant mainly because of the trade curbs this would entail.
U.S. FDA approves Genmab-AbbVie's blood cancer therapy
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved AbbVie Inc and Danish drugmaker Genmab's blood cancer therapy for adult patients who have received at least two prior lines of treatment, the companies said on Friday. The therapy, epcoritamab, which will be sold under the brand name Epkinly, treats a type of advanced large B-cell lymphoma, a cancer that starts in white blood cells.
US FDA panel votes against approval of Intercept fatty liver drug, cites safety issues
A panel of advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, wary of the safety of Intercept Pharmaceuticals' oral drug for a type of fatty liver disease, recommended on Friday holding off on an accelerated approval of the medicine. The panel of outside experts voted 15-to-1 against the approval for obeticholic acid (OCA) based on surrogate biomarker data suggesting it was likely to benefit patients with NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) and fibrosis, or scarring, of the liver.
Nebraska lawmakers pass restrictions on abortion, transgender medical care
Nebraska lawmakers on Friday passed a bill that limits abortion and puts restrictions on gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth in a single piece of legislation that strikes at two highly divisive issues. The bill, which Republican Governor Jim Pillen is expected to sign into law, bans abortions after 12 weeks of gestational age, making Nebraska the latest state to impose restrictions after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.
Obesity drug brings heart health benefit alongside weight loss - study
Taking Novo Nordisk’s new obesity drug may help reduce the risk of heart disease as well as boosting weight loss, according to new research from the United States. After a year of taking semaglutide, marketed as Wegovy, patients’ risk of suffering from conditions like a heart attack or a stroke over the next ten years dropped to 6.3% from 7.6% when measured by a commonly used calculator, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found.
Montana could sign law defining sex, raising transgender rights concerns
Montana could become the fourth state to pass a law defining sex as strictly "male" or "female" and unchangeable, raising concern among LGBTQ advocates who see such legislation as the next trend in Republican bills that limit transgender rights. Governor Greg Gianforte, who has already authorized a bill to ban gender-affirming treatments for transgender minors this year, has until Sunday to sign or veto the new legislation, Senate Bill 458, or return it to the legislature for amendments.
(With inputs from agencies.)