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Health News Roundup: Virginia touts nation's first contact tracing app with Apple-Google tech; Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 06-08-2020 10:50 IST | Created: 06-08-2020 10:32 IST
Health News Roundup: Virginia touts nation's first contact tracing app with Apple-Google tech; Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases and more
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Mexico nears 50,000 coronavirus deaths, with 829 new fatalities

Mexico's health ministry on Wednesday reported 6,139 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 829 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 456,100 cases and 49,698 deaths. The new numbers put Mexico on track to surpass 50,000 deaths this week. Mexico currently has the world's third-highest coronavirus death toll, after the United States and Brazil.

Special Report: COVID opens new doors for China's gene giant

As countries scramble to test for the novel coronavirus, a Chinese company has become a go-to name around the world. BGI Group, described in one 2015 study as "Goliath" in the fast-growing field of genomics research, is using an opening created by the pandemic to expand its footprint globally. In the past six months, it says it has sold 35 million rapid COVID-19 testing kits to 180 countries and built 58 labs in 18 countries. Some of the equipment has been donated by BGI's philanthropic arm, promoted by China's embassies in an extension of China's virus diplomacy.

Fauci expects tens of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses at start of 2021

Drugmakers will likely have tens of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines in the early part of next year, Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases official, said in a Reuters interview on Wednesday, offering a more conservative view of the ramp up than some Trump administration officials. Fauci said there could be a billion vaccine doses available by the end of 2021, and that he is hopeful the world could get past the pandemic that has claimed more than 700,000 lives worldwide by then, with the help of a vaccine.

Moderna prices COVID-19 vaccine at $32-$37 per dose for smaller volume deals

Moderna Inc said on Wednesday smaller volume agreements for its experimental coronavirus vaccine have been priced in the range of $32 to $37 per dose, higher than the price set by the U.S. deal for Pfizer Inc's vaccine candidate. As the race to develop COVID-19 vaccines reach a decisive stage, with several candidates being tested in pivotal late-stage studies, pricing has come under increasing scrutiny.

Exclusive: Fauci says regulators promise politics will not guide vaccine timing

U.S. regulators have assured scientists that political pressure will not determine when a coronavirus vaccine is approved even as the White House hopes to have one ready ahead of the November presidential election, the country's leading infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said on Wednesday. "We have assurances, and I've discussed this with the regulatory authorities, that they promise that they are not going to let political considerations interfere with a regulatory decision," Dr. Fauci told Reuters in an interview.

FDA lets NeuroRx, Relief Therapeutics test RLF-100 in COVID-19 patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted NeuroRx Inc Investigational New Drug (IND) permission to test RLF-100 (aviptadil) for inhaled use in patients with moderate and severe COVID-19 to prevent progression to respiratory failure, it and partner Relief Therapeutics Holdings said on Thursday. The clinical trial of the inhaled formulation of RLF-100 is expected to begin on or before Sept. 1, a joint statement said.

U.S. FDA approves GlaxoSmithKline's blood cancer drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved GlaxoSmithKline's experimental treatment for a common form of blood cancer. GSK's belantamab mafodotin, or BLENREP, was approved for treating adults with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who no longer respond to treatment with an immunomodulatory agent, the drugmaker said in a statement.

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,045 to 213,067: RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,045 to 213,067, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday. The reported death toll rose by seven to 9,175, the tally showed.

Virginia touts nation's first contact tracing app with Apple-Google tech

Virginia on Wednesday launched the first contact tracing app for the novel coronavirus in the United States that uses new technology from Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google . The state is betting that the app, COVIDWISE, can help it catch new cases faster, though long delays in getting test results must be overcome in order for it to be effective. Nov

vax signs COVID-19 vaccine supply deal with India's Serum Institute

Novavax Inc said on Wednesday it has entered a supply and license agreement with the Serum Institute of India for the development and commercialization of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The Indian drugmaker will have exclusive rights for the vaccine in India during the term of the deal and non-exclusive rights during the "Pandemic Period" in all countries other than those designated by the World Bank as upper-middle or high-income countries.


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