💊 Adult vaccination rates fall, says GSK; Tainted cough syrup in Cameroon, says WHO; No funding to WIV, says US HHS
#388 | Bacteria's stress response; A few extra kilos not so bad; Explaining super dodgers
Hi there. Welcome back to The Kable. A Grant Thornton Bharat report indicates that, in the pharmacy of the world, total deal values in the healthcare and life sciences sectors touched $4.4 billion in the first half of this year. While deal volumes declined, deal values increased in Q2 2023, with a few high-value transactions driving the overall increase.
Pfizer has entered an exclusive licensing agreement with biotech Riparian Pharmaceuticals for one of its preclinical cardiovascular programmes. Neither company appears very enthusiastic about divulging any more details.
Ohio-based contract research organization NAMSA has acquired Germany’s Clinical Research Institute. Some secrecy here as well; the price tag hasn’t been revealed. With this acquisition, medical-device-focused NAMSA is expanding its operations into Europe.
Speaking of medtech companies, in what the US FDA has classified as a Class I recall, Medtronic is recalling thousands of its defibrillators over a risk of low or zero energy output during high voltage therapy. Medtronic has already reported 28 incidents and 22 injuries regarding this issue. Fortunately, there have been no deaths.
After taking its own sweet time, the pharmacy of the world has finally taken a cue from the WHO and a bunch of other countries. The Drugs Controller General of India has issued an advisory to healthcare professionals, doctors and consumers to stop using cough and cold medicines with pholcodine in them. Not like the country has had any cough syrup-linked catastrophes lately. None at all.
Also, in India, in the latest version of the draft New Drugs, Medical Devices and Cosmetics Bill 2023, the Union Health Ministry has proposed that both the Centre and states be empowered to regulate drug and cosmetics manufacturing. This is a departure from its earlier proposal that only the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation be permitted to do so.
Meanwhile, the US has suspended federal funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology as it failed to provide documentation concerning biosafety protocol violations at its facility. Science answersany questions you may have.
No topic is immune to misinformation. Not even the new global pandemic accord, which is currently in the works. The WHO Director-General addresses these concerns.
No field is immune to AI interventions — definitely not vaccine development. CEPI is providing nearly $5 million to a consortium, led by the Houston Methodist Research Institute, to design vaccines against Disease X using AI.
In Brazil, a study has shown an increase in the NDM-1 enzyme, linked to a new generation of superbugs, in the country’s hospitals. In 7 years, the detection rate of NDM-1 in enterobacteria has increased by almost 6x.
Morocco is all set to get its first oncology drug manufacturing plant as pharma group Kenipharma launches its construction in the city of Kenitra.
Australia’s Ramsay Health Care and Malaysia’s Sime Darby have got over their baby. They’ve recruited Bank of America and Deutsche Bank to sell their $1.3 billion JV.
And finally, better late than never? Not in this case. China finally has its own mRNA Covid vaccine, but Stemirna Therapeutics has suspended production, citing a lack of demand.