💊 Japan’s Astellas goes shopping in the US; Pfizer struggles with getting RSV vaccine to LMICs; International consortium CAMO-Net fights AMR
#330 | Pfizer, BioNTech want EU to pay up; Minnesota chickens banned from socialising; Covid conference sees Covid cases
Hello there, dear reader. Welcome to this merry month of May with us at The Kable. Today, we’re kicking things off with news of Korea’s Daewoong Pharma signing a global license agreement with US biotech Vitalli Bio for the former’s first-in-class autoimmune disease drug candidate. According to the agreement, Daewoong will grant exclusive development and commercialisation rights for DWP213388 to Vitalli globally (except for some regions of Asia) for a sum of $10 million upfront and up to $477 million in other payments.
Over in Europe, Pfizer and BioNTech are proposing that EU member states pay half price for the roughly 70 million cancelled Covid shots the EU had committed to buy. That amounts to about €10 per dose, with the revised contract giving the EU a potential upgrade to new vaccines tailored to future variants.
In India, Abbott voluntarily recalled a batch of the its hypothyroidism tablets Thyronorm due to a labelling error which marked bottles containing 88 mcg tablets as 25 mcg. The batch in question was only sold in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
Meanwhile, Tanzania is getting a break from the Marburg outbreak in its Northwestern region. The spread of the virus has been contained, as all surviving patients have been declared Marburg-free. If no new cases emerge during active surveillance over the next 42 days, health authorities will officially declare the end of the outbreak.
Brazil has reported a human rabies case – the first this year – in a 60-year-old cattle rancher from Minas Gerais.
The US has reported instances of H5N1 bird flu – far from the first this year – in three mountain lions, three red foxes, and one opossum.
In light of the avian influenza situation, Minnesota, US is advocating for social distancing for birds too. The state is currently observing a month-long ban on poultry sales which applies to community sales, swaps, fair, exhibitions and wherever else these flu-susceptible birds may gather for a potential superspreader event. No hen parties either, we guess.
In an exciting mystery for the US CDC’s “disease detectives”, a doctor has reported a cluster of serious brain abscesses in children in Nevada. Doctors elsewhere in the county are also warning that the rise in cases of the rare disease, observed since 2022, is unusual. Theories range from an immunity debt due to social distancing during the pandemic to a higher burden of infections as Covid-displaced infections come roaring back.
And finally, after a four-year hiatus, the US CDC held its Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference in person in Atlanta. Too bad the attendees didn’t mask up, because many of them have now tested positive for Covid.