💊 AstraZeneca hiving off China business; Moderna getting deeper into rare diseases; Saudi Arabia launches firm to boost local manufacturing
#365 | Iran and Cuba shake hands on healthcare; Morocco inks an NCD partnership with Israel; Log off social media for mental health
Hello there. Welcome back to a brand new week with the same fully stacked Kable.
According to a Financial Times report, AstraZeneca is drafting a plan to spin off its China businessand list a separate unit in Hong Kong. This separation is not yet certain, but if it goes through, it could protect the company from political tensions between China - which accounted for 13% of its total sales last year - and other countries.
In another update about AstraZeneca – this one is more news than rumour – Cholesgen has entered into a three-year collab with the Big Pharma company to advance R&D in hypercholesterolaemia and other metabolic diseases.
There is rarely good news on the rare disease front, but Moderna's declaration that it will be a rare disease company with a special focus on genetic diseases certainly counts for a lot.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a renewed collaboration with the Beijing Municipal Government and Tsinghua University to support the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute. The collab will focus on improving lifesaving therapies for infectious diseases like TB and malaria, disproportionately affecting LMICs.
In case you thought the lull in layoff news meant that wave had receded, Oracle has recently laid off hundreds of employees and also rescinded job offers and cut down on open positions within its Cerner health unit, but this isn’t entirely new since the software giant acquired Cerner about a year ago.
The Abu Dhabi Department of Health has entered a deal with Mass General Brigham’s International Centre for Genetic Disease to advance clinical and translational research, capacity building and tech transfer, and commercialization in the life sciences, with a special focus on genomics.
Iran and Cuba have signed an MoU focusing on vaccine production, with Iran planning to import vaccine tech from Cuba to increase the volume and type of vaccine it produces domestically.
Morocco and Israel have inked an MoU to strengthen health cooperation, prioritising the fight against non-communicable diseases.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has launched Lifera, a contract development and manufacturing firm to produce drugs like insulin, mAbs, vaccines, and cell and gene therapies in the kingdom while partnering with other local and international companies in the industry.
To stop you from self-diagnosing every time you watch a Sensodyne ad, researchers from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong have developed a new AI model to screen for gingivitis or gum inflammation. All you need are some photos of the inside of your mouth.
In India, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted marketing authorization to the Serum Institute’s Cy-Tb injection for the detection of latent tuberculosis in May 2022. But even after more than a year, it is not available in the market because no government labs in the country are equipped to test it. Now, the central government has waived Cy-Tb’s testing requirement.
Dr Reddy’s has received zero observations in the US FDA inspection of its API manufacturing unitin Bollaram, Hyderabad. In another inspection, the company received a Voluntary Action Indicated (VAI) classification of its formulations manufacturing unit in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh.
Experts in the UK warn that climate change may bring Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, which has a 40% mortality rate, into the country.
In Peru, dengue has claimed 248 lives from among over 146,000 reported cases. That’s a 24% jump in deaths and a 12% rise in cases. Amidst these record-breaking numbers, the country’s health minister has resigned.
And finally, severe heat has claimed at least 34 lives in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Doctors are advising people 60 years of age and over to stay indoors during the day.