💊 Indian drugs under the scanner in Nepal; Treating depression with chatbots
#242 | Kite signs up more CAR T therapies
Hello, and welcome back to The Kable. After a lull in November and early December, life sciences has surprisingly picked up a whole new head of steam lately. Deals, announcements, partnerships, approvals. It's all happening this month.
Take Gilead's Kite, for example. Not content with one cell therapy deal in December, Kite has now acquired cell therapy pioneer Tmunity Therapeutics. This new deal gives Kite a host of preclinical- and clinical-stage programs and Tmunity's tech platform. Also coming with the deal is a strategic partnership with the University of Pennsylvania. Free research interns FTW!
One of the pandemic-enforced tech developments is the innovation is tracking and tracing tech. Which is now getting weaponised by law enforcement personnel around the world, as this scary report from AP illustrates.
Today is the second day of the nationwide strike by nurses in the UK, asking for better pay packages. The government, however, is not looking to make any concessions. We predict medical bodies in Nigeria, Ghana, and Zimbabwe, among others, are bracing for a surge in nurse exports.
And finally, what to make of the Covid story in China? There are some truly scary reports emerging from the country, post relaxation of Covid norms. A report in NPR says this winter could see 800 million infections across the country. Even if wildly speculative in the extreme, it is pretty evident for anyone to see that the healthcare system in China is struggling to keep up with the current Covid surge. WHO advisors are now saying the global end to the pandemic might be up in the air because of the China situation. One of the early pandemic-era "influencers" on Twitter, epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding shared a devastating summary of the situation a couple of days ago. As with most news out of China though, it is difficult to ascertain how much is fact and how much is hyperbole. What is not up for dispute is that there is a Covid surge in China. And also Japan and South Korea. For starters, India is back to mandating genome sequencing in the country to track any emerging variants. We hope China can get on top of things soon because an out-of-control variant emerging from hundreds of millions of infections is a genuine possibility otherwise. As is the impact of a prolonged Covid crisis in China on the global economic front.