💊 Novartis acquires Chinook in boost to pipeline; AstraZeneca signs up with Quell to Treg diabetes; The UN says gender bias (surprisingly) still exists
#360 | Kith and kin prevent you from losing weight; Growing veggies in the dark; Planning for net zero with no execution
Hello, and welcome back to The Kable. If you were expecting to be ushered into a new week with a light news day, we're sorry to dash those expectations. Because there is a quite a bit of news to catch up on from the weekend.
First up, Indian startup Clirnet has launched DocTube, a repository of over 10,000 (and counting) health videos made by doctors and freely available to view.
Taiwan's Lotus Pharmaceuticals and US companies Alvogen and NRx Pharmaceuticals have forged a global collaboration worth $350 million to develop and commercialise a treatment for treatment-resistant bipolar depression.
In a world first, China will soon have a trivalent Covid vaccine that includes protection against XBB.1.5, BA.5, and Delta. And speaking of Covid vaccines, BioNTech too has a first to report: its first German lawsuit over alleged vaccine side effects.
An interesting StatNews report on the growth (hehe) of obesity worldwide that has not been included here solely for the purpose of using puns.
Bayer Pharma is investing in India as a high-growth market and hub for innovation, with a newly established research centre in Hyderabad focusing on data science, drug discovery, manufacturing, and clinical trials, while planning further hires and collaborations with local entities. In addition to currently conducting around 16 clinical trials in various therapeutic areas in India, Bayer intends to provide faster access to innovative medicines for the Indian population, is launching two new drugs, and plans to launch its anticipated blood thinner, Asundexian, by 2026, all while addressing the challenges of affordability and accessibility through strategies like patient assistance programs and tiered pricing.
The PAHO is urging for mental health to be prioritised in political agendas due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the Americas. The High-Level Commission on Mental Health and COVID-19, established by PAHO in 2022, has proposed ten recommendations in its report for improving mental health care, including elevating mental health at national levels, improving financing for mental health, ensuring human rights, strengthening suicide prevention, and addressing discrimination as key issues.
A number of schools across Japan have been closed due to mass infections of seasonal influenza.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has reported almost 4,000 suspected cases of mpox and 192 deaths, raising concerns among senior leaders. China, meanwhile, has reported two new cases of mpox.
Peru has reported more than 200,000 cases and 200 deaths during its record-breaking dengue fever outbreak.
Chile is grappling with its most severe RSV outbreak in years, causing four infant deaths and pushing pediatric ICU occupancy to an average of 94% nationally, with the worst affected being children under the age of one.
And as if existing viruses weren't enough, a novel poxvirus has been discovered in a grey sealfrom the North Sea, Germany.
Speaking of, public health experts in the UK warn that the country is dangerously unprepared for a new pandemic.
An interesting read on the challenges that lie ahead in getting malaria vaccines into arms in Africa.
And finally, in news that gladdens us no end, the African Union (AU) and Rwanda have put pen to paper on the Host Country Agreement, officially making Rwanda the base for the African Medicines Agency (AMA)'s headquarters.