💊 Novartis joins rare cancer trial; Paxlovid gets $2B more from the US; Malaysia gets a hexavalent vaccine
#238 | The future... it's here. And we're not going to like it.
Hello, and welcome back to The Kable, where, for a change, we don't have much to report on the acquisitions front today.
In the UK, the government has announced a £175 million fund for genomics research, focussed on genetic pediatric conditions and cancer and broadening genomic diversity.
Malaysia's Pharmaniaga, which aims to set up the world's first halal vaccines plant, has partnered with Thailand's BioNet. They will develop a hexavalent vaccine for children, offering combined protection against diphtheria (DT), tetanus (TT), pertussis (aP), poliomyelitis (IPV), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and hepatitis B (Hep-B).
In Morocco, the Ministry of Investment, Convergence and Evaluation of Public Policies (MICEPP) and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC) are partnering with US-based medical device company Mawi DNA to set up a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to serve the African market.
The US President happily declared not too long ago that Covid is over. And there has been enough data from recent studies showing that Pfizer's Paxlovid is ineffective in treating newer Covid variants. Big surprise then that the US government is willing to pay $2 billion to Pfizer next year for a drug that doesn't work against a disease that doesn't exist.
Not content with overtures to Indian drugmakers alone, the US FDA has now dinged Dutch antibiotics specialist Centrient Pharmaceuticals with a warning letter over manufacturing issues. The letter does have an Indian connection, though, because the Centrient facility flagged by the US FDA is in Punjab, India.
Speaking of India, with authorities dragging their feet on a typhoid vaccine, experts fear there could be an explosion in typhoid infections in the country.
Speaking of explosions, China has given up on tracking Covid case counts, with asymptomatic cases not even being reported, even as hospital staff around the country grapple with increasing infections in their own ranks.
One acquisition did manage to find its way into The Kable. KKR-backed JB Pharma is acquiring a cardiac brand from Glenmark for Rs 314 crore for India and Nepal.
And finally, it is the time of the year for wrap-ups and the like; here are Scientific American's most compelling science graphics of the year and Nature's 10 most noteworthy people of science of the year. Do you have a list you'd like to share with us?