💊 Novo Nordisk, Lilly looking at big obesity bucks; Pfizer’s RSV shot gets FDA approval; HPV shots to get cheaper
#353 | A better breakfast to fight diabetes; A better dinner for deep sleep; Or junk food, ‘cause we’re in a “danger zone” either way
Welcome back to The Kable, dear reader. Yesterday, the US FDA approved Abrysvo, Pfizer’s RSV vaccine for adults 60 years and older. After GSK, this is the second approved vaccine for older adults which has gained a thumbs up from the agency. We can expect commercial launches this fall. And possibly also updates from Moderna and Bavarian Nordic who also have RSV shots in the works.
iRhythm is the latest to receive a warning letter from the US FDA, which is alleging that the company was not conforming to medical device reporting requirements linked to its Zio AT mobile cardiac telemetry device.
Coherus BioSciences’ China-based partner Junshi Biosciences also had its facility - where it manufactures the cancer treatment Toripalimab - inspected by the FDA. That resulted in three observations, but the company believes they are easily addressable.
Meanwhile, Merck KGaA is planning a €35 million expansion of its Scottish biosafety testing facilities in Glasgow and Stirling. When completed, the project is estimated to create about 500 new jobs.
Bayer’s consumer health division has launched a new business unit to develop digital and digital-supported precision health consumer products.
India’s Sun Pharma has entered a licensing agreement with Swiss-Italian Philogen linked to the latter’s skin cancer treatment, Nidlegy. Philogen will be responsible for completing pivotal clinical trials in Europe and pursuing market authorization, whereas Sun will take on commercialization activities in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Feeling sick? Take the day off, despite what your boss says. A bunch of food workers in the US sure wish they had. The US CDC said that food workers who showed up to work while sick or contagious – especially with norovirus or salmonella – were linked to roughly 40% of food poisoning outbreaks with a known cause between 2017 and 2019.
Starting August 1, Canada will become the first country in the world to have warnings printed on individual cigarettes, reminding you of the “poison in every puff”.
In India, warnings about smoking and tobacco use are making their way to streaming sites as well. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and the like will have to display prominent warnings while airing shows with related scenes.
In Argentina, a prescription is no longer needed to obtain an emergency contraceptive, also called a morning after pill. The traditionally conservative country continues to broaden reproductive rights, after it also allowed abortion up to 14 weeks in December 2020. Maybe the US could learn a thing or two.
Women in Uganda have reportedly been duped into unnecessary medical procedures, with their kidneys making their way into global trafficking rings. The Ugandan President has now approved a law to prevent the stealing of human organs and tissues. The law prohibits any commercial dealings in human organs and tissues, with punishments including stiff fines and life imprisonment.
Using eye drops appears to be risky business nowadays. India’s CDSCO has initiated an investigation after the popular eye drop Prednisolone has been linked to eyesight damage in patients in Sri Lanka. The supplier from India, Alvita Pharma, is pointing fingers at Indiana Ophthalmics who manufactures the product.
CEPI’s Centralised Laboratory Network, or CLN, is central to CEPI’s 100 Days Mission which aims to bring vaccine development timelines down to 100 days. The CLN now has an additional five members from Africa and India. This expands the scale and geographical footprint of CEPI’s epidemic and pandemic vaccine testing laboratory network in the Global South, bringing it to a total of 15 partner facilities in 13 countries.
In the US, the Department of Agriculture has reported 11 more detections of H5N1 in mammals, bringing the total of the last two months up to 191. In Canada, raccoons have become the first mammals in the country to contract and die from H5N5. In Chile, 13 regions now have confirmed cases of bird flu in marine mammals. In total, over 8000 sea lions, over 1000 Humboldt penguins and some chungungos, spiny porpoises, Chilean dolphins and a huilin have also succumbed to the disease in the country.
Healthcare workers from Africa continue to migrate to the UK. A report released by the UK government claims that while about 5000 Nigerians were granted skilled-worker and healthcare visas between March 2021-22, that number is up to 12,587 visas this past year. Zimbabwe also saw an exponential rise of 562% in this type of visa. Both countries are on the WHO’s red list from where developed nations have been urged not to actively recruit health workers.
And finally, it turns out that garlic keeps more than just vampires away. New research claims a certain variety of Australian garlic has antiviral properties and can fight Covid and the common flu as well.