Biotech and Pharmaceuticals

The FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee voted 13 to 10 to recommend emergency authorization of molnupiravir. Molnupiravir is an oral antiviral drug designed to treat adults with mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19 who are at high risk of severe disease. Most committee members agreed it was a difficult vote, with unanswered questions about the
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White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that 226 cases of the highly mutated omicron Covid-19 variant have been detected across 20 countries so far, but U.S. officials haven’t yet confirmed a case in the states. The variant, which first emerged in South Africa about a week ago, has more than 30
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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told all U.S. adults to get a booster shot. The strengthened recommendation comes as public health officials worry that the omicron variant could exacerbate an expected winter infection surge. The variant has not yet been detected in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday strengthened its recommendation
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Reviewing South Africa’s research will help the U.S. better understand whether the variant can evade the antibody protection provided by vaccines and previous infection, Fauci said. Fauci added that analyzing the data could help determine whether travel restrictions against countries in southern Africa might also be necessary in the U.S. The new strain has now
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The World Health Organization is monitoring a new Covid variant, scheduling a special meeting Friday to discuss what it may mean for vaccines and treatments, officials said. The variant, called B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa in small numbers. South African scientists have detected 30 mutations to the spike protein, the part of the
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“Even if you’re vaccinated, continue to take precautions to prevent becoming infected yourself, and to infecting someone else who could die,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “That means wearing a mask, maintaining distance, avoiding crowds and meeting others outside if you can, or in a well-ventilated space inside,” he said. Though the majority
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The World Health Organization’s office for Europe said Covid deaths could rise by 700,000 over the coming months. The 53-country region is facing a surge of infection which has led to a lockdown in Austria and curbs in the Netherlands. Germany is also weighing tougher measures. The WHO said masks, physical distancing, testing and contact
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“We can curb the spread of the virus without having to in any way shut down our economy,” White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said. “We have 82% of people now with one shot and more and more people getting vaccinated each week,” Zients said. Austria’s lockdown began Monday and will last for at
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Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member, told CNBC that people should get their boosters as soon as possible because breakthrough infections are occurring more than the public realizes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cleared Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all adults on Friday. The agency previously cleared Johnson & Johnson boosters. Anyone
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The “vast majority of those employees” are fully vaccinated, a senior administration official said. The federal workforce has reached 95% compliance with the requirement between those who have received at least one dose and employees who’ve filed for an exception. Federal personnel who haven’t gotten immunized or submitted proof of vaccination could eventually be fired,
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The CDC still has to authorize distribution of the booster doses before people can start receiving the shots, which could start this weekend. The CDC’s independent panel of vaccine experts is scheduled to meet on Friday to review the new data. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday said the public health agency would “act swiftly”
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Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Mexico, Vermont and West Virginia are promoting the widespread rollout of boosters for any fully vaccinated adult. New York and Rhode Island are asking adults in high-transmission areas to get boosted, while New Jersey and Minnesota are planning to expand eligibility in the days ahead. California’s also asking
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Brian Castrucci is an epidemiologist, public health practitioner and president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation. Frank Luntz is a Republican pollster and communication advisor. It’s not what you say that matters. It’s what people hear. And what people are hearing on social media regarding Covid-19 in general, and the vaccines in particular, should
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A monoclonal antibody Covid treatment from Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline “stands up well” to all variants of the virus, Vir President and CEO George Scangos told CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Wednesday. Scangos’ comments came after the two companies announced contracts to sell $1 billion worth of their antibody, sotrovimab, to the U.S. government. The Food
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Researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center polled 2,042 adults nationwide from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 on Covid precautions over the holidays. They found that 51% would ask partygoers to wear masks, down from 67%, the survey published Monday shows. Half of those surveyed would ask their guests’ vaccination status while 46%
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Fauci blamed the increasing number of Covid cases on the roughly 60 million eligible individuals across the country who remain unimmunized against the virus. He referenced Israeli data that showed Covid booster doses lowered recipients’ chances for infection and severe symptoms. Some 30.1 million people nationwide have received an additional dose of a Covid vaccine,
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The AFL-CIO, United Food and Commercial Workers, and the Service Employees International Union challenged the Biden policy in federal appeals courts last week. While they support the vaccine and testing requirements, they want the Biden administration’s mandates to cover as many businesses as possible, not just those with 100 or more employees. As unions try
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The disparity between the global distribution of Covid-19 boosters and first shots to people in developing nations is a “scandal,” World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing Friday. Inequitable vaccine distribution has hit Africa particularly hard, where just 6% of the continent’s population is fully vaccinated against Covid, the WHO’s
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President Joe Biden is expected to pick Dr. Robert Califf to serve as the head of the Food and Drug Administration, NBC News reported Friday, citing people familiar with the selection process. The FDA, currently overseen by acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock, has been without a permanent chief since Biden took office in January. Califf,
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A pharmacy in Virginia incorrectly administered Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 shots to 112 children last week, according to the state Department of Health. Although Pfizer makes special color-coded vials for younger children to ensure they get the right dosage, employees at a pharmacy in Aldie, Va., located about 36 miles outs ide of Washington, D.C.,
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Moderna defended the use of its Covid-19 vaccine Thursday, saying the protection it offers against severe disease, hospitalization and death outweighs the risk of myocarditis, a rare heart condition seen in a small number of young men who received the shot. The company announced last week that the Food and Drug Administration needed more time
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