Following is a summary of current health news briefs.
Regeneron resumes enrollment in lymphoma drug trials
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said on Monday it was resuming the enrollment of patients in two studies testing its experimental lymphoma drug after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agreed to lift its partial clinical hold. The drugmaker had paused enrollment in the studies in December after the U.S. health regulator requested changes in trial protocols to reduce the occurrence of an inflammatory response called cytokine release syndrome in patients.
India’s virus cases decline but WHO expert says positive tests ominously high
India reported a further decline in new coronavirus cases on Monday but daily deaths remained above 4,000 and experts said the data was unreliable due to a lack of testing in rural areas where the virus is spreading fast. For months now, nowhere in the world has been hit harder than India by the pandemic, as a new strain of the virus fuelled a surge in infections that has risen to more than 400,000 daily.
China backs developing countries’ call to waive IP rights on COVID-19 vaccines
China supports developing countries’ appeal for the waiving of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday. Zhao Lijian, a spokesman at the foreign ministry, was speaking at a regular news conference.
U.S. military offers J&J vaccines for South Korean troops
The U.S. military has offered to provide some Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) coronavirus vaccines for South Korean troops, the defence ministry said on Monday, as South Korea struggles with a shortage of COVID-19 shots. The offer comes days before President Moon Jae-in is due to visit Washington for his first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden, amid calls for Moon to secure more and faster deliveries of U.S.-made vaccines.
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Sanofi-GSK report positive interim results for their COVID-19 shot
An experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline showed a robust immune response in early-stage clinical trial results, enabling them to move to a late-stage study, the French drugmaker said on Monday. Sanofi and Britain’s GSK said a global Phase III trial would start in the coming weeks and involve more than 35,000 adults, with the hope of seeing the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year before a setback.
More COVID-19 vaccines coming to Taiwan as cases spike
Much needed COVID-19 vaccines should be coming to Taiwan soon, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance said on Monday, as the chip-producing island’s limited supplies run short during a spike in cases that has left the government scrambling for supplies. A surge of coronavirus infections in Taiwan, one of the world’s COVID-19 mitigation success stories, has led to its stock of 300,000 doses rapidly running out, with only about 1% of its 23 million people vaccinated.
Incyte’s vitiligo treatment meets main goal in late-stage trial
Incyte Corp said on Monday its ruxolitinib cream to treat pigmentation disorder vitiligo met the main goal in a late-stage study. The company’s shares were up 3.3% at $85.3 before the bell.
Under a tree, one Indian village cares for its COVID-19 sick
In a village in northern India engulfed by COVID-19, the sick lie on cots under a tree, glucose drips hanging from a branch. Cows graze all around, while syringes and empty medicine packets are strewn on the ground. There is no doctor or health facility in Mewla Gopalgarh in India’s most-populous state of Uttar Pradesh, a 90-minute drive from the national capital Delhi. There is a government hospital nearby but it has no available beds and the villagers say they cannot afford private clinics.
U.S. screens 1.85 million people on Sunday at airports, highest since March 2020
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it screened 1.85 million passengers on Sunday at U.S. airports, the highest number since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic slashed travel demand. The U.S. air industry has been setting a number of new post March 2020 highs in recent days, but Sunday’s tally is 100,000 travelers higher than Thursday’s 1.74 million, which had been the best in 14 months. Still Sunday’s demand was about 70% of pre-pandemic air travel on an equivalent day in May 2019.
(With inputs from agencies.)