AI company Macro-Eyes secures US$2m funding to expand in two additional countries

SIERRA LEONE – Macro-Eyes, a machine learning company increasing access to care, has received US$2.1 million in funding to expand the deployment of STRIATA in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS) in Sierra Leone and to expand into two additional countries. This additional funding will support two years of STRIATA deployment in Sierra Leone. Strategic rollout and preliminary use cases are being guided by the MoHS through the Intelligent Health Systems Technical Working Group facilitated by Macro-Eyes. The expansion in Sierra Leone will focus on integrating the…

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South Korea on alert for new Delta Plus COVID-19 variant

SOUTH KOREA – South Korea has detected its first two cases of the new Delta Plus COVID-19 variant, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has said, as the country battles with its fourth wave of infections. The Delta Plus variant is a sub-lineage of the Delta variant first identified in India, and has acquired the spike protein mutation called K417N, which is also found in the Beta variant first identified in South Africa. The variant, was first reported in a Public Health England bulletin on June 11. Reports…

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USA and partners bolster Africa’s fight against COVID-19 and poverty

AFRICA – The United States and international partners are investing US$80 billion in Africa’s private sector to help end the COVID-19 pandemic and spur sustainable growth. The commitment that the Group of Seven (G7) nations and international development banks announced in June will support renewable energy and infrastructure development, as well as Africa’s manufacturing, agriculture and technology sectors. “The United States will continue to prioritize investments in vaccine manufacturing, COVID-19 response, climate mitigation and adaptation, and gender equity on the African continent,” said David Marchick, chief executive of the U.S.…

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FDA gives priority review to Roche’s Tecentriq lung cancer drug

SWITZERLAND – The United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has granted a priority review for Roche’s Tecentriq treatment for people suffering with early, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the Swiss company has said. The FDA is due to decide on approval by Dec. 1 for the use of Tecentriq as an adjuvnt treatment, where a substance is used to increase the efficacy or potency of certain drugs, Roche said. “New treatment options are urgently needed in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer to help the nearly 50% of people who currently…

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Novartis announces lift of partial clinical trial for Zolgensma by FDA

SWITZERLAND – Novartis has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that Zolgensma clinical trials for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients may proceed, thereby lifting the partial clinical trial hold initiated in October 2019. The decision to lift the hold was based on data from Novartis’ comprehensive nonclinical toxicology study in non-human primates (NHP) that addressed all issues identified previously. “We are very pleased that our comprehensive nonclinical data package has addressed all issues identified related to DRG toxicity and the FDA has reached the decision…

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Sanofi acquires USA biotech company Translate Bio in US$3.2 billion deal

FRANCE – Sanofi, a French multinational pharmaceutical company, has bought off USA based biotechnology company Translate Bio in a $3.2 billion deal, as it bets on next-generation mRNA technology after setbacks in the COVID-19 vaccine race. Sanofi said it would acquire all outstanding shares of Translate Bio for US$38.00 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of about US$3.2 billion for Translate Bio. Translate Bio, set up in 2016, has not launched any drugs on the market but its clinical-stage pulmonary product using its mRNA platform is being…

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Nigerian doctors commence strike over delayed salaries and allowances

NIGERIA – Resident doctors in Nigerian public hospitals have begun an indefinite strike over grievances that include the delayed payment of salaries and allowances, the doctors’ union said, as coronavirus infections rise. Nigerian doctors frequently strike over what they say are poor conditions of service. Last year they walked out from their jobs three times, including over demands for an allowance for treating COVID-19 patients. Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, president of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), said the strike had started early on Monday and that the government had not…

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