111, Inc. partners with Chugai Pharma China Ltd to fast-track innovations in chronic disease management

CHINA – 111, Inc., a leading tech-enabled healthcare platform company dedicated to digitally connecting patients with medicine and healthcare services in China, has announced a strategic cooperation agreement with Chugai Pharma China Co., Ltd., to accelerate innovations in chronic disease management. Chronic disease has become an epidemic. The vast majority of annual health-care spending is spent on treating diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Nonetheless, despite trillions of dollars spent on management, chronic diseases persist. The agreement will enable 111 and Chugai Pharma China to collaborate in…

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Click Therapeutic secures US$52 million in Series B funding to expand prescription portfolio

USA – Click Therapeutic, a prescription digital therapeutic company, has bagged US$52 million Series B funding round led by Health Catalyst Capital, Revelation Partners, Sanofi, K2 HealthVentures, Hima Ventures, and RidgetopHealth. Other participants included Health Catalyst Capital, Revelation Partners, Sanofi, K2 HealthVentures, Hima Ventures, and RidgetopHealth. This announcement comes more than a year after the company signed a US$500 million-plus deal with pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to jointly commercialize a digital treatment for schizophrenia patients. Click’s pipeline of innovative digital therapeutics covers a wide range of therapeutic areas, including psychiatry…

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Rare nervous system syndrome linked to AZ’s Covid -19 jab

UNITED KINGDOM – The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has added Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare nervous system syndrome, as a possible side effect of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine. Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a rare autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system attacks their nerves, causing weakness and, in severe cases, paralysis. According to the NHS, the disease primarily affects nerves in the feet, hands, and limbs, and symptoms can last from a few weeks to several years. Most people recover completely, but some may suffer permanent…

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Mark Sardi steps down as Ascendis CEO while the company commences recapitalization

SOUTH AFRICA – Ascendis Health has announced that Mark Sardi has resigned as chief executive of the South African health and well-being company with effect from December 31, in the wake of getting shareholder approval for the group’s recapitalization. Earlier this month, shareholders voted in favor of the recapitalization, which aims to settle outstanding debt of approximately €444 million (more than R7.6 billion) owed to senior lenders. The firm said Sardi had joined the company in October 2019 with a mandate to turn Ascendis Health around operationally and fix the…

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AstraZeneca cancer drug improves survival rate in liver cancer patients

UNITED KINGDOM – AstraZeneca PLC has reported its trial of the cancer drug Imfinzi (Durvalumab) showed a “statistically significant and clinically meaningful overall survival benefit” when compared to chemotherapy alone. The positive results of the Topaz-1 Phase III trial demonstrated that Imfinzi was effective as a treatment for patients with advanced biliary tract cancer when combined with standard-of-care chemotherapy. According to Astra, the trial met the primary endpoint by demonstrating an improvement in overall survival as well as improvements in progression-free survival and overall response rate, which are key secondary…

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Namibia becomes second after South Africa to suspend use of Sputnik V

NAMIBIA – Namibia has discontinued the use of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine following concerns raised by their neighboring country, South Africa, the health ministry has said. South Africa earlier this week said it would not approve Sputnik V due to concerns it could increase the risk of HIV infection among men, a claim the vaccine’s developer says is unfounded. The Namibian health ministry said in a statement that following South Africa’s decision it was suspending, with immediate effect, use of the shots until the formula is listed for emergency…

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Africa Investment Forum fronts US$140M vaccines and healthcare projects

COTE D’IVOIRE – Members of the Africa Investment Forum have fronted two projects focused on improving the continents healthcare to potential investors as the continent looks to boost its healthcare sector and attract much-needed investment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The projects, jointly worth around US$140 million and located in East and West Africa, were previewed for potential investors. The first opportunity, with a project cost of $96 million, is for the development of a 250-bed specialist hospital offering world-class healthcare services in a West African country. Feasibility…

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WHO’s advisory group to deliberate on Covaxin EUL approval

SWITZERLAND – The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that experts will meet on October 26 to decide whether to grant emergency use status to Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s foreign secretary, expressed optimism that the WHO will soon approve Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covid vaccine Covaxin. “It is not the administrative or political process, rather it is a technical process of WHO. Technical Committee will evaluate the submissions made by Bharat Biotech which created Covaxin. I am sure the approval of Covaxin from WHO will come…

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Acino Health acquires US$121.5M select prescription drugs from Aspen Pharmacare

SOUTH AFRICA – Drug maker Aspen Pharmacare has sold six prescription medicines used for the treatment of gastroenterology, erectile dysfunction and cardiovascular diseases to Swiss pharmaceutical company Acino Healthcare Group for US$ 121.5 million (R1.8 billion). Chief Executive at Acino Stephen Saad, said the transaction formed part of the group’s communicated strategy to refine its product portfolio in South Africa. “The acquisition of these trusted brands in South Africa represents excellent scaling and commercial opportunities for Acino as it expands its footprint in South Africa by adding these products to…

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