Regeneron, AstraZeneca collaborate to venture into obesity drug market

WORLD – Regeneron and AstraZeneca enter into a partnership that will focus on researching, developing and commercializing small molecule medicines targeting GPR75 for the treatment of obesity. GPR75 has emerged as a potential target for the treatment of obesity and its related co-morbidities, following findings published by Regeneron a few weeks ago in Science. The new target was identified by sequencing almost 650,000 people and identifying individuals with rare protective mutations. According to the analysis, individuals with at least one inactive copy of the GPR75 gene had lower body mass…

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Research shows AstraZeneca’s second dose doesn’t raise risk of rare blood clot

UK – A study has shown AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot did not increase the instances of rare blood clots with low platelets in people after the second dose. Data published in the Lancet medical journal found that the estimated rate of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) after the second dose of the vaccine was 2.3 per million in those inoculated, comparable to the typical rate seen in those who have not been vaccinated. This research, led and funded by AstraZeneca, evaluated reported cases occurring within 14 days of administration of the…

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AstraZeneca completes its US$39B buyout deal of Alexion as it sets to expand its portfolio into rare diseases

UK – AstraZeneca has completed its buyout process of Alexion pharmaceuticals in a move that will see the British pharma giant venture extensively into immunology medicines and rare disease therapy. The deal came to fruition just a week after AstraZeneca secured a pivotal nod from the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). AstraZeneca, Alexion’s now-completed deal stands as a key stepping stone for AstraZeneca as it targets an ambitious sales goal of US$40 billion in just four years, up from the roughly US$26 billion it made in 2020. With the…

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AstraZeneca says its COVID-19 vaccine effective against severe disease caused by variants

UK – According to AstraZeneca, new real-world data from Canada shows its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, was found to be highly effective after one dose against severe disease or hospitalization caused by the Beta and Delta variants. The data retrieved from the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) with support from Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health showed one dose of Vaxzevria was 82% effective against hospitalization or death caused by the Beta and Gamma COVID-19 variants. Additionally, a single dose of the jab showed high efficacy…

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Botswana relies on other COVID-19 vaccines as it runs out of AstraZeneca shots

BOTSWANA – About 15,000 people in Botswana will not be able to get their second dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine in time and will be vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna, the health ministry has announced. Botswana, which is purchasing the vaccines from AstraZeneca under the World Health Organization-backed COVAX scheme, had signed up for 940,800 doses of the two-shot vaccine. It has so far received only 62,400 AstraZeneca and 19,890 Pfizer doses under the scheme, according to official government numbers. The COVAX scheme had committed to deliver 2 billion…

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National Institute for health and Care Excellence to issue guidelines for rare blood clot associated with COVID-19 vaccines

UK – The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is planning to develop a plan for the management and treatment of rare blood clots and hematological related conditions associated with COVID19 vaccines. Aims of the guidelines are to combine the best knowledge that will help support clinicians in their diagnosis and treatment of individuals with such related conditions. NICE is at the moment in collaborative talks with experts from the Hematology related organizations as it will try and review the evidence for identifying and managing blood related conditions.…

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South Sudan running out of Covid-19 vaccines shortly after returning 72,000 doses

SOUTH SUDAN – Health authorities in South Sudan have warned that the country is running out of AstraZeneca vaccines and supplies are likely to be depleted by 18th of this month. Angelo Guop, the Ministry of Health Covid-19 Chief of Operations, said there are only 1,820 doses remaining. Two months ago, the country returned 72,000 doses of the vaccine. South Sudan received 132,000 doses in late March from COVAX, a global coalition that works to ensure fair and equitable access of coronavirus vaccines worldwide and decided to return the doses…

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AstraZeneca sets up nebulization station in Ghana to improve asthma patients care

GHANA – AstraZeneca, a leading global pharmaceutical company, has opened a nebulization station at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH) in the Northern Ghana to help improve asthma care for patients in the country. The station is equipped with four nebulizing machines, which administer the medicine to patients, chairs and desks, and a television screen to play educational videos to patients, parents and relatives to explain more about what asthma is, and what they need to do to better manage asthma. The opening of the nebulization station at the TTH is…

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Kenya receives over 182,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from France

KENYA – Over 182,000 vaccine doses donated by France to the COVAX facility have arrived in Kenya through UNICEF. The AstraZeneca vaccine shots will help provide second doses for health workers, teachers and other essential workers. “We have recently embarked on vaccinating our people for the second dose, so this comes at a critical time. It will ensure our health workers, teachers and other essential workers are protected, and that our health centers countrywide can continue providing vital care to people affected by COVID-19,” Dr Willis Akhwale, the Ministry of…

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AstraZeneca’s acquisition of Alexion near completion following clearance from European Commission

UK – AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, is finally on course to secure Alexion, a pharma company that specializes in rare disease, following a go-ahead approval from European Commission (EC). The company sought to acquire Alexion for approximately US$39B last year in a bid to establish a specialist rare disease pipeline in its portfolio. EC’s clearance marks an important step towards AstraZeneca’s acquisition of Alexion as the two companies hope to be the leaders in immunology and precision medicines. The proposed acquisition has already received complete clearances…

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