Roche ventures into Indian market with its muscular atrophy prescription drug

SWITZERLAND – Pharmaceutical giant, Roche have launched a prescription medicine Evrysdi in India, which is used for treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in adults, children aged 2 months and older. Evrysdi was first approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) in August 2020 and is now available in India within 11 months of the US approval. Since its launch, over 4,000 SMA patients across over 50 countries have benefited from the drug, this is according to Roche. Roche has also had its data related to…

Read More

WHO makes progress in fighting against tobacco epidemic, this is according to a recent report

SWITZERLAND – According to the released World Health Organization (WHO) report, more than four times as many people are now covered by at least one WHO-recommended tobacco control MPOWER measure as compared with 2007. The six MPOWER measures are monitoring tobacco use and preventive measures; protecting people from tobacco smoke; offering help to quit; warning about the dangers of tobacco; enforcing bans on advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and raising taxes on tobacco. Some 5.3 billion people are now covered by at least one of these measures more than four times…

Read More

Governments commit to expedite action towards improving access to eye care services

SWITZERLAND – Governments have adopted a new resolution at the United Nations General Assembly, committing to greater efforts to make eye care services an integral part of universal health coverage and address the increasing impact of vision loss on sustainable development. The World Health Assembly endorsed the global targets for effective coverage of refractive errors and cataract surgery to be achieved by 2030 namely, a 40 per cent increase in coverage of refractive errors and a 30 per cent increase in coverage of cataract surgery. To achieve these targets endorsed…

Read More

Roche’s blood therapy portfolio expanding following FDA’s approval of Venclexta

SWITZERLAND – Roche’s Venclexta has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adult patients with previously untreated intermediate, high- and very high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). This designation was granted based on interim results from the phase 1b M15-531 study investigating Venclexta/Venclyxto plus azacitidine in people with previously untreated, higher-risk MDS. The approval will become the 38th BTD for Roche’s portfolio of medicines, and the 11th designation for its haematology portfolio. In the US, Venclexta has been granted six BTDs…

Read More

Japan approves Roche’s therapy for mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms

SWITZERLAND – Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has approved Roche’s Ronapreve (casirivimab and imdevimab), for the treatment of non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 via intravenous infusion. The antibody combination was granted a Special Approval Pathway under article 14-3 of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Act. This approval was an onset of results from the global phase III study in high-risk non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Outside Japan, the antibody combination has been authorized for emergency use or temporary pandemic use in additional territories and regions, including…

Read More

ODYSSEY trial data confirm superiority of dolutegravir-based ART in young children

SWITZERLAND – New findings from the ODYSSEY trial confirm that dolutegravir -based regimens can significantly improve virological suppression in young children. Country programmes are being encouraged to plan a rapid introduction of dolutegravir -containing HIV treatment as the preferred first-line regimen for all infants and children who are as young as four weeks of age and weighing more than 3kg. The ODYSSEY trial, a multi-country randomized trial sponsored by Penta, has previously demonstrated superior treatment efficacy for dolutegravir plus two nucleoside analogues versus standard-of-care (SOC) in 707 children ≥14kg (median…

Read More

Germany pledges to support WHO’s commitment towards fighting against COVID-19

EUROPE – Following a bilateral meeting held by WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Federal Minister of Health of Germany, Mr. Jens Spahn, Germany has pledged to back the World Health Organization (WHO) in the fight against COVID-19. During the event, Minister Spahn announced the donation of 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and signed with Dr Tedros a new funding agreement of  €260 million (US$307m)to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) through WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Minister Spahn reaffirmed the continued support from Germany…

Read More

HIV infections increases risk of severe and critical COVID-19 reports WHO

WORLD – According to a recently released report by the World Health organization (WHO), HIV infection is a significant independent risk factor for both severe/ critical COVID-19 presentation at hospital admission and in-hospital mortality. It found that the risk of developing severe or fatal COVID-19 was 30% greater in people living with HIV (PLHIV) compared to people without HIV infection and nearly a quarter (23.1%) of all people living with HIV who were hospitalized with COVID-19, died. The report is based on clinical surveillance data from 37 countries regarding the…

Read More

New data reveals a backlog in childhood vaccinations resulting from COVID-19 pandemic

SWITZERLAND – Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) shows that 23 million children missed out on basic vaccines in 2020, a number that was 3.7 million more than data previously recorded in 2019. Concerningly, most of these – up to 17 million children – likely did not receive a single vaccine during the year as a result of community conflict, poor accessibility and limited access to basic healthcare services, hence widening the already immense inequities in vaccine access. The disruptions in immunization…

Read More

Lancet oncology says that one in ever twenty-five global cancer cases is as a result of alcohol consumption

FRANCE – According to a new study by Lancet Oncology, alcohol consumption is attributed to 4% of cancer reported patients globally in 2020. The study also highlighted that men accounted for more than three quarters of the estimated cases, which were mainly linked to risky or heavy drinking, although one in seven of these alcohol-related cancers were linked to moderate consumption of around two drinks a day. It further relayed that alcohol consumption was linked to the more than 6.3 million cases of mouth, pharynx, voice box larynx, oesophageal, colon,…

Read More