Bayer, Novartis-backed Immunitas secures US$58 million to advance Immuno-Oncology treatment

UK – Immunitas Therapeutics, a Waltham-based immuno-oncology startup, has closed a $58 million Series B financing round to continue developing its single-cell genomics-based therapies. The funding will be used to advance the startup’s lead program, IMT-009, into clinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors and hematological malignancies. The immuno-oncology startup also counts on funding and support from important companies in the pharmaceutical sector such as Bayer and Novartis, which has allowed it to advance its research and clinical trials. So far, Immunitas Therapeutics has raised US$97 million in funding…

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MHRA approves Moderna COVID-19 shot for 12 to 17-year-olds

UK – The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 17 years, weeks after the Pfizer shot was given a greenlight for deployment in this age set. The UK’s health regulator has confirmed the vaccine, known as Spikevax, is safe and effective in this age group, the statement read.  While most children develop mild or no symptoms with COVID-19, they are still able to spread the virus and some remain at risk of becoming seriously ill. Moderna’s vaccine…

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GlaxoSmithKline’s chronic rhinosinusitis drug therapy gains FDA’s approval

UK – The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s interleukin-5 (IL-5) inhibitor that will be used to treat chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). FDA has cleared Nucala as an add-on maintenance treatment of CRSwNP in adult patients 18 years of age and older with inadequate response to nasal corticosteroids. The approval is based on data from GSK’s SYNAPSE study which evaluated the effect of Nucala versus placebo in over 400 patients with CRSwNP. In this trial, Nucala achieved significant improvement in reducing the size of nasal…

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Macomics bags £4.24m (US$5.92m) as it aims to accelerate macrophage-based therapeutics portfolio

UK – Macomics, a UK immuno-oncology company, has raised £4.24m in follow-on financing from its 2020 seed round as it aims to accelerate the development of its macrophage-based therapeutics portfolio. The new investment and planned Series A financing will enable Macomics to accelerate progress if its antibody programmes toward the clinics while also expanding its portfolio and further investing in its target discovery technology. Its target discovery platform will enable the identification and validation of novel macrophage therapeutic targets, based on a ‘deep understanding of macrophage biology’. The company also…

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Kenyan nurses given chance to work in UK under new Kenya-UK health agreements

KENYA – Unemployed nurses and health workers from Kenya will have the chance to work in the UK as part of a new scheme requested by the Government of Kenya and launched by President Kenyatta during his visit to London. In a programme to share knowledge and expertise, Kenyan health professionals and health managers will benefit from a special route to work in the UK, before returning to work in Kenya’s health sector. The agreement is open to Kenya’s surplus health workers who are qualified but unemployed, ensuring the process…

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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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Britain inching closer to ending COVD-19 pandemic as death cases decreases despite the recent spike

UK –   The end of Britain’s COVID pandemic could be just months away as vaccines have so dramatically reduced the risk of hospitalization and death. This is according to Neil Ferguson an epidemiologist who believes that the country is headed in the right direction though not completely out of the woods. British COVID data shows that a recent spike of infections earlier in July has so far not led to a vast increase in deaths, which fell to just 14 on Monday, though the number of COVID patients in British…

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Brian McNamara takes over as GSK’s CEO Designate for newly independent consumer healthcare company

UK – Brian McNamara, the CEO of GSK Consumer Healthcare (a Joint Venture between GSK and Pfizer) has been appointed as CEO Designate of the new, listed Consumer Healthcare company which will result from the proposed demerger of Consumer Healthcare from GSK in 2022. As set out at GSK’s Investor Update on 23 June 2021, subject to approval from shareholders, the separation of Consumer Healthcare will be by way of a demerger in mid-2022 of at least 80% of GSK’s holding to shareholders. The company will have a strong portfolio…

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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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