Newsletter Six Things to Know in August 2022 1st Week

Six Things to Know in August 2022 1st Week


Monkeypox in pet dog, a hope for diabetes, and other top news this week

This week we take a look at some pandemic/endemic advancements- both positive and negative. While the technology against COVID-19 continues to develop with an Omicron-specific booster, the world is still learning about monkeypox and its spread as the first case of the virus in a dog is reported. We also look at the latest breakthrough in diabetes treatment, some drug recalls in the U.S. market and the situation of pharmaceutical companies during this current economic downturn.

Monkeypox expands reach and infects pet dog

Monkeypox was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by WHO in June as cases in the United States continue to rise, however, guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to be adjusted as new information comes to light. Most recently, the CDC had to update its guidelines for possible carriers of the virus to include dogs. This adjustment had to be made after two men in France contracted monkeypox from their pet dog. Cases of monkeypox had been reported in wild animals including primates and rodents but this is the first case to be reported in a pet animal. The dog developed lesions and the two men were in close contact with the dog, after which they also tested positive for monkeypox.

The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic continues with updated Omicron-specific boosters

The United Kingdom has approved a new COVID-19 booster by pharmaceutical giant Moderna which targets the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus as well as the original strain. The shot is named Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron and is a combination booster that has been approved by the government of the UK after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) endorsed the booster. Moderna reported that the shot led to a strong immune response against both the Omicron variant and the original strain. This result was found in a clinical trial and the side effects of the booster were reported to be mild, similar to the original vaccine.

Hope for diabetes patients- a major breakthrough in pancreatic cell regeneration

Good news for diabetes patients- Monash University in Australia has achieved a major breakthrough in the development of therapies for diabetes, both Type 1 and Type 2. Researchers at the university successfully reactivated stem cells of the pancreas from a donor to become functional in insulin production through a drug that has U.S FDA approval. However, this drug currently does not have approval as a diabetes treatment.  The therapy aims to regenerate insulin-producing pancreatic cells damaged by diabetes.

Indian pharmas hit by drug recalls in the U.S.

Generic drug makers Dr. Reddy’s, Sun Pharma, Glenmark, and Jubilant Cadista have been hit by multiple recalls in the U.S. as per the U.S FDA Enforcement Report. Glenmark’s eczema treatment Tacrolimus, Sun pharma’s epilepsy treatment Divalproex Sodium, Dr. Reddy’s acidity treatment Lansoprazole and Cadista’s blood pressure treatment Irbesartan are a part of Class II and Class III recalls. These types of recalls are generally not triggered by any serious adverse effect due to the drugs. 

Economic downturn hasn’t put a damper on success for pharma giants Pfizer, Merck and AstraZeneca 

With an array of problems being faced by the world economy, including the Ukraine war, inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain problems, some pharmaceutical companies have been able to continue to grow during this time. The largest gain since last year’s second quarter was by Pfizer, with almost 50% growth in revenue attributed primarily to the COVID-19 antiviral pill Paxlovid. It comes as no surprise that other pharma companies posing growth are also antiviral producers, such as Merck. AstraZeneca’s growth was linked to its portfolio of winning drugs, especially its cancer drugs.

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