Newsletter Life Sciences Voice Top Five Newsletter- March 2023

Life Sciences Voice Top Five Newsletter- March 2023


This week we take a look at FDA’s approval for the first home test kit, how social media use may be affecting your body image, Walgreen’s latest decision about selling abortion pills, and other top news!

FDA Approves First Home Test for COVID and Flu

The FDA has approved the first-ever home test for the simultaneous detection of COVID-19 and flu viruses. The test kit, named the Influenza SARS-CoV-2 (Flu SC2) Multiplex Assay, has been developed by the diagnostic firm Quidel Corporation. The test kit can detect and differentiate between the three different types of flu viruses and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of COVID-19, with a single nasal swab. The home test is designed for individuals over 8 years of age and will be available for purchase in the US in the coming weeks.

Bayer, JJ’s Xarelto Reduce Ischemia Risk in PAD Patients after Revascularization

Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have announced positive results from a Phase III clinical trial of the anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban) in combination with aspirin for peripheral artery disease (PAD) patients who underwent revascularization. The study showed that treatment with Xarelto and aspirin significantly reduced the risk of major adverse limb and cardiovascular events by 15% compared to aspirin alone. PAD is a condition where plaque buildup in arteries reduces blood flow to the legs, stomach, arms, and head.

Moderna Skin Cancer Medication Gets FDA Approval

Moderna has received FDA approval for its mRNA-based cancer vaccine, called Adjuvant Personalized Immunotherapy (API), designed to prevent melanoma, a type of skin cancer. The vaccine uses a patient’s unique genetic makeup to train the immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells. In clinical trials, the vaccine demonstrated a 63% reduction in the risk of cancer recurrence in patients with Stage III melanoma, compared to a placebo. The vaccine is expected to be available in the US in the near future.

Reducing Social Media Use Improves Body Image in Teens

A new study has found that reducing social media use can improve body image in teenagers. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, involved 118 adolescents aged 13 to 17. The participants were randomized to a group that limited their social media use to 10 minutes per platform per day or a control group that used social media as usual for three weeks. The results showed that the group that limited social media use experienced a significant improvement in body image and reduced appearance comparisons, anxiety, and depressive symptoms.

Walgreens will not sell abortion pills amid legal threats 

Walgreens has confirmed that it will not dispense mifepristone, the abortion pill, in almost two dozen US states due to legal threats from Republican lawmakers. In a letter sent by almost two dozen Republican state attorneys, Walgreens was warned of legal action if it started selling the medication in the states concerned. Walgreens has stated that it will only deliver mifepristone in the states where it is practical and legally allowed. It will not distribute abortion medication via delivery or retail outlets.

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