The Symptoms of The Delta Variant Appear To Differ From Traditional COVID Symptoms. Here’s What To Look Out For

We’ve been living in a COVID world for more than 18 months now. At the outset of the pandemic, government agencies and health authorities scrambled to inform people on how to identify symptoms of the virus.

But as the virus has evolved, it seems the most common symptoms have changed too.

Emerging data suggest people infected with the Delta variant — the variant behind most of Australia’s current cases and highly prevalent around the world — are experiencing symptoms different to those we commonly associated with COVID earlier in the pandemic.


Read more: What’s the Delta COVID variant found in Melbourne? Is it more infectious and does it spread more in kids? A virologist explains

Clear explanations about the pandemic from a network of research experts

We’re all different

Humans are dynamic. With our differences come different immune systems. This means the same virus can produce different signs and symptoms in different ways.

A sign is something that’s seen, such as a rash. A symptom is something that’s felt, like a sore throat.

The way a virus causes illness is dependent on two key factors:

  • viral factors include things like speed of replication, modes of transmission, and so on. Viral factors change as the virus evolves.
  • host factors are specific to the individual. Age, gender, medications, diet, exercise, health and stress can all affect host factors.

So when we talk about the signs and symptoms of a virus, we’re referring to what is most common. To ascertain this, we have to collect information from individual cases.

It’s important to note this data is not always easy to collect or analyse to ensure there’s no bias. For example, older people may have different symptoms to younger people, and collecting data from patients in a hospital may be different to patients at a GP clinic.

So what are the common signs and symptoms of the Delta variant?

Using a self-reporting system through a mobile app, data from the United Kingdom suggest the most common COVID symptoms may have changed from those we traditionally associated with the virus.

The reports don’t take into account which COVID variant participants are infected with. But given Delta is predominating in the UK at present, it’s a safe bet the symptoms we see here reflect the Delta variant.


The Conversation, CC BY-ND

While fever and cough have always been common COVID symptoms, and headache and sore throat have traditionally presented for some people, a runny nose was rarely reported in earlier data. Meanwhile, loss of smell, which was originally quite common, now ranks ninth.

There are a few reasons we could be seeing the symptoms evolving in this way. It may be because data were originally coming mainly from patients presenting to hospital who were therefore likely to be sicker. And given the higher rates of vaccination coverage in older age groups, younger people are now accounting for a greater proportion of COVID cases, and they tend to experience milder symptoms.

It could also be because of the evolution of the virus, and the different characteristics (viral factors) of the Delta variant. But why exactly symptoms could be changing remains uncertain.


Read more: Coronavirus: how long does it take to get sick? How infectious is it? Will you always have a fever? COVID-19 basics explained


While we still have more to learn about the Delta variant, this emerging data is important because it shows us that what we might think of as just a mild winter cold — a runny nose and a sore throat — could be a case of COVID-19.

This data highlight the power of public science. At the same time, we need to remember the results haven’t yet been fully analysed or stratified. That is, “host factors” such as age, gender, other illnesses, medications and so on haven’t been accounted for, as they would in a rigorous clinical trial.

And as is the case with all self-reported data, we have to acknowledge there may be some flaws in the results.

Does vaccination affect the symptoms?

Although new viral variants can compromise the effectiveness of vaccines, for Delta, the vaccines available in Australia (Pfizer and AstraZeneca) still appear to offer good protection against symptomatic COVID-19 after two doses.



Importantly, both vaccines have been shown to offer greater than 90% protection from severe disease requiring hospital treatment.

A recent “superspreader” event in New South Wales highlighted the importance of vaccination. Of 30 people who attended this birthday party, reports indicated none of the 24 people who became infected with the Delta variant had been vaccinated. The six vaccinated people at the party did not contract COVID-19.

In some cases infection may still possible after vaccination, but it’s highly likely the viral load will be lower and symptoms much milder than they would without vaccination.

We all have a role to play

Evidence indicating Delta is more infectious compared to the original SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of the virus is building.

It’s important to understand the environment is also changing. People have become more complacent with social distancing, seasons change, vaccination rates vary — all these factors affect the data.

But scientists are becoming more confident the Delta variant represents a more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 strain.


Read more: What’s the difference between mutations, variants and strains? A guide to COVID terminology


As we face another COVID battle in Australia we’re reminded the war against COVID is not over and we all have a role to play. Get tested if you have any symptoms, even if it’s “just a sniffle”. Get vaccinated as soon as you can and follow public health advice.

By: Research Leader in Virology and Infectious Disease, Griffith University

Source: The symptoms of the Delta variant appear to differ from traditional COVID symptoms. Here’s what to look out for

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Critics:

Deltacoronavirus (Delta-CoV) is one of the four genera (Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma-, and Delta-) of coronaviruses. It is in the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae of the family Coronaviridae. They are enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses. Deltacoronaviruses infect mostly birds and some mammals.

genesis

While the alpha and beta genera are derived from the bat viral gene pool, the gamma and delta genera are derived from the avian and pig viral gene pools.

Recombination appears to be common among deltacoronaviruses.Recombination occurs frequently in the viral genome region that encodes the host receptor binding protein. Recombination between different viral lineages contributes to the emergence of new viruses capable of interspecies transmission and adaptation to new animal hosts.

References

  1. Lau SKP, Wong EYM, Tsang CC, Ahmed SS, Au-Yeung RKH, Yuen KY, Wernery U, Woo PCY. Discovery and Sequence Analysis of Four Deltacoronaviruses from Birds in the Middle East Reveal Interspecies Jumping with Recombination as a Potential Mechanism for Avian-to-Avian and Avian-to-Mammalian Transmission. J Virol. 2018 Jul 17;92(15):e00265-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00265-18. Print 2018 Aug 1. PMID: 29769348

External links

The Cancer Custodians Hidden Truths

woman-with-headscarf-getting-chemo-treatment-article

Part of Dennis Plenker’s daily job is growing cancer. And a variety of different ones, too. Depending on the day and the project, different tumors may burgeon in the petri dishes stocked in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where Plenker works as a research investigator. They might be aggressive breast cancers.

They might be glioblastomas, one of the deadliest brain tumors that rob patients of their ability to speak or read as they crowd out normal cells. Or they might be pancreatic cancers, the fast and vicious slayers that can overtake a healthy person within weeks or even days.

These tiny tumor chunks are transparent and bland—they look like little droplets of hair gel that accidentally plopped into a plastic dish and took hold. But their unassuming appearance is deceptive. If they were still in the human bodies they came from, they would be sucking up nutrients, rapidly growing and dodging the immune system defenses.

But in Plenker’s hands—or rather in the CSHL’s unique facility—these notorious killers don’t kill anyone. Instead, scientists let them grow to devise the most potent ways to kill them. These tumor chunks are called organoids. They are three-dimensional assemblages of malignant growths used to study cancer behavior and vulnerability to chemotherapy and the so-called “targeted drugs”—the next generation therapies.

Scientists used to study tumors at a single-cell level, but because tumors grow as cell clusters in the body, it proved to be inefficient. The three-dimensional structures make a difference. For example, chemo might destroy the tumor’s outer cell layer, but the inner ones can develop resistance, so where single cells may die, a 3D mass will bounce back. Organoids can provide a window into these little-known mechanisms of drug resistance.

They can reveal how normal tissues turn malignant and where the cellular machinery goes off-track to allow that to happen. As their name suggests, organoids are scientists’ windows into organs, whether healthy or stricken with disease. You need to know your enemy to beat it, Plenker says, and cancer organoids offer that opportunity.

Taken from patients currently undergoing cancer treatments, these tumor chunks will reveal their weaknesses so scientists can find the cancers’ Achilles’ heel and devise personalized treatments. “Organoids are essentially patients in a dish,” Plenker says. Only unlike real patients, the organoids can be subjected to all sorts of harsh experiments to zero in on the precise chemo cocktails that destroy them in the best possible way.

And they will likely provide a more realistic scenario than drug tests in mice or rats, as animal models aren’t perfect proxies for humans.

These notorious killers don’t kill anyone. Instead, scientists devise the most potent ways to kill them.

The way that cancer proliferates in the body is hard to reproduce in the lab. Stem-cell research made it possible. After scientists spent a decade understanding how various cells multiply and differentiate into other cell types based on molecular cues and nourishment, they were able to make cells grow and fuse into tissues.

To stick together like bricks in a nicely laid wall, cells need a biological scaffold that scientists call an extracellular matrix or ECM, which in the body is made from collagen and other materials. Today, the same collagen scaffolds can be mimicked with a gooey substance called Matrigel—and then seeded with specific cells, which take root and begin to multiply.

Some tissue types were easy to grow—Columbia University scientists grew viable bones as early as 2010.1 Others, like kidney cells, were trickier. They would grow into immature tissues incapable of performing their job of cleaning and filtering blood. It took scientists time to realize that these cells wanted more than scaffolding and food—they needed to “feel at home,” or be in their natural habitat. Kidney cells needed the feeling of liquid being washed over them, the Harvard University group found, when they first managed to grow functioning kidney tissue in 2018.2

Cancers have their own growth requirements. In the body, they manage to co-opt the organism’s resources, but keeping them happy in a dish means catering to their dietary preferences. Different cancers need different types of molecular chow—growth factors, hormones, oxygen and pH levels, and other nutrients. Pancreatic adenocarcinoma thrives in low-oxygen conditions with poor nutrients.3 Glioblastomas feed on fatty acids.4 These nutrients are delivered to organoids via a specific solution called growth medium, which the lab personnel regularly doles out into the dishes.

Plenker is charged with keeping this murderous menagerie alive and well. He is the one who designs the cancers’ dietary menu, a specific protocol for each type. And while his official title is facility manager and research investigator who works closely with David Tuveson, director of the CSHL’s Cancer Center, he is essentially a cancer custodian, a curator of a unique collection that aims to change the paradigm of cancer treatment.

Plenker’s research area is pancreatic cancer—one of the most notorious killers known. Often diagnosed late and resistant to treatment, it is essentially a death sentence—only 8 to 10 percent of patients remain alive five years after diagnosis. The chemo drugs used to treat it haven’t changed in 40 years, Plenker says. In the past decade, physicians tried combining multiple drugs together with relative success. Identifying winning combos can save lives, or at least prolong them—and that’s what the organoids will help clinicians do better.

In a groundbreaking clinical trial called PASS-01 (for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Signature Stratification for Treatment), Plenker’s team collaborates with other American and Canadian colleagues to identify the most effective chemo cocktails and to understand the individual patients’ tumor behaviors, which would lead to more personalized treatments.5

Scientists know the same cancer types behave differently in different patients. Typically, all malignancies have the so-called “driver mutation”— the cancer’s main trigger caused by a mutated gene. But tumors also often have “passenger mutations” that happen in nearby genes. These additional mutated genes can generate various proteins, which may interfere with treatment.

Or not. Scientists call these mutated gene combinations tumor mutational signatures, which can vary from one patient to the next. With some cancers, doctors already know what mutations signatures they may have, but with pancreatic cancer they don’t have good tale-telling signs, or biomarkers. “There aren’t many biomarkers to help clinicians decide which chemo may be better for which patient,” explains oncologist Grainne O’Kane, who treats pancreatic cancer patients at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada.

That’s the reason O’Kane participates in the PASS-01 trial—it will give doctors a better view into the exact specifics of their patients’ malignancies. As they take their patients’ biopsies, they are sending little cancer snippets to the CSHL to be grown into organoids, which will be subjected to chemo cocktails of various combinations to design more personalized regiments for them.

The hospital treats all patients with the so-called standard of care chemotherapy, which is more of a one-size-fits-all approach. Some patients will respond to it but others won’t, so the goal is to define the second line of chemo defense in a more personalized fashion. “That’s where the biopsies we send to Tuveson’s lab might be useful,” O’Kane says. “They can help us find something to benefit patients after the first line of chemo stopped working.”

Organoids are patients in a dish. Unlike real patients, organoids can be subjected to experiments.

Scientists can try all kinds of combos on the tumorous organoids, which they can’t do in living people. “You can treat 100 organoids with 100 different compounds and see which one works, or which compound does a good job and which ones don’t work at all,” Plenker says. That would also allow scientists to define the precise amount of chemo, so doctors wouldn’t have to over-treat patients with harsh drugs that create sickening side effects. Ultimately, organoids should take a lot of guesswork out of the process.

With about 150 patients’ adenocarcinomas already collected, the team hopes to come up with some answers. O’Kane says her team already has three patients for which they were able to design the more personalized second line of defense chemo, based on what their organoids revealed. They haven’t yet tried it, because the trial has only started recently, but this would be the next step.

“Being able to piece all this information together in real time as patients are moving through their therapies can really improve the outcomes,” O’Kane says. And while they may not be able to save all of those who graciously donated their biopsy snippets to science, it will help build better treatments in the future. “Even if we won’t be able to help these specific patients we’re hoping to use this info in the future clinical trials,” O’Kane says.

Organoids can also help understand how cancer develops. This is particularly true for breast cancers, says Camilla dos Santos, associate professor and a member of the CSHL Cancer Center. She studies the inner life of human mammary glands, more commonly referred to as breasts, and is also part of the cancer custodian crew. The hormonal changes that women go through during pregnancy subsequently modify breast cancer risk, sometimes lowering it and sometimes increasing—a complex interplay of the body’s chemicals.

“We know that women who get pregnant for the first time before they turn 25 years old, have a 30 percent decrease in breast cancer incidents later in life,” dos Santos says. “When they turn 60 or 70, 30 percent of them will not develop cancer.” On the contrary, those who are pregnant past 38 have a 30 to 50 percent increase in developing aggressive breast cancer types. Clearly, some molecular switches are involved, but they are very hard to study within the body. That’s where organoids can provide a window into the surreptitious process.

Using breast organoids, scientists can model the complex life of mammary glands at various stages of a woman’s life. And while most women wouldn’t want their breasts poked and pierced when they are pregnant or breastfeeding, many donate their tissues after breast reduction surgery or prophylactic mastectomy due to high-risk mutations like the BRCA gene.

That’s where organoids shine because scientists can not only grow them, but also give them the pregnancy hormonal cues, which will make cells generate milk, stop lactating, or do it again—and study the complex cellular interactions that take place in real life.

There’s a lot to study. At birth, mammary glands are similar in both genders—just little patches of the mammary epithelium tissue. But when puberty hits, the female glands fill up with the so-called mammary tree—a system of ducts for future milk production, which fully “blooms” in pregnancy.

“When a woman becomes pregnant, the duct tree expands, growing two types of cells—luminal and myoepithelial ones,” explains Zuzana Koledova, assistant professor of Masaryk University in Czech Republic who also uses organoids in her work. When the baby is born, the luminal cells, which line the inside of the ducts, produce the proteins that comprise milk.

The myoepithelial cells reside outside the ducts and work as muscles that squeeze the ducts to push milk out. Dos Santos likens this pregnancy mammary gland growth to the changes of the seasons. The images of sprouting ducts look like blossoming trees in the spring while later they shrivel like plants do in the fall.

The body governs these processes via the molecular machinery of hormones, which stimulate breast cells growth during pregnancy, and later cause them to die out. The two pregnancy-related hormones, prolactin and oxytocin, are responsible for milk production. Prolactin induces the luminal cells to make milk while oxytocin makes the myoepithelial cells contract. Once the baby is weaned, the levels of these hormones drop, causing cells to shrink back to their non-pregnant state.

With organoids scientists can observe these cellular dynamics at work. Koledova’s team had watched breast organoids secrete milk based on biological cues. They even recorded movies of cells pumping tiny milk droplets in the dish they were growing in. Using tiny snippets of donated breast tissue, the team grew the organoids inside the Matrigel matrix in the growth media and then added the two pregnancy hormones into the mix, explains Jakub Sumbal, a mammary gland researcher in Koledova’s group.

As they began to secret proteins that compose milk, the organoids, which looked like little domes inside the dish, changed from translucent to opaque. “At first, you can see through them, but then as they produce these proteins, they kind of darken,” Sumbal says. “And you can see them pushing out these little droplets.”

Cancer patients would no longer have to undergo chemotherapy by trial and error.

Dos Santos’s team, who also did similar work, outlined molecular changes that follow such dish-based hormonal cues in their recent study.6 In response to hormonal messages, cells produce proteins, which they display on their surfaces, like status symbols. During pregnancy the burgeoning cells prepping for milk production display the “proteins flags” that make them look important, attracting nourishment. When it’s time to die, they commit a cellular suicide.

They signal to the bypassing macrophages—immune system cleanup crew—to devour them. “They essentially say ‘come eat me!’ to the macrophages,” dos Santos says. “Because I’m no longer needed.”

The ability to mimic these processes in a dish, allows scientists to study the molecular switches that trigger breast cancer development—or minimize it. Scientists know that cancerous cells can hide from the immune system and even co-opt it into protecting themselves. They do it by displaying their own “do not eat me” protein flags on the surface and avoid destruction.

“Sometimes cancer cells can recruit specific types of immune cells to protect them,” dos Santos says. “They can not only say ‘do not eat me,’ but say ‘come hang out with me’ to the macrophages, and the macrophages will send suppressive signals to the B-cells or T-cells, the body defenders.” It is as if the cancer requests protection—a crew of guardians around it to defend against other cells that would otherwise wipe it out.

Scientists can’t telescope into the body to peek at these interactions, but they now can watch these stealth battles unfolding in a dish. “Right now we are looking at the proteins that are secreted by the organoids—the proteins that go on the surface of the organoids’ cells and what they would communicate to the immune system,” dos Santos says.

“Even when there’s no immune system surrounding them, they would still be doing that.” There’s a way to mimic the immune system, too. Scientists can add B-cells, T-cells, macrophages, and other players into the growth medium and watch the full-blown cellular warfare in action. “That’s the next step in our research,” dos Santos says.

Understanding what hormonal fluxes trigger breast cancer, and how it recruits other cells for safekeeping, can give scientists ideas for pharmaceutical intervention. “We can find drugs that pharmacologically turn off the switches that trigger cancer or interrupt its signaling for protection,” dos Santos says. “That opens novel ways to treat people.”

Can organoid research lead to a new standard of care for cancer patients? That’s the ultimate goal, researchers say. That’s why Plenker works at keeping his collection of cancer glops alive and well and thriving—he calls it a living biobank. And he keeps a stash in the cryogenic freezer, too.

He is also developing protocols that would allow commercial companies to grow organoids the same way chemical industries make reagents or mice suppliers grow rodents for research. A benefit of organoid experiments is they don’t involve animals at all.

Hospitals may one day start growing organoids from their patients’ biopsies to design and test personalized chemo cocktails for them. Once science crosses over to that reality, the entire treatment paradigm will change. Cancer patients won’t have to undergo chemotherapy by trial and error.

Instead their cancer organoids will be subjected to this process—knocked out by a gamut of drug combinations to find the winning one to use in the actual treatment. Plenker notes that once enough data is gathered about the tumors’ mutational signatures, scientists may create a database of tumor “mugshots” matching them to the chemo cocktails that beat them best.

And then just sequencing a biopsy sample would immediately inform oncologists what drug combo the patient needs. “We may be about 10 years away from that,” Plenker says, but for now there’s a lot more research to do. And a lot more cancers to grow.

By: Lina Zeldovich

Lina Zeldovich grew up in a family of Russian scientists, listening to bedtime stories about volcanoes, black holes, and intrepid explorers. She has written for The New York Times, Scientific American, Reader’s Digest, and Audubon Magazine, among other publications, and won four awards for covering the science of poop. Her book, The Other Dark Matter: The Science and Business of Turning Waste into Wealth, will be released in October 2021 by Chicago University Press. You can find her at LinaZeldovich.com and @LinaZeldovich.

Source: The Cancer Custodians – Issue 102: Hidden Truths – Nautilus

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Critics:

Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread. Possible signs and symptoms include a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss, and a change in bowel movements. While these symptoms may indicate cancer, they can also have other causes. Over 100 types of cancers affect humans.

Tobacco use is the cause of about 22% of cancer deaths. Another 10% are due to obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity or excessive drinking of alcohol. Other factors include certain infections, exposure to ionizing radiation, and environmental pollutants. In the developing world, 15% of cancers are due to infections such as Helicobacter pylori, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, human papillomavirus infection, Epstein–Barr virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

These factors act, at least partly, by changing the genes of a cell. Typically, many genetic changes are required before cancer develops. Approximately 5–10% of cancers are due to inherited genetic defects. Cancer can be detected by certain signs and symptoms or screening tests. It is then typically further investigated by medical imaging and confirmed by biopsy.

Most cancers are initially recognized either because of the appearance of signs or symptoms or through screening. Neither of these leads to a definitive diagnosis, which requires the examination of a tissue sample by a pathologist. People with suspected cancer are investigated with medical tests. These commonly include blood tests, X-rays, (contrast) CT scans and endoscopy.

The tissue diagnosis from the biopsy indicates the type of cell that is proliferating, its histological grade, genetic abnormalities and other features. Together, this information is useful to evaluate the prognosis and to choose the best treatment.

Further reading

Johnson & Johnson Agrees To Pay $230 Million To Resolve N.Y. Opioid Lawsuit

Johnson & Johnson building in Madrid.

Johnson & Johnson will pay as much as $230 million to settle a lawsuit from New York state over its sale and marketing of opioid painkillers, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Saturday, as state and local governments move to extract money from the pharmaceutical companies that developed the drugs to help combat an epidemic of addiction to them.

The settlement will remove Johnson & Johnson from a trial in a lawsuit brought by James against multiple pharmaceutical companies that’s set to start on Long Island next week.

Johnson & Johnson will pay as much as $230 million into a state-operated settlement fund to underwrite addiction recovery services, overdose prevention, training for healthcare providers and other opioid-related purposes.

James said Johnson & Johnson has agreed to stop selling opioids in the United States, but the company says it stopped selling prescription painkillers in the U.S. last year.

The settlement does not require Johnson & Johnson to admit any wrongdoing or liability, and the company called its marketing of painkillers “appropriate and responsible” in a Saturday morning statement.

Crucial Quote

“While no amount of money will ever compensate for the thousands who lost their lives or became addicted to opioids across our state or provide solace to the countless families torn apart by this crisis, these funds will be used to prevent any future devastation, James said in a statement.

Key Background

James sued Johnson & Johnson along with several other drugmakers in 2019, accusing the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company of aggressively marketing its opioid painkillers to doctors and inaccurately downplaying the risk of addiction. The lawsuit tied the company to a nationwide opioid abuse epidemic fueled largely by the overuse of powerful, addictive prescription drugs. Several other state and local officials have weighed action against Johnson & Johnson, and the company said last year it’s open to paying $5 billion in settlements.

Tangent

When James’ court case against drugmakers starts next week, it will not include the suit’s best-known target: Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma. Saddled with a federal criminal probe and hundreds of lawsuits, Purdue is navigating bankruptcy proceedings, and the company and members of the Sackler family — the company’s billionaire owners — are offering to pay billions of dollars in settlements and restructure Purdue as a public benefit company. This plan is controversial, with some politicians and advocates pushing back on a provision to make the Sackler family personally immune from future lawsuits.

I am a breaking news reporter at Forbes. I previously covered local news for the Boston Guardian, and I graduated from Tufts University in 2019. You can contact me at jwalsh@forbes.com.

Source: Johnson & Johnson Agrees To Pay $230 Million To Resolve N.Y. Opioid Lawsuit

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Critics:

The opioid epidemic, also referred to as the opioid crisis, is the phrase used to describe the overuse, misuse/abuse, and overdose deaths attributed either in part or in whole to the class of drugs opiates/opioids, and the significant medical, social, psychological, and economic consequences of both the medical and the non-medical or recreational use of these medications.

Opioids are a diverse class of moderate to strong painkillers, including oxycodone (commonly sold under the trade names OxyContin and Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco) and a very strong painkiller, fentanyl, which is synthesized to resemble other opiates such as opium-derived morphine and heroin. The potency and availability of these substances, despite the potential risk of addiction and overdose, have made them popular both as medical treatments and as recreational drugs.

Due to their sedative effects on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, the respiratory center of the medulla oblongata, opioids in high doses present the potential for respiratory depression and may cause respiratory failure and death. Opioids are highly effective for treating acute pain, but a debate rages over whether they are effective in treating chronic (long term) or high impact intractable pain, as the risks may outweigh the benefits.

Most deaths worldwide from opioids and prescription drugs are from sexually transmitted infections passed through shared needles – citation needed. This has led to a global initiative of needle exchange programs and research into the varying needle types carrying STIs. In Europe, prescription opioids account for three‐quarter of overdose deaths, which represent 3.5% of total deaths among 15-39-year-olds.

Some worry that the epidemic could become a worldwide pandemic if not curtailed.Prescription drug abuse among teenagers in Canada, Australia, and Europe were comparable to U.S. teenagers. In Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, and in parts of China, surveys found that one in ten students had used prescription painkillers for non-medical purposes. Similar high rates of non-medical use were found among the young throughout Europe, including Spain and the United Kingdom.

This Biotech Startup Just Raised $255 Million To Make Its AI-Designed Drug A Reality

Science technology concept. Research and Development. Drug discovery.

While many AI biotech companies are on journeys to discover new drug targets, Hong Kong-based Insilico Medicine is a step ahead. The startup not only scouts for new drug sites using its AI and deep learning platforms but also develops novel molecules to target them.

In February, the company announced the discovery of a new drug target for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a disease in which air sacs of the lungs get scarred, leading to breathing difficulties. Using information about the site, it developed potential drug targets. The startup recently raised $255 million in series C funding, taking its total to $310 million. The round was led by private equity firm Warburg Pincus. Insilico will use the funds to start human clinical trials, initiate multiple new programs for novel and difficult targets, and further develop its AI and drug discovery capabilities.

The company has stiff competition in the industry of using AI to discover new drugs. The global AI in Drug Discovery market was valued at $230 million in 2021 and is projected to reach a market value of over $4 billion  by 2031, according to a report from Vision Gain. The area has already minted at least one billionaire, Carl Hansen of AbCellera, and others have also gained attention from investors. Flagship Pioneering-backed Valo Health announced this month it’s going public via SPAC.

Investors said that Insilico’s AI technology and partnerships with leading pharmaceuticals attracted them to the startup, despite the crowded field. “Insilico fits strongly with our strategy of investing in the best-in-class innovators in the healthcare,” said Fred Hassan of Warburg Pincus, “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is a powerful tool to revolutionize the drug discovery process and bring life-changing therapies to patients faster than ever before, he added.

CEO and founder Alex Zhavoronkov got his start in computer science, but his interest in research into slowing down aging drew him to the world of biotech. He received his Masters from Johns Hopkins and then got a PhD from Moscow State University, where his research focused on using machine learning to look at the physics of molecular interactions in biological systems.

The process for finding a preclinical target for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis highlights Insilico’s approach. The company had initially found 20 new target sites to treat fibrosis. Then it used its machine learning processes to narrow those down to a specific target which is implicated in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Then using its in-house tool, Chemistry42, it generated novel molecules to target the new site. The new preclinical drug candidate was found efficacious and safe in mice studies, the company said in a press release. 

“Now we have successfully linked both biology and chemistry and nominated the preclinical candidate for a novel target, with the intention of taking it into human clinical trials, which is orders of magnitude more complex and more risky problem to solve,” Zhavoronkov added in a statement.

Treatments for this condition are a dire need. Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis develop respiratory failure as their blood doesn’t receive adequate oxygen. Most patients die within two to three years of developing the condition. If the company’s drug candidate proves out during clinical trials, it would be a major step forward both for these patients and the industry as a whole.

“To my knowledge this is the first case where AI identified a novel target and designed a preclinical candidate for a very broad disease indication,” Zhavoronkov said in a statement.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Send me a secure tip.

I am a New York based health and science reporter and a graduate from Columbia’s School of Journalism with a master’s in science and health reporting. I write on infectious diseases, global health, gene editing tools, intersection of public health and global warming. Previously, I worked as a health reporter in Mumbai, India, with the Hindustan Times, a daily newspaper where I extensively reported on drug resistant infections such as tuberculosis, leprosy and HIV. I also reported stories on medical malpractice, latest medical innovations and public health policies.

I have a master’s in biochemistry and a bachelor’s  degree in zoology. My experience of working in a molecular and a cell biology laboratory helped me see science from researcher’s eye. In 2018 I won the EurekAlert! Fellowships for International Science Reporters. My Twitter account @aayushipratap

Source: This Biotech Startup Just Raised $255 Million To Make Its AI-Designed Drug A Reality

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Critics:

CEO Alex Zhavoronkov founded Insilico Medicine in 2014, as an alternative to animal testing for research and development programs in the pharmaceutical industry. By using artificial intelligence and deep-learning techniques, Insilico is able to analyze how a compound will affect cells and what drugs can be used to treat the cells in addition to possible side effects. Through its Pharma.AI division, the company provides machine learning services to different pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and skin care companies. Insilico is known for hiring mainly through hackathons such as their own MolHack online hackathon.

The company has multiple collaborations in the applications of next-generation artificial intelligence technologies such as the generative adversarial networks (GANs) and reinforcement learning to the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. In conjunction with Alan Aspuru-Guzik‘s group at Harvard, they have published a journal article about an improved GAN architecture for molecular generation which combines GANs, reinforcement learning, and a differentiable neural computer.

In 2017, Insilico was named one of the Top 5 AI companies by NVIDIA for its potential for social impact. Insilico has R&D resources in Belgium, Russia, and the UK and hires talent through hackathons and other local competitions. In 2017, Insilico had raised $8.26 million in funding from investors including Deep Knowledge Ventures, JHU A-Level Capital, Jim Mellon, and Juvenescence. In 2019 it raised another $37 million from Fidelity Investments, Eight Roads Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners, WuXi AppTec, Baidu, Sinovation, Lilly Asia Ventures, Pavilion Capital, BOLD Capital, and other investors.

Is Patient Financing Right for Your Health Practice?

In these times of post-pandemic financial uncertainty, additional return on investment for medical providers is more welcome than ever. Patient financing — which for the purposes of this article means partnering with an external lender to provide service and procedure payments — can produce not just steady income for a practice, but help ensure that patients won’t have to put off procedures or, worse yet, abandon them altogether.

For example, Toronto Plastic Surgeons provides this facility to its patients through Medicard Patient Financing. There are also veterinary financing services for pets available through Medicard Patient Financing. What are some reasons practitioners might have employed in deciding upon this option?

No More Delays

There are, unfortunately, economic disparities when it comes to accessing healthcare services. Too often, the high-income and privileged have more access to healthcare resources than the medium- and low-income populations. Patient financing can help in reducing this imbalance, because the simple and daunting truth is that many medical problems don’t come announced, and it’s often impossible to plan for their associated expenses. With financing, patients don’t need to wait to get their accounts in order before opting for procedures — the result is, ideally, prompt and less stressful treatment.

Related: Fintech fuelling growth in Healthcare Financial Industry

Increased Patient Satisfaction

Since clients can often better manage their expenses via patient financing, they tend to be more satisfied on the whole. In part this is because they are not stressed and burdened with sudden financial decisions associated with urgent medical procedures. Better yet, they are more likely to stay loyal to a practice if they don’t have to worry as much. Compared to other practices that don’t offer this option, they are more likely to choose the former, which can mean increased business through word of mouth.

Reduced Collection Costs

When you partner with a patient financer, you receive payments on time. It also means that your team won’t spend needless hours and energy trying to collect payments.

Steady Cash Flow and Less Bad Debt

In setting up a conventional payment plan for a patient, your team is taking the responsibility of keeping tabs on payments and collecting them on time. It’s essentially extending a loan to a patient, typically without any interest. However, expenses like bills, payroll and lease/rent go on as usual. This can lead to tied up in , which will easily and quickly impact a budget. But when you opt for association with a patient financing company, the latter bears the cost of collections, including giving you the option of getting payment upfront.

Related: Healthcare is in Turmoil, But Technology Can Save Businesses Billions

Better Marketing

Association with a financing company with its own marketing arm can help promote a business — making your clinic stand out in comparison to competitors.

Which to Choose?

When it comes to financing models, three predominate. In the first, Self-Funding, you as the healthcare provider are responsible for receivables. From creating a payment schedule to collecting funds to following up with the patient, your team carries out all the tasks. In the Recourse Lending model, you work with a patient financier/lender, which will approve a patient’s loan after the business/practice passes qualifying criteria.

If the patient doesn’t pay, the lending/financing company will recover the losses from you. Among the drawbacks here is that the practice will have to bear the losses and lender’s fees. Lastly, there is the Non-Recourse Lending model. Similar to the second, you work with a lending company. Key differences are that it is the patient who has to pass the underwriting criteria (if the lender doesn’t approve the patient, no funding is provided by them), and that losses are borne by the lender. One disadvantage of this method is that the lenders charge interest from patients; when rates are high, patients might not be interested. Also, patients with a weak credit history might be rejected during the underwriting evaluation.

By : Chris Porteous / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor – High Performance Growth Marketer

Source: Is Patient Financing Right for Your Health Practice?

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Critics:

Publicly funded healthcare is a form of health care financing designed to meet the cost of all or most healthcare needs from a publicly managed fund. Usually this is under some form of democratic accountability, the right of access to which are set down in rules applying to the whole population contributing to the fund or receiving benefits from it.

The fund may be a not-for-profit trust that pays out for healthcare according to common rules established by the members or by some other democratic form. In some countries, the fund is controlled directly by the government or by an agency of the government for the benefit of the entire population. That distinguishes it from other forms of private medical insurance, the rights of access to which are subject to contractual obligations between an insured person (or their sponsor) and an insurance company, which seeks to make a profit by managing the flow of funds between funders and providers of health care services.

When taxation is the primary means of financing health care and sometimes with compulsory insurance, all eligible people receive the same level of cover regardless of their financial circumstances or risk factors.

Most developed countries have partially or fully publicly funded health systems. Most western industrial countries have a system of social insurance based on the principle of social solidarity that covers eligible people from bearing the direct burden of most health care expenditure, funded by taxation during their working life.

Among countries with significant public funding of healthcare there are many different approaches to the funding and provision of medical services. Systems may be funded from general government revenues (as in Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil and India) or through a government social security system (as in Australia, France, Belgium, Japan and Germany) with a separate budget and hypothecated taxes or contributions.

The proportion of the cost of care covered also differs: in Canada, all hospital care is paid for by the government, while in Japan, patients must pay 10 to 30% of the cost of a hospital stay. Services provided by public systems vary. For example, the Belgian government pays the bulk of the fees for dental and eye care, while the Australian government covers eye care but not dental care.

Publicly funded medicine may be administered and provided by the government, as in the Nordic countries, Portugal, Spain, and Italy; in some systems, though, medicine is publicly funded but most hospital providers are private entities, as in Canada. The organization providing public health insurance is not necessarily a public administration, and its budget may be isolated from the main state budget. Some systems do not provide universal healthcare or restrict coverage to public health facilities. Some countries, such as Germany, have multiple public insurance organizations linked by a common legal framework. Some, such as the Netherlands and Switzerland, allow private for-profit insurers to participate.

See also

The Strange Story Of Remdesivir, A Covid Drug That Doesn’t Work

Remdesivir in a syringe.

While clinical trials suggest remdesivir isn’t very effective in treating Covid-19, recent studies have shown that it does block Coronavirus activity. That apparent contradiction makes the antiviral drug even more controversial.

Remdesivir is an experimental drug developed by biotech company Gilead Sciences (under the brand name Veklury) in collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

It’s one of many drug candidates that were originally designed in response to the threat from emerging diseases caused by RNA viruses — germs like the one behind the 2002 SARS outbreak — that have potential to cause global pandemics.

Such ‘broad-spectrum’ drugs target features shared by a wide range of disease-causing germs. In remdesivir’s case, that’s the virus’ genetic material, RNA. The drug proved ineffective against the Ebola virus, however, yet was still subsequently repurposed for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Remdesivir is not effective for Covid

News media prematurely reported that patients were responding to treatment. But the published data lated showed that “remdesivir was not associated with statistically significant clinical benefits [and] the numerical reduction in time to clinical improvement in those treated earlier requires confirmation in larger studies.”

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As our special series On the Front Lines continues, NBC’s Joe Fryer profiles one of the country’s first COVID-19 patients, Raymond Sismaet, who spent nearly a month in a hospital before recovering. His story spotlights the antiviral drug remdesivir as a possible coronavirus treatment. » Subscribe to TODAY: http://on.today.com/SubscribeToTODAY » Watch the latest from TODAY: http://bit.ly/LatestTODAY About: TODAY brings you the latest headlines and expert tips on money, health and parenting. We wake up every morning to give you and your family all you need to start your day.
If it matters to you, it matters to us. We are in the people business. Subscribe to our channel for exclusive TODAY archival footage & our original web series. Connect with TODAY Online! Visit TODAY’s Website: http://on.today.com/ReadTODAY Find TODAY on Facebook: http://on.today.com/LikeTODAY Follow TODAY on Twitter: http://on.today.com/FollowTODAY Follow TODAY on Instagram: http://on.today.com/InstaTODAY Follow TODAY on Pinterest: http://on.today.com/PinTODAY #Coronavirus #Remdesivir #TodayShow

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The controversy surrounding remdesivir therefore revolves around whether the drug is actually an effective treatment. Early studies produced conflicting evidence on remdesivir’s effectiveness. Some found that Covid patients who received the drug recovered faster and fewer people died, but other studies showed that it didn’t reduce the length of hospitalization or death rate.

What’s weird about remdesivir is that it hasn’t been held to the same standards as other drug candidates. Covid-19 vaccines have been developed 10 times faster than traditional drugs, but they’ve passed the phase-3 clinical trials that test whether a potential medicine is both safe and effective in thousands of people.

Normally, a drug is only approved for use by a regulatory body like the US Food and Drug Administration if it meets the two criteria for safety and efficacy. Nonetheless, in October 2020, remdesivir was granted approval by FDA based on promising data from relatively small trials with about 1000 participants.

A large-scale analysis by the World Health Organization’s Solidarity trial consortium has cleared-up the confusion. Based on interim results from studying more than 5000 participants, the international study concluded that remdesivir “had little or no effect on hospitalized patients with Covid-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay.”

As a consequence of being mostly ineffective, WHO recommends against the use of remdesivir in Covid-19 patients.

Remdesivir is an expensive drug

The drug is administered over 5 or 10 days. A five-day course of treatment costs around $2600 per person. So for a hospital with hundreds of Covid patients, that would amount to millions of dollars for one antiviral.

That price could be cost-effective if remdesivir saved lives and its use was limited to moderate or severe disease, but it’s also being made available for milder cases and WHO found that it isn’t a lifesaving drug.

What next for remdesivir? Following WHO’s finding, an article in the British Medical Journal highlighted another antiviral as a cautionary tale: oseltamivir or ‘Tamiflu’ — a drug that aims to block the influenza virus.

During the early 2000s, governments started stockpiling Tamiflu, paying billions to its manufacturer, pharmaceutical firm Roche. Then in 2013, independent researchers gained access to Roche’s unpublished data, revealing that the drug caused many side effects and only shortened the duration of flu symptoms by a few hours.

Tamiflu only cost $75 per treatment and yet was still a massive waste of money. The BMJ article implies that the story of remdesivir is another scandal waiting to happen.

Given that remdesivir is expensive and doesn’t seem to save lives, does it have any value? Maybe — but not as a medicine itself. Recent research suggests scientists should at least keep studying how it works in order to develop better drugs.

Remdesivir does block Coronavirus

Remdesivir doesn’t prevent people from being infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Whereas a vaccine is designed prompt your immune system to recognize the spike protein that allows Coronavirus to invade cells — and protect people from infection — antivirals such as remdesivir aim to disrupt the virus’ ability to replicate, to slow its spread and give your body extra time to develop immunity.

Coronaviruses use RNA for their genetic material — not the DNA used by cells — which means that they need a special molecular machine to copy their genes when producing new virus particles. That machine, ‘RNA polymerase’, is what’s targeted by remdesivir.

Two studies have now revealed how remdesivir blocks SARS-CoV-2 at the molecular level.

First, chemical engineers at the University of Chicago found that remdesivir is better at reducing virus replication than two similar antivirals, ribavirin and favilavir. Their computer models suggest that remdesivir beats the other drugs because it’s the best at binding and destabilizing the RNA polymerase.

In the second new study, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin used ‘cryogenic-electron microscopy’ (cryo-EM) to take snapshots of the structure of the molecules involved in replication as they would interact in a Covid patient.

After adding remdesivir to RNA polymerase, cryo-EM images showed that the drug acts like a blockage in a photocopier, getting stuck in the RNA polymerase. When four molecules of remdesivir get between the gears of the polymerase machine, its copies of RNA ‘paper’ can no longer pass through, stalling the virus-copying process.

That leads us to why it’s worth studying remdesivir. As structural biologist David Taylor explains, “We were able to identify the point where that paper jam happens […] If we want to make the blockage even worse, we could do so.”

One of remdesivir’s flaws is its (possibly toxic) high dosage over a short timeframe, which contributes to adverse side effects. By tweaking the drug molecule’s structure, scientists may be able to make it block the RNA polymerase machine with fewer molecules, which would then allow the drug to be delivered in a smaller dose.

In fact, Gilead Sciences has already isolated a compound similar to remdesivir, GS-441524, which costs less and is easier to manufacture. It’s also simpler to administer: while remdesivir must be injected, GS-441524 could be ingested in pill form. More of the molecule reaches the lungs — the main site of infection — too, which led researchers to state that “GS-441524 is superior to remdesivir for Covid-19 treatment.”

As SARS-CoV-2’s genetic material mutates to create new strains of the virus — and variants of Covid-19 — we may need antivirals to buy us time if those new strains end-up evading our current vaccines.

So despite being expensive and ineffective at treating Covid, remdesivir’s true value could be to help researchers create more effective medicines.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I’m a science communicator specialising in public engagement and outreach through entertainment, focusing on popular culture. I have a PhD in evolutionary biology and spent several years at BBC Science Focus magazine, running the features section and writing about everything from gay genes and internet memes to the science of death and origin of life. I’ve also contributed to Scientific American and Men’s Health. My latest book is ’50 Biology Ideas You Really Need to Know’

Source: The Strange Story Of Remdesivir, A Covid Drug That Doesn’t Work

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Covid spike: India prohibits export of remdesivir
[…] trend, the Ministry said: “There is a potential of further increase in demand of injection remdesivir and remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in the coming days […] of the above increasing Covid cases, Government of India has prohibited the exports of injection remdesivir and remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) till the situation improves […] ” Govt of India prohibited exports of injection remdesivir and active pharmaceutical ingredients Seven Indian companies are producing injection remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, US […]
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India bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as Covid-19 cases surge
kathmandupost.com – Today
India said on Sunday it had banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients after a record spike in Covid-19 cases sent deman […] “In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves,” the health ministry said in a […]
0
India bans exports of Remdesivir drug as new Covid-19 cases hit another record, South Asia News & Top Stories
NEW DELHI (REUTERS) – India on Sunday (April 11) banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients as demand rocketed due to a record surge in Covid-1 […] media posts on Sunday showed large queues of people in the western state of Gujarat waiting to buy Remdesivir injections for Covid-19 patients. “Every day the central government is providing 50,000 Remdesivir injections but all of them are getting consumed,”Mr Rajesh Tope, health minister of India’ […]
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India bans exports of Remdesivir drug as new Covid-19 cases hit another record
NEW DELHI (REUTERS) – India on Sunday (April 11) banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients as demand rocketed due to a record surge in Covid-1 […] media posts on Sunday showed large queues of people in the western state of Gujarat waiting to buy Remdesivir injections for Covid-19 patients. “Every day the central government is providing 50,000 Remdesivir injections but all of them are getting consumed,”Mr Rajesh Tope, health minister of India’ […]
1
Centre prohibits export of Injection Remdesivir in view of surge in COVID cases
[…] This has led to a sudden spike in demand for Injection Remdesivir used in the treatment of COVID patients […] In light of the above, the Government of India has prohibited the export of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves […] Government of India has taken the following steps to ensure easy access of hospital and patients to Remdesivir: All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/distributors t […]
1
Vaccine universalisation, vaccine nationalism need of the hour: AAP leader Chadha writes to PM | Politics
[…] for all and taking steps like prohibiting COVID medicine export as it has today banned export of remdesivir injections,” he said […]
0
India bans export of Remdesivir amid rising Covid-19 cases
newsvibesofindia.com – Today
New Delhi (NVI): India has prohibited exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the COVID-19 situation improves, as the countr […] It said that there is a potential of further increase in the demand of Injection Remdesivir in the coming days. At present, seven Indian companies are producing Injection Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with M/s […] In light of the above, India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves, the Ministry said […]
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Maharashtra: Thane Covid centre patients shifted over oxygen concerns | Business Standard News
[…] as officer in charge to coordinate the purchase, storage and distribution of medical oxygen gas and Remdesivir injections, a release by civic spokesperson Sandeep Malavali said […]
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India bans exports of Remdesivir drug as new COVID-19 cases hit another record | MarketScreener
[…] In addition to the Remdesivir ban “till the situation improves”, the health ministry said in a statement that manufacturers ha […] media posts on Sunday showed large queues of people in the western state of Gujarat waiting to buy Remdesivir injections for COVID-19 patients. “Every day the central government is providing 50,000 Remdesivir injections but all of them are getting consumed,” Rajesh Tope, health minister of India’ […]
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Maha: Thane COVID centre patients shifted over oxygen concerns | Health
[…] as officer in charge to coordinate the purchase, storage and distribution of medical oxygen gas and Remdesivir injections, a release by civic spokesperson Sandeep Malavali said […]
0
India Bans Exports of Antiviral Drug Remdesivir as COVID-19 Cases Surge
science.thewire.in – Today
Seven Indian companies have licensed the drug from Gilead Sciences, with an installed capacity of about 3.9 million units per month.
2
India bans exports of Remdesivir drug as new COVID-19 cases hit another record | Health
India on Sunday banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients as demand rocketed due to a record surge in COVID-1 […] In addition to the Remdesivir ban “till the situation improves”, the health ministry said in a statement that manufacturers ha […] media posts on Sunday showed large queues of people in the western state of Gujarat waiting to buy Remdesivir injections for COVID-19 patients. “Every day the central government is providing 50,000 Remdesivir injections but all of them are getting consumed,” Rajesh Tope, health minister of India’ […]
0
Amidst sharp rise in COVID-19 cases, India bans export of Remdesivir; its active pharmaceutical ingredients
asianews.press – Today
[…] As a result, it has led to a sudden spike in demand for Injection Remdesivir used in the treatment of COVID patients and the potential for a further increase in this demand i […] The Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) “till the situation improves in the country […] India govt has taken the following steps to ensure easy access of hospital and patients to Remdesivir: All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/distributors t […]
1
No export of Remdesivir till COVID situation improves in India: Govt
New Delhi: In view of increased demand for Remdesivir due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Centre on Sunday said the export of the antiviral injectio […] which is used in treatment of coronavirus, to hospitals and patients, all domestic manufacturers of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website details of their stockists and distributors, th […] This has led to a sudden spike in demand for Remdesivir injection used in treatment of COVID patients,” the ministry said […] “In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of remdesivir injection and remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves,” it said […]
0
India halts export of key Covid drug Remdesivir as cases rise across country
theprint.in – Today
Text Size: A- A+ New Delhi: The Centre on Sunday prohibited exports of injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the Covid-19 situation in the country improves. Remdesivir is considered a key anti-viral drug in the fight against Covid-19 […] addition, the government has taken three steps to ensure easy access of hospitals and patients to Remdesivir. All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/distributors t […]
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Enterprise Information | Inventory and Share Market Information – Information by Automobilnews.eu
automobilnews.eu – Today
“Export of injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Energetic Pharmaceutical Components (API) prohibited until the COVID-19 state of affairs within the […]
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As coronavirus cases spike, Indore’s health infrastructure gets stretched | Business Standard News
[…] uploading videos and messages on social media about shortage of beds and key medicines like Remdesivir […] He said Remdesivir consignments were coming in at present and their distribution was taking place as per guidelines […] “Doctors have been told to give Remdesivir injections only to those who absolutely need it,” Satya said […]
2
India bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as COVID-19 cases surge
India on Sunday banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients as demand rocketed due to a record surge in COVID-1 […] sixth record rise in seven days, harried relatives of patients made a kilometre-long queue to buy Remdesivir outside a big hospital in the western state of Gujarat, witnesses said […] In addition to the Remdesivir ban “till the situation improves,” the health ministry said that manufacturers had been asked t […] The World Health Organization in November issued a conditional recommendation against the use of Remdesivir in hospitalized patients, saying there was no evidence that the drug improved survival and othe […]
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Covid-19: India bans export of Remdesivir injection, API
India today prohibited the export of Remdesivir injection, which is used to treat Covid patients, and also Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), amidst a surge in coronavirus cases in the country […] “This has led to a sudden spike in the demand for injection Remdesivir used in treatment of Covid patients […] Seven Indian companies are producing the Remdesivir injection under voluntary licensing agreement with M/S Gilead Sciences of the USA […]
3
Maharashtra likely to announce 15-day lockdown after weekend curbs, marginal drop in Covid-19 cases after night curfew
[…] Other suggestions by Fadnavis like the early report of tests, availability of Remdesivir and oxygen for treatment will also be considered […]
1
“For God’s Sake, Get Vaccine, Drugs”: Top Mumbai Doctor’s Desperate Appeal
[…] The hospital was not only short of vaccines but also life-saving drugs like Remdesivir, said Dr Jalil Parkar, a pulmonary consultant with the hospital […] There is a shortage of Remdesivir, there is shortage of Tosilizubam […] “My earnest request for god’s sake please see to it that Remdesivir, Tosilizubam, vaccination — they are available […]
0
COVID-19: Centre bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir till situation in India improves
COVID-19: Centre bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir till situation in India improves India’s sudden spike in COVID-19 cases has led to an increase i […] Zee Media Updated: Apr 11, 2021, 06:29 PM IST The Centre on Sunday prohibited exports of injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the Covid-19 situation in the country improves […] data on deaths In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves,” the statement said […]
1
8k Remdesivir vials have arrived: Madhya Pradesh official as cases surge
[…] (Representational image: IE) Amid a surge in coronavirus cases and a clamour for Remdesivir, a drug considered useful in the treatment of the infection, a senior Madhya Pradesh official o […]
1
India bans Remdesivir exports till COVID surge abates
Seven Indian companies producing Remdesivir injections under voluntary licensing agreement with US-based Gilead Sciences have an installed capacity of about 38.80 lakh units per month
2
Government Halts Export Of Remdesivir Till COVID-19 Situation Improves
[…] The Government of India said: “Export of injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) prohibited till the COVID-19 situation in the countr […] of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir in India. Notably, there are seven Indian companies that are currently producing injection Remdesivir under voluntary licensing agreement with M/s Gilead Sciences, USA […]
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Export of anti-viral drug remdesivir prohibited in view of increased demand due to surge in COVID-19 cases: Centre. | Newsalert
Export of anti-viral drug remdesivir prohibited in view of increased demand due to surge in COVID-19 cases: Centre. PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 11-04-2021 18:11 IST | Created: 11-04-2021 18:11 IST Export of anti-viral drug remdesivir prohibited in view of increased demand due to surge in COVID-19 cases: Centre. (This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.) POST / READ COMMENTS Country India Share
0
Clinical Research Forum Presents Moderna and Pfizer with Award for Extraordinary Impact on Health | NEWS-Line for Healthcare Professionals
[…] Hospital; Margaret Lippincott, MD, Instructor in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital · Remdesivir in COVID 19 – John Beigel, MD, Associate Director for Clinical Research, National Institute o […]
1
Centre bans export of Remdesivir amid crunch, eases access of Covid patients to anti-viral drug – Coronavirus Outbreak News
[…] being used in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, the Centre has prohibited the export of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) […] In a press note on Sunday, the Centre prohibited exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). A number of companies in India produce Injection Remdesivir under a voluntary licensing agreement with US pharma giant Gilead Sciences […]
3
For God’s Sake, Get Vaccine, Drugs: Top Mumbai Doctor’s Desperate Appeal
[…] The hospital was not only short of vaccines but also life-saving drugs like Remdesivir, said Dr Jalil Parkar, a pulmonary consultant with the hospital […] There is a shortage of Remdesivir, there is shortage of Tosilizubam […] “My earnest request for god’s sake please see to it that Remdesivir, Tosilizubam, vaccination — they are available […]
16
Government bans export of Remdesivir till Covid-19 situation improves
economictimes.indiatimes.com – Today
[…] In an order, the government said it has banned export of Remdesivir injection and Remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) till the pandemic situation in the country stabilises […] the government has also taken a few steps to ensure easy access of hospital and patients to Remdesivir. These steps are: – All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/distributors t […]
6
COVID-19: India bans export of Remdesivir drug, injection as coronavirus cases surge | India News
zeenews.india.com – Today
CORONAVIRUS COVID-19: India bans export of Remdesivir drug, injection as coronavirus cases surge The Centre banned the export of Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients as the demand for anti-viral drug Remdesivir has surged […] As India experiences a second wave of novel coronavirus infections, the demand for anti-viral drug Remdesivir has surged too. The Centre on Sunday (April 11, 2021) banned the export of Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients […]
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India bans export of Remdesivir, its ingredients till COVID situation improves | Coronavirus News | Inshorts
inshorts.com – Today
india has banned the export of injection remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients api till the coronavirus situation in the country improves the centre said on sunday theres potential for further increase in demand for remdesivir in the coming days the government said adding that the …
0
Centre Bans Export of Remdesivir and Its Active Ingredients till Covid Crisis Eases in India
The Centre on Sunday prohibited the export of Remdesivir injection and its active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) till the pandemic situation arising ou […] The decision has been taken to ensure easy access of Remdesivir to infected patients and hospitals providing treating against the virus […] Several hospitals have complained of shortage of Remdesivir, considered a key anti-viral drug in the fight against COVID-19, especially in adult patients wit […] other steps to bring the situation under control, including advising all domestic manufactures of Remdesivir to display on their website, details of their stockists and distributors to facilitate access t […]
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India bans export of Remdesivir injection amid surge in Covid cases | India News – Times of India
NEW DELHI: India on Sunday banned the export of Remdesivir injection till the Covid-19 situation improves in the country […] The government in a statement said that all domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/distributors t […] of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir […] The alarming spike in Covid cases in the country has led to a sudden increase in demand for the Remdesivir injection used in treating Covid patients […]
0
India bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as COVID-19 cases surge
NEW DELHI: India said on Sunday it had banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients after a record spike in COVID-19 cases sent deman […] “In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves,” the health ministry said in a […]
0
India bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as COVID-19 cases surge | Reuters
[…] 1 MIN READ NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India said on Sunday it had banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients after a record spike in COVID-19 cases sent deman […] “In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves,” the health ministry said in a […]
2
India bans export of Remdesivir injection amid surge in Covid cases | India News – Times of India
timesofindia.indiatimes.com – Today
India News: NEW DELHI: India on Sunday banned the export of Remdesivir injection till the Covid-19 situation improves in the country.
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No lockdown in Madhya Pradesh, only ‘corona curfew’, says CM | Business Standard News
[…] We have received 4,000 injections of Remdesivir (the key anti-viral drug) and would be getting 5,000 more today […]
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Coronavirus: Centre bans export of antiviral drug Remdesivir amid surge in cases
scroll.in – Today
The Centre on Sunday banned the export of antiviral drug Remdesivir indefinitely, in view of the rising coronavirus cases in the country, ANI reported […] The government said the ban, which covers Remdesivir injections and Remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients, will be lifted only after there is an improvement in th […] Remdesivir is considered a key drug in combating Covid-19, especially in adult patients with sever […]
1
Gilead Sciences : India bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as COVID-19 cases surge | MarketScreener
“In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves,” the health ministry said in a statement. Seven Indian companies have licensed the drug from Gilead Sciences, with an installed capacity of about 3.9 million units per month. (Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by Susan Fenton)
0
Centre Prohibits Export of Remdesivir till COVID-19 Situation in Country Improves
Centre Prohibits Export of Remdesivir till COVID-19 Situation in Country Improves…
1
India bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as COVID-19 cases surge
mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com – Today
India bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as COVID-19 cases surge Reuters / Updated: Apr 11, 2021, 17:50 IST Representational Image […] Photo: BCCL New Delhi: India said on Sunday it had banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients after a record spike in COVID-19 cases sent deman […] “In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves,” the health ministry said in a […]
7
Centre prohibits export of Remdesivir & its API till COVID-19 situation improves in India
With several states complaining of shortage of Remdesivir injections – which is used in COVID-19 treatment, the Centre on Sunday, has banned the export of Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the COVID-19 situation in the country improves […] READ | Remdesivir shortage in Nagpur; Union Minister Nitin Gadkari dials Sun Pharma chief Govt bans export of Remdesivir Additionally, Centre has taken the following steps to streamline Remdesivir supply: All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website […]
15
Govt suspends export of Remdesivir till coronavirus situation improves | Business Standard News
The union government on Sunday suspended the export of Remdesivir injections and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the coronavirus situation improves in the country […] “The current situation has led to a sudden spike in demand for Remdesivir injection used in treatment of Covid patients […] In addition, the government has taken the steps to ensure easy access of hospital and patients to Remdesivir All domestic manufactures of Remdesivir have been advised to display on their website, details of their stock lists or distributors t […]
2
India bans export of Remdesivir drug, injection till Covid situation improves
“Export of injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) prohibited till the COVID-19 situation in the countr […] This has led to a sudden spike in demand for Injection Remdesivir used in treatment of COVID patients. There is a potential of a further increase in demand for Remdesivir injection in the coming days,” the Centre said in a statement […] of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir, it further stated. In its fresh order, it said that all domestic manufactures of Remdesivir advised to display on their website, details of their stockists/distributors to facilitate acces […]
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[…] We have received 4,000 injections of Remdesivir (the key anti-viral drug) and would be getting 5,000 more today […]
0
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[…] In an order, the government said it has banned export of Remdesivir injection and Remdesivir active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) till the pandemic situation in the country stabilises […] To ensure more people can get Remdesivir, the government said manufactures of Remdesivir have been asked to show on their website the details of their stockists and distributors […] of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir,” the government said. The National Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 lists Remdesivir as an investigational therapy, where informed and shared decision making is essential […]
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Remdesivir injections and Favipiravir tablets vanish from UP’s Prayagraj medicine shops | Allahabad News
dlsnewsindia.com – Today
PRAYAGRAJ: The Remdesivir injection and Favipiravir tablets seem to have vanished from the city-based medicine market wit […] at Leader road dealing wholesale medicine market claimed that there was an acute shortage of Remdesivir injection and Favipiravir tablets […] UP Chemist & Druggist Federation admitted to TOI that there has been an acute shortage of Remdesivir injection and Favipiravir tablets in markets and we have been demanding from concerne […] “ I have made calls to my relatives to arrange Remdesivir injection after seeing its acute crisis in city” said Ashutosh who arrived Leader road medicin […]
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NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FROM WESTERN REGION AT 5 pm. | Law-Order
[…] BOM2 MH-REMDESIVIR-CONTROL ROOMS Maha to set up control rooms for smooth supply of Remdesivir Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has decided to set up district-level control rooms to ensur […] government has decided to set up district-level control rooms to ensure smooth supply of Remdesivir injections and prevent hoarding and black-marketing of the drug, officials said on Sunday […]
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Coronavirus update: Latest Covid-19 vaccine and world news
[…] India has banned the export of anti-viral drug remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients following a rise in coronavirus cases, a statement fro […] The ban would apply to Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) until the Covid-19 situation in the country improves, th […] ministry said, adding that this rise has led to a sudden spike in demand for the anti-viral drug remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients used in the treatment of coronavirus patients […]
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[…] Carnival-loving, eloquent Soeder wants to be Germany’s first Bavarian chancellor 2h ago India bans Remdesivir exports as coronavirus rages on; rallies continue 2h ago Pacific island devotees of Prince Phili […]
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Last Updated: 11th April, 2021 16:37 IST AAP Slams BJP’s ‘free Remdesivir Distribution’ In Surat; Guj CM Says ‘not From Govt Stock’ Slamming BJP’s Gujarat unit over Remdesivir injection hoarding, AAP said that the BJP had taken PM Modi’s message of  “converting disasters o […] Currently, Gujarat’s neighbouring state Maharashtra too is facing an acute Remdesivir shortage. READ | Maharashtra to set up control rooms for smooth supply of Remdesivir amid COVID crisis “About Surat, C R Paatil has arranged for 5,000 Remdesivir injections […]
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This Remote Patient Monitoring Startup Just Landed A $70 Million Series C

Health Recovery Solutions in action

hen Covid-19 cases began to soar around Ann Arbor in April, the University of Michigan Hospital reached 100% capacity. Like most hospitals, University of Michigan Hospital was not ready for the pandemic surge, but they did have a leg up.

That same month they’d coincidentally implemented Health Recovery Solutions’ remote patient monitoring, a patented technology system that records patient vitals via Bluetooth and connects them with their clinicians through video or instant messaging. This enabled the resource-strapped hospital to care for over 400 patients remotely throughout 2020.

Today, HRS announced it closed a $70 million series C led by LLR Partners with participation from existing investor Edison Partners, bringing the Hoboken, New Jersey-based startup’s total funding to $86 million. The news comes on the heels of a year of massive growth, which saw their head count balloon 258% to 155 employees and revenue grow by 188% to $23.5 million.

“People are choosing the proven remote-monitoring solution right now,” says Jarrett Bauer, HRS’ Forbes 30 Under 30 cofounder and CEO. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re doing so well—people are looking for the company that’s best.”

Bauer, now 34, was inspired to start by HRS by his grandma. Battling a heart condition, Bauer’s grandma was admitted to the hospital three times, resulting in over $14,000 of medical bills. While pursuing his M.B.A. at Johns Hopkins in 2012, Bauer began constructing an at-home hospital alternative that would eventually become HRS. “We didn’t know where to start,” Bauer told Forbes in 2019 when the company raised its $10 million series B. “We just knew it was a problem, and the best companies solve problems.”

With Covid-19, telehealth doctor appointments have become just doctor appointments, increasing 154% from March to October of 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Rather than cut into HRS’ margins, the telehealth boom has helped HRS soar. The healthcare company has deals with over 220 U.S. healthcare systems—74 of which signed on as clients of HRS during the pandemic—with over 20,000 nurses checking HRS logs every day.

“We consider Health Recovery Solutions the Cadillac model,” says Brandy Knudson, Michigan Medicine’s Telehealth Project Manager. “It fills a huge gap for us because we want to reduce readmissions and reduce unnecessary trips to the hospital.”

The company makes money by billing clinical institutions on subscription to integrate their solutions in treatment, coming at no additional cost to patients. HRS recognizes the varying levels of sickness and technological ability of patients, so the company’s products range from a pulse oximeter for the sickest, while near-recovered patients can manually enter symptoms on HRS’ smartphone app.

All of this patient data is stored in a cloud for clinicians, making it easier to recognize prognosis patterns and health trends. By implementing HRS, major healthcare systems like Penn Medicine have reduced 30-day readmission by over 50% for all heart failure patients, while FirstHealth of the Carolinas says the technology has saved patients more than $1.9 million since its implementation in 2016.

“Patients are looking to stay in their homes longer, get care in their homes longer, and there’s an increasing prevalence of chronic conditions,” says Sasank Aleti, a partner at Philadelphia-based private equity firm LLR Partners. “HRS met our criteria of taking costs out of the system, driving better outcomes and a better patient experience.”

For Bauer, the future of HRS lies in universalizing hospital-from-home treatment. With the $70 million round, the company plans to more than double head count in 2021 to 250 employees with the goal of being able to treat over a million patients by adding new healthcare providers and upping their disease module count (they currently treat 90 diseases). “Why aren’t we like Google? Why aren’t we like Apple?” asks Bauer. “We’re playing to win—to be that.”

I’m the Under 30 Editorial Community Lead at Forbes. Previously, I directed marketing at a mobile app startup. I’ve also worked at The New York Times and New York Observer. I attended the University of Pennsylvania where I studied English and creative writing. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @iamsternlicht.

Source: This Remote Patient Monitoring Startup Just Landed A $70 Million Series C

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The coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed hospitals, physicians and the medical community. That’s pushed telemedicine into the hands of providers and patients as the first response for primary care. Telemedicine isn’t new to the medical community, however it hasn’t been embraced due to insurance coverage, mindset and stigma. Here’s how it works and what it means for the future of health care. » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic
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Why Doctors Feel Happy To Get Symptoms From The Covid-19 Vaccine

Doctors have been worried about this for a long time, and now it’s starting to happen. As the Covid-19 vaccine has started to become available beyond health care workers, people are starting to refuse to take their shot. If people won’t take the vaccine that could end the coronavirus pandemic, what comes next?

One of the most common reasons people develop fears of vaccines has to do with a common misunderstanding about side effects. But what most of the public doesn’t know is that doctors who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 were delighted when the vaccine gave them symptoms.

When doctors got sore arms, fatigue, muscle aches or fevers after their Covid-19 vaccine, they celebrated. That’s because those symptoms are not dangerous ‘reactions,’ but positive signs that the immune system is responding to the vaccine. Feeling lucky after the Covid-19 vaccine means it’s working.

As a pediatrician, educating parents about normal responses to vaccines is one of the first things I do. And that’s because there’s so much misinformation about vaccines. Take the dreaded fever for instance: the belief that fever is dangerous has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s not. We were told we need to bring our fevers down or something bad will happen. We don’t, and it won’t.

It’s not the fever that is dangerous, it’s that certain diseases that cause fever are (and most of those disease are now vaccine preventable). Or as Bruce Y Lee writes, “There’s a difference between feeling sick and being sick.”

The thing about fever is that it’s not actually caused by the viruses or infections that invade your body. Fever is something your body does for itself. Fevers are part of a beneficial response our immune system creates to boost our metabolism’s and the effectiveness of our white blood cells and fight off infections.

So when we get a fever after a vaccine, it means our immune system is doing exactly what we want it to do. We want the immune system to take notice and mount a response. For some that might mean a fever, but for almost everyone it means a sore arm or swelling around the site of the vaccination. And that’s all the immune system noticing the vaccine and mounting a response. Without the immune doing this work, we won’t get our memory B cells to store a pattern for defense against Covid-19.

When I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19, I experienced a sore swollen arm, on and off muscle aches, nausea and fatigue. These symptoms lasted about three days. But they weren’t nearly as bad as the various illnesses I’ve gotten from my adorable little pediatric patients over the years. I took naps during those days after the vaccine, but I was also well enough to take my rambunctious puppy to the dog park in the snow.

Most of my colleagues had sore arms for about a day after their vaccines. A couple of them had symptoms similar to mine and one of them even had a fever. But not one of these doctors was alarmed, instead we texted each other our happiness that we were getting to experience evidence that our vaccines were working.

Another example of how doctors think about side effects after the Covid-19 vaccine goes like this. The way Covid-19 is killing people has to do with an extreme immune system response. That heightened response or cytokine storm only happens to some people. While there is certainly no research evidence for this, doctors figure that those of us who had more symptoms after the vaccine might’ve just dodged a bullet. Maybe we were in the group that would’ve gotten sicker than others if we’ve gotten real Covid-19.

So the key thing we want the public to know is that doctors are not worried about the vaccine for Covid-19. We are worried that you won’t take it and that the pandemic will drag on. Doctors didn’t throw away our shot. We hope you won’t throw away yours.

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

How can we be successful without breaking ourselves? We can take effective action under pressure.

I teach people how to use their own biology to do their best work. After years of study, I created a 3-step method rooted in neuroscience and psychology, and I spoke about it at TEDx. Then I went wider, and explored what happens when we break down silos between scientific disciplines. It’s amazing what you learn when you get sociology talking to neuroscience, or child development talking to business research.

I am a board-certified pediatrician and an Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Rush University. I have an AB in History from Princeton University, i.e. Ideological and Cultural History. My M.D. came from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University. My pediatrics residencies were at Duke University and the University of Chicago. I am a former Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

I live in Illinois with my husband, two rambunctious sons, and a variety of hamsters.

Source: Why Doctors Feel Happy To Get Symptoms From The Covid-19 Vaccine

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This College Professor Became An Overnight Billionaire Fighting Covid

Every time you’re infected by bacteria or a virus, your immune system works to create treatments to defeat it. Molecularly unique to each person, these tiny cells, or antibodies, either destroy these invaders or mark them for other killer cells to track down.

Carl Hansen, 46, is geeking out as he describes the process over Zoom. “We can make 100 trillion different antibodies,” he exclaims. “The immune system is spectacular beyond description.”

If that sounds more like a college professor than the CEO of a $13 billion (market cap) biotech company, there’s a reason: Hansen was one—until 2019, when he left to focus on Vancouver-based AbCellera Biologics, cofounded with fellow researchers from the University of British Columbia in 2012. “Universities are very good at testing new ideas and looking for which road might be effective,” he says.

The team’s academic bent has played out in an even more important way. Nearly all biotech startups develop a handful of treatment targets, then spend the next 8 to 12 years developing those drugs, hoping to bring at least one of them to market. It’s not a sure thing—fewer than 10% of new drugs make it all the way. But when they do, they tend to be blockbusters: Seven of the ten top-selling drugs in 2018 were antibody treatments, including AbbVie’s $19 billion (net revenue) immunosuppressive drug Humira and Merck’s cancer drug Keytruda, which generated $11.1 billion in 2019.

AbCellera takes a vastly different approach. Instead of trying to build a vertically integrated drug company, it is focused solely on the discovery process. That’s the portion of drug development that is earliest and most essential: It’s there that the most promising treatment prospects are selected, subjected to early laboratory tests and then moved through the pipeline.

But AbCellera, which raised $105 million from investors including Peter Thiel, the University of Minnesota and OrbiMed in May—at a valuation of $4.8 billion, according to PitchBook, just six months before going public—is not interested in seeing it through from beginning to end. Instead it offers what might be described as “drug discovery as a service.” It works with 90 outside businesses, including pharma giants Pfizer, Gilead and Novartis. Those companies ask the biotech to find antibodies that meet certain criteria. AbCellera then uses its proprietary technology to find prospects.

In its highest-profile success to date, AbCellera examined thousands of antibodies derived from the blood of people who had recovered from Covid-19 in order to identify the antibodies that did the best job fighting the virus. It then turned over the most promising antibodies to drug company Eli Lilly. Clinical trials of one of those antibodies, bamlanivimab, began in May—just 90 days after the partnership started. Tests found patients with mild or moderate cases had good results, and in November, the antibody received emergency-use authorization from the FDA.

The federal government has contracted to purchase 950,000 doses of the drug for $1.2 billion. Eli Lilly issued guidance in mid-December expecting up to $2 billion in revenue from Covid-19 therapeutics in 2021, the bulk of which will come from bamlanivimab; AbCellera, which booked $25 million through the end of September 2020, will earn estimated royalties of $270 million on those sales, according to Credit Suisse.

AbCellera is also looking to speed up the time it takes to develop its antibody therapies. The shorter time frame saves millions in development costs while enabling revenues to come in sooner than expected. “From a financial perspective, every year that you save is a huge opportunity cost for investors,” says Gal Munda, an analyst at Berenberg Capital Markets.

Hansen is now worth $3 billion, thanks to the company’s white-hot December IPO. Asked about his meteoric rise into the three-comma club, Hansen is low-key: “It feels just a little bit surreal.” He’s more articulate about the biotech’s success: “If this example of Covid shows one thing, to me, it’s the proof point of the business model and the technology.”Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website. Send me a secure tip

Alex Knapp

Alex Knapp

I’m a senior editor at Forbes covering healthcare, science, and cutting edge technology. 

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CNBC Television

AbCellera Biologics CEO Carl Hansen joins ‘Closing Bell’ to discuss the company’s partnership with Eli Lilly in developing monoclonal antibody treatment and the company’s Covid-19 treatments. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi​ » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision​ » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC​ » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic​ Turn to CNBC TV for the latest stock market news and analysis. From market futures to live price updates CNBC is the leader in business news worldwide. The News with Shepard Smith is CNBC’s daily news podcast providing deep, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories. Available to listen by 8:30pm ET / 5:30pm PT daily beginning September 30: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/29/the-n…​ Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/​ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC​ Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC​ Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC​ Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBChttps://www.cnbc.com/select/best-cred..

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Is hypertension without any other comorbidities an independent predictor for COVID‐19 severity and mortality? – Salazar – – The Journal of Clinical Hypertension onlinelibrary.wiley.com – Today[…] For instance, when effective vaccines become available, priorities for vaccination should be defined […] with diabetes and/or established cardiovascular disease undoubtedly emerge as priorities for vaccination, the risk of individuals with hypertension without established cardiovascular disease or end‐orga […]0

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Branford Offers COVID Vaccination Appointments for Agest 75+ http://www.zip06.com – TodayLOCAL NEWS Branford Offers COVID Vaccination Appointments for Agest 75+ BY PRESS RELEASE, OFFICE OF BRANFORD FIRST SELECTMAN • 01/27/2021 10:3 […] EST COVID vaccination clinics for eligible individuals, by appointment only, will be held at Branford Canoe Brook Senio […] ) BRANFORD — January 26, 2021: By appointment, COVID vaccination clinics for eligible individuals will be held at the Canoe Brook Senior Center located [in th […]

AstraZeneca Battles Supply Chain Issues, Denies Claims Its Covid-19 Vaccine Is Largely Ineffective In Seniors

Pharma giant AstraZeneca could face strict new export rules from the European Union that could restrict supply of its Covid-19 vaccine outside the bloc, as officials pressure the company to explain production shortfalls, while the company denies claims in German media that its vaccine is mostly ineffective in seniors.

Key Facts

Citing government sources, two German papers reported Monday that the efficacy of the vaccine AstraZeneca developed with the University of Oxford was “less than 10%” and 8% in those over 65.  

AstraZeneca said the claims are “completely incorrect” and go against published data from its clinical trials which showed a significant response in over-65s..

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Oxford University , which developed the vaccine with AstraZeneca, told the Financial Times there is “no basis for the claims of very low efficacy.”

The German health ministry also rejected the reports Tuesday, suggesting that the newspapers had got confused with the statistics. 

The confusion comes as tensions between AstraZeneca and the European Union soar to new levels, with the bloc furious at the company’s apparent inability or refusal to explain why it cannot honor its agreements and threatening to introduce new export rules for vaccines leaving the Union. 

Forbes has contacted  AstraZeneca to find out whether its supply chain issues and export rules could threaten vaccine supply to other parts of the world.

Key Background

On Friday, AstraZeneca informed Brussels that production issues meant it would be unable to honor its contractual commitments to provide doses to the EU. The vaccine is expected to be approved shortly and the delays mark another setback for the bloc’s vaccination efforts, which are already being hampered by a temporary reduction in deliveries from Pfizer while it makes changes to its production site.  

Chief Critic 

The EU stopped short of directly accusing AstraZeneca of reneging on its contracts in order to sell doses elsewhere, but said: “The European Union wants to know exactly which doses have been produced by AstraZeneca and where exactly so far and if or to whom they have been delivered,” Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said in a statement.

Later, Kyriakides tweeted that discussions with the pharma giant “resulted in dissatisfaction” and there was a “lack of clarity and insufficient explanations.

What To Watch For

The EU may follow through on its threat to implement new vaccine export rules. This would require companies to seek permission before exporting internationally.   

Big Number 

31 million. This is how many doses the bloc is now expecting before the end of March, an EU official told Reuters. That amounts to a 60% cut.

Further Reading

Enraged at AstraZeneca over shortfall, EU calls for vaccine export controls (Politico)

AstraZeneca: German reports on low efficacy on over-65s ‘completely incorrect’ (DW)

Full coverage and live updates on the CoronavirusFollow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip

Robert Hart

Robert Hart

I am a London-based reporter for Forbes covering breaking news. Previously, I have worked as a reporter for a specialist legal publication covering big data and as a freelance journalist and policy analyst covering science, tech and health. I have a master’s degree in Biological Natural Sciences and a master’s degree in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. Follow me on Twitter @theroberthart or email me at rhart@forbes.com

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CNBC Television

AstraZeneca has received more than $1 billion from the U.S. Health Department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop a coronavirus vaccine from the University of Oxford. Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, joins “Squawk Box” and CNBC’s Meg Tirrell to discuss the company’s efforts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2JdMwO7​ » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision​ » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC​ » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic​ Turn to CNBC TV for the latest stock market news and analysis. From market futures to live price updates CNBC is the leader in business news worldwide. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/​ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC​ Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC​ Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC​ Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC

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