LONDON – Researchers have pinpointed a little-studied gene as responsible for doubling the risk of respiratory failure in COVID-19 and shown exactly how it exerts its effect. The gene, leucine zipper transcription factor like 1, is activated by a single base pair change on chromosome 3 that occurs in 60% of people of South Asian ancestry and 15% of people of European ancestry.
Fapon Biotech Inc. expanded its presence in the global next-generation sequencing (NGS) market by acquiring all of the shares in U.S. firm Sequlite Genomics US Inc. With the acquisition, the Dongguan, China-based Fapon Biotech will manage Sequlite’s product development and business operation.
A closely watched oral antiviral for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 will soon be available in Britain after a conditional authorization by the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics Inc. and Merck & Co. Inc., the drug will be marketed as Lagevrio (molnupiravir) and made available via a national study this winter, the government said.
Med-tech happenings, including deals and partnerships, grants, preclinical data and other news in brief: Aditxt, Betternight, Clario, Cytek Biosciences, Exact Sciences, Heartflow, Innovia, Molex, Nanostring Technologies, Peerbridge Health, Phillips-Medize, Sleep Data Services.
A few hours after the U.S. CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Nov. 2 recommendation to allow children ages 5 through 11 to be administered Pfizer Inc. and Biontech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty (tozinameran), the agency’s director, Rochelle Walensky, endorsed the recommendation. The recommendation came as the World Health Organization (WHO) expanded the COVID-19 vaccines it recommends in the fight against the pandemic by endorsing Bharat Biotech International Ltd.’s Covaxin.
Although the BioWorld Biopharmaceutical Index has recovered slightly within the last month, it is showing only a small gain since the start of the year. Up by 2.82%, it is somewhat in line with the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index gain of 4.83%, but significantly beneath the broader markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, for example, was up by 17.03% at the end of October.