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Aaccording to the CDC, more than 150 Americans die every day from an overdose of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. The federal government, as well as many state and local governments, have declared the ongoing injuries and deaths resulting from fentanyl addiction to be public health emergencies. But a potential new solution to the opioid crisis could be simple: a vaccine.
Researchers at the University of Houston have developed a vaccine that causes the body to produce antibodies against fentanyl, blocking the drug from entering the brain and halting any euphoric effects. Additionally, it has shown no cross-reactivity with other less potent opioids, such as morphine, leaving this option open for pain treatment. The vaccine has been tested in mice, and researchers are now engaged in developing clinical-grade versions for potential human trials.
This biotech entrepreneur just raised $10 million to develop a universal flu vaccine
Distributed Bio co-founder Jacob Glanville’s new venture, Centivax, has just raised a funding round to lay the groundwork for human trials of its promising vaccine platform, which aims to dramatically increase the effectiveness of vaccines against rapidly mutating viruses like influenza and SARS-CoV-2.
Learn more here.
Offers of the week
Radiopharmaceuticals: Lantheus Holdings has signed an exclusive license agreement with Point Biopharma for two radiopharmaceutical treatment candidates, one aimed at metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and the other at gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in in a deal that could be worth up to $1.8 billion, not including royalties.
Dental fintech: Revere Partners, a venture capital firm focused on oral health, announced that it is investing more than $10 million in fintech companies serving the dental industry. The aim of the fund is to invest in companies that can reduce financial barriers for customers requiring dental care by adding transparency and consumer-based financing.
Gene + RNA editing: Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Metagenomi have announced that they are entering into a research collaboration combining Ionis’ RNA targeting therapies with Metagenomi’s gene-editing technology. The companies will initially review four treatment targets, and Ionis will make an upfront payment of $80 million to Metagenomi.
The growing scarcity of helium creates a potential health care crisis because MRI machines rely on it to function.
UnitedHealth Group Pharmacy Benefits Manager OptumRx said it would place three cheaper “biosimilar” versions of Abbvie’s expensive rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira “in the same position as the brand” on the PBM’s list of preferred drugs.
Emphysema and inflammation of the airways are more common in marijuana smokers than cigarette smokers, according to a new study.
walmart has offered to pay $3.1 billion to settle claims it mishandled prescriptions for strong painkillers, joining a growing list of companies striking billion-dollar deals to end a string of litigation over the opioid crisis.
Rising global temperatures and the spread of air pollutants could worsen the symptoms of neurological diseases including dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and ALS, researchers have warned in a new report.
Jtwo spokespersons of the Biden administration announced that the federal government would keep the Covid-19 public health emergency declaration in place. The possibility of an increase in cases in the winter and the need for more time to get out of the emergency room were two reasons for this decision. This means that Americans will continue to receive free Covid vaccines, tests and treatments. It’s a step back from an August announcement by the administration that it plans to let the status expire in January 2023, move to commercial purchases and shift the burden of care from Covid health to insurance companies and government health plans.
It was the right choice, say public health law experts Lawrence Gostin and James Hodge. Both argue that Covid-19 is still a major health threat as one of the top killers of Americans today. Additionally, hospitals and healthcare systems are being hit by RSV and influenza outbreaks, which in some areas has led to the opening of temporary locations to accommodate patients as hospitals run out of beds. Gostin and Hodge are also advocating for the government to plan clear steps to get out of emergency mode. “What is needed are definitive national guidelines on gradual de-escalation steps to ensure that millions of Americans, already battered by the worst infectious disease threat in US history, do not suffer the loss of livelihood or life, to the abrupt end of government authority and support,” they write.
The best reason to stay on top of recalls: Protection against infection, hospitalization and death from Covid-19 decreases over time
Until long-lasting “universal” coronavirus vaccines are developed, our best strategy for protection against infection, hospitalization and death is to stay current with our booster shots.
Learn more here.
Other coronavirus news
New research has found that those who have multiple Covid-19 infections were more likely to develop health problems like organ failure, kidney disease, mental health problems and diabetes. It also found that they were twice as likely to die and three times as likely to be hospitalized.
Children are battling flu, RSV and Covid as the winter season approaches – a phenomenon known as “tripledemic.” Here’s what you need to know about it.
Some experts believe Covid precautions like masking and social distancing have made immune systems vulnerable, resulting in something called a “immunity debt“It’s supposedly more damaging in children. However, others refute this claim, noting that the evidence does not support it.
Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter was a billion-dollar boon for these 13 hedge funds
‘The Devil in Nerd Clothes’: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s genius cult fooled everyone
No product. No partnership. No Customers: How a Soft-Talking Crypto Founder Fooled Executives and Investors
what else we read
Do you really want to read what your doctor writes about you? (Atlantic)
Why do bat viruses keep infecting people? (Nature)
Has faith fallen off a cliff during COVID? A new study says no. (Religious News)