Reuters Health News Summary

29 Oct 2020 / 12:58 H.

    Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

    England's COVID-19 infections doubling every nine days: Imperial College

    The spread of the coronavirus continues to increase across all parts of England with cases doubling every nine days, according to a new study by Imperial College, putting pressure on the government to introduce more drastic lockdown restrictions. The respiratory pandemic has killed more than 45,675 people in Britain, the highest death toll in Europe.

    Next crop of COVID-19 vaccine developers take more traditional route

    The handful of drugmakers dominating the global coronavirus vaccine race are pushing the boundaries of vaccine technology. The next crop under development feature more conventional, proven designs. The world will need several different vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, given the sheer size of global need, variations in effects on different populations, and possible limits of effectiveness in the first crop.

    Japan's Shionogi readies COVID-19 vaccine for December trial: CEO

    Shionogi & Co is planning clinical trials by year-end for what may be one of Japan's first domestically produced COVID-19 vaccines to reach the market, as the globe races to secure enough doses to battle the pandemic. The company plans to put its vaccine candidate into Phase 1 clinical trials in December and shift into Phase 2 by January and apply for tentative approval from the government, Shionogi chief executive Isao Teshirogi told Reuters in an interview.

    India passes bleak landmark of 8 million coronavirus infections

    India crossed a grim milestone of 8 million coronavirus cases on Thursday, with a daily rise of 49,881 infections, health ministry data showed. The world's second most populous nation also has the second highest tally of infections after the United States, which has recorded 8.8 million.

    UK says COVID-19 vaccine roll out could start before Christmas

    A COVID-19 vaccine could be rolled out in Britain for some people before Christmas but an early 2021 launch is more likely, the woman responsible for procuring possible jabs in Britain said on Wednesday. "If the first two vaccines, or either of them, show that they are both safe and effective, I think there is a possibility that vaccine roll out will start this side of Christmas, but otherwise I think it's more realistic to expect it to be early next year," Kate Bingham said on BBC television.

    Australia's COVID-19 hotspot state reports one case after four month city lockdown lifted

    Australia's COVID-19 hotspot state Victoria reported only one new infection on Thursday, a day after it lifted a four month lockdown in the city of Melbourne. Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said that while there were three positive cases of COVID-19 detected in the past 24 hours, two may be old infections.

    Britain expects verdict on Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine before AstraZeneca's: Times

    Senior sources in the British government expect that a verdict on whether Pfizer Inc-backed COVID-19 vaccine works will be available before the results are in on AstraZeneca Plc's competing vaccine, the Times reported. Britain believes that the vaccine, which Pfizer is co-developing with Germany's BioNTech SE, could be ready to distribute before Christmas, the report said.

    U.S. strikes deal with Lilly for potential COVID-19 antibody drug

    The U.S. government has agreed to pay $375 million to Eli Lilly and Co for 300,000 doses of its experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment, a drug similar to a treatment that U.S. President Donald Trump received. Lilly will start delivering the doses within two months of receiving an emergency use authorization from the U.S. health regulator, the company said.

    Hospitals in Wisconsin, Texas under strain as COVID-19 cases surge

    UW Health University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin has been rushing to convert available space into units for COVID-19 patients, as the state's medical facilities struggle to keep pace with a surge in new infections. As part of the effort, the medical center opened a new intensive care unit (ICU) this week ahead of schedule, and it is quickly filling with coronavirus patients.

    Gilead cuts 2020 sales outlook as COVID-19 drug remdesivir falls short

    Gilead Sciences Inc on Wednesday cut its 2020 revenue forecast, citing lower-than-expected demand and difficulty in predicting sales of remdesivir, the only treatment approved in the United States for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Remdesivir brought in $873 million in the quarter, below analysts' estimates of $960 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

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