Pharma News – November 6, 2019

Your weekly dose of interesting tidbits from around the pharma web…

 

Facebook has teamed up with American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American College of Cardiology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch a preventive health tool across the social media platform. The health tool delivers customized, evidence-based preventive measures to users designed to encourage dialogue with their primary care doctors. The tool is accessible now by typing “preventive health” into the Facebook mobile app. (MM&M)

 

AstraZeneca unveils three ways it plans to tighten ties to China. The first initiative is create a $1 billion healthcare industrial fund with China International Capital Corporation. The second initiative is to double the head count at AstraZeneca’s Shanghai R&D site. And the third initiative is to create an Artificial Intelligence center in Shanghai. This move is in stark contrast to peers such as Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis that closed Chinese research groups in 2016 and 2017. (FierceBiotech)

 

The first U.S. use of CRISPR against cancer patients seems safe so far, but it’s too soon to see if it improves survival. CRISPR is a tool to cut DNA at a specific spot. The study is aimed not at changing DNA, but more as an immunotherapy. It seeks to remove, alter and give back to the patient cells that are super-powered to fight their cancer. So far all three patients cells have survived and have been multiplying as intended. The American Society of Hematology will provide further details of the results at its annual conference in December. (StatNews)

 

A senior White House official told The Associated Press that the administration has concluded Pelosi’s plan is “unworkable” and Trump will instead support a bipartisan legislation pending in the senate. The bipartisan bill from Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore would for the first time limit what seniors have to pay out of their own pockets for medications. (APNews)

 

Optum, a division of United Healthcare, has acquired the patient monitoring startup Vivify Health. Remote patient monitoring companies claim that tracking at-risk patients at home allows for earlier interventions that helps to reduce the number of patients rushing to the emergency room. Vivify Health was founded in 2009 and its program incorporates health devices ranging from wireless scales to portable blood pressure cuffs. (CNBC)

 

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