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BUT A World Health Organization committee will meet on Thursday to discuss the growing global monkeypox outbreak and whether it will rise to the level of a public health emergency of international concern. This high alert level from the UN body means that there is a “serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected” public health risk that crosses international borders. There are currently two public health emergencies in the world: the Covid-19 pandemic declared in 2020 and the poliovirus declared in 2014. WHO confirmed as of June 15, there have been more than 2,100 cases and one death in 42 different countries. The UK has the highest number of confirmed cases with 524, followed by Spain with 313 cases and Germany with 263 cases. Most of the cases occurred among people who self-identify as men who have sex with men, but the agency also cautioned against stigmatizing certain populations. Countries have begun to stockpile vaccines, although the WHO recommends targeted vaccination only for people who may have been directly exposed at this time.

While the UK is battling the highest number of monkeypox cases, there are also reports of poliovirus being found in London sewage for the first time in decades. British health officials declared a national incident on Wednesday, although they warned the risk of contracting polio was low. The virus was discovered through sewage surveillance and is believed to have come from a person from overseas who had been vaccinated with a weakened live form of the virus. Since 2004, people in the UK have received an inactivated form of the virus in their polio vaccines, but other countries have used a weakened live form.


Gene genies: inside a revolutionary biotechnology that can edit the DNA inside living people

John Leonard created Intellia Therapeutics with Jennifer Doudna, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist and pioneer of gene editing technology. The company has figured out how to change the disease-causing genes in patients, but before any breakthrough treatments emerge, it must first cure itself of its legal and financial problems. Read more here.


Deals of the week

Gene Therapy: Carbon Biosciences, developing a parvovirus-based delivery system for gene therapy. announced on Tuesday it raised a $38 million Series A round. The funding will be used, among other things, to develop a drug candidate for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

Diagnostics: Proscia, a digital pathology firm, has announced it is raising $37 million Series C round, bringing its total funding to $72 million. The Philadelphia-based startup plans to use the capital to expand its computer pathology software, which is used to diagnose conditions like melanoma.

Synthetic Bio: Antheia, a synthetic biology company developing plant-based active pharmaceutical ingredients, raised $40 million in debt financing from Oxford Finance LLC and Silicon Valley Bank, which will build a 14,700-square-foot bio-production expansion plant near their headquarters in Menlo Park, California.


noteworthy

Biden administration will import 23 million eight-ounce bottles of baby food from Mexico, Germany and Australia to fight nationwide shortages.

Four out of five Americans diabetes went into debt to cover the cost of insulin, with the average credit card debt as high as $9,000, according to the survey.

walgreens launches a clinical trials business, hoping to increase racial and ethnic diversity for patients in drug research.

Coronavirus updates

Moderna released new data on the effectiveness of its omicron-specific booster shot Wednesday as the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech braces for a possible increase in Covid cases in the fall. A bivalent booster injection targeting both the original coronavirus strain and the omicron variant also elicited a strong humoral response against two omicron subvariants known as BA.4 and BA.5. The 50 µg booster increased neutralizing antibodies by 5.4-fold in the two sub-variants, which was lower than the 8-fold jump for the original Omicron strain. “We will urgently submit this data to regulatory authorities and prepare to ship our next-generation bivalent booster starting in August, ahead of a potential rise in SARS-CoV-2 infections due to Omicron sub-options in early autumn,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said. said in a statement.

Thanks to our Forbes summer colleague Ariana Griffin for helping us make this newsletter!


Covid, conflict and climate fuel global food crisis – leaders must act quickly

“If you think we have hell on earth right now, just brace yourself,” World Food Program executive director David Beasley warned recently. Read more here.

More Coronavirus News

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Covid-19 vaccines for young children were approved over the weekend, the last major segment of the US population to remain unacceptable.

Broadway theaters mask mandates will be abolished in July, adopting a policy of “optional masks” instead.

Dutch study long covid shows that 50% of study participants have one or more symptoms three months after being infected with the coronavirus.

There is a growing demand for business and engineering talent in Australia, India and Singapore as companies look to establish multiple regional hubs in Asian-Pacific area market after the Covid pandemic.

Via Forbes

Australian mining billionaire touts ‘green revolution’ in US coal country – with skepticism behind

California couple got rich at Clif bars

They Inherited Billions Upon Billions: Meet America’s Wealthiest Heirs

What else do we read

FDA to order Juul e-cigarettes from US market (The Wall Street Journal)

Medicare Could Save Over $3 Billion Annually Using Mark Cuban’s New Online Generic Drug Company – Study (Endpoints News)

Facebook collects sensitive health information from hospital websites (The Markup/STAT)

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