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Congo says aims to vaccinate 11.6 mln against yellow fever
27 Jun 2016 at 11:54pm
(Reuters) - A campaign to vaccinate 11.6 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo against yellow fever will start on July 20, the health minister said on Monday. Health Minister Felix Kabange said the aim was to cover everyone in the capital Kinshasa and the provinces of Kwango, Lualaba and Kasai, except children under 9 months. (Reporting by Amedee Mwarabu Kiboko and; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
Novartis and Xencor enter into bispecific antibody agreement
27 Jun 2016 at 10:38pm
Novartis has received rights with Xencor to develop bispecific antibodies for treating cancer. "Under the terms of the agreement, Xencor is receiving a $150 million upfront payment from Novartis and the two companies will equally share the cost to jointly develop two Xencor antibodies targeting the CD3 domain," Novartis said. Novartis would additionally receive rights to develop and commercialize four further bispecific antibodies and to use Xencor's antibody technology in up to 10 additional molecules, the companies said.
Roche anticipates quicker U.S. approval for new MS drug
27 Jun 2016 at 10:04pm
By John Miller ZURICH (Reuters) - Roche's new multiple sclerosis (MS) drug could be approved in the United States this year, earlier than previously forecast, the Swiss drugmaker said on Tuesday, after winning the U.S. regulator's priority review status for the medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepted marketing applications for Roche's Ocrevus medicine, for both the relapsing-remitting and primary-progressive forms of MS, the company said in a statement. With FDA fast-track review, Roche said U.S. approval for Ocrevus now could come by Dec. 28, faster than the company's previous estimate of early 2017.
Pfizer to invest $350 million in China biotech hub, first in Asia
27 Jun 2016 at 9:50pm
Pfizer Inc will invest $350 million to build a biotech center in China, the latest in a series of moves by pharma industry giants to set up shop in the world's no. 2 drugs market with the aim of securing faster approvals for their products. The facility in eastern Hangzhou region - Pfizer's first biotech center in Asia - is expected to be completed by 2018, the firm said in a statement on Tuesday. Global "Big Pharma" is increasingly looking for smart ways to tap China's healthcare market, estimated by consultancy IMS Health to be worth around $185 billion by 2018.
Court decision shifts abortion battle to state bans
27 Jun 2016 at 6:30pm
The battle over abortion was expected to shift to measures focusing on the fetus in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court?s decision striking down a Texas law enacted in the name of maternal health. The 5-3 ruling held that Texas clinic regulations put an undue burden on women seeking abortion, a right established in the court?s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The ruling could affect similar laws in more than a dozen states and stands as the biggest affirmation of abortion rights in more than two decades.
UNICEF finds dramatic inequality among world's poorest, richest children
27 Jun 2016 at 5:15pm
By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The number of children who do not attend school is rising, child marriage has not dropped in decades and millions of young children will die mostly preventable deaths by 2030 if global poverty is not addressed, UNICEF said in a bleak report issued on Tuesday. Poor children are twice as likely as rich children to die before age 5, and poor girls are more than twice as likely to become child brides in signs of troubling inequality, said the annual report by the United Nations' children's agency. Noting some progress in halving global mortality rates for children under 5 since 1990 and boys and girls attending primary school in equal numbers in 129 countries, the report said such developments have been neither even nor fair, with repercussions for global turmoil.
Viacom board rejected offer for director to meet Sumner Redstone
27 Jun 2016 at 4:16pm
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Viacom Inc's board rejected an offer by Sumner Redstone's attorneys to have one of Viacom's independent directors meet face-to-face with the 93-year-old media mogul to get an understanding of his views on the media company, a spokesman for Redstone confirmed on Monday. The board's dismissal of a possible route toward a settlement shows how far apart the two sides are in the legal fight for control over Redstone's $40 billion media empire, amid questions over whether the magnate is making his own decisions or is even of sound enough mind to do so. Redstone offered to meet Viacom independent director Charles Phillips in the days after Viacom lead independent director Fred Salerno filed suit over Redstone's June 16 move to oust him and four other directors, including Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, from the Viacom board, Reuters exclusively reported Monday.
Japan revamps child welfare, but tens of thousands still institutionalized
27 Jun 2016 at 4:11pm
The director of the institution, nurses scurrying busily around him, says he would like extra time and staff to pay more attention to the 70 babies and toddlers under his care, but it's not going to happen. It's a difficult situation." Japan last month passed a bill overhauling its 70-year-old Child Welfare Law, recognizing a child's right to grow up in a family setting. It is short on specific, immediate measures, but experts say it's a first step to making institutions a last resort, rather than the default position.
'Three Amigos' aim for more clean power by 2025: White House
27 Jun 2016 at 4:08pm
By Roberta Rampton and David Ljunggren WASHINGTON/OTTAWA (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will commit to a new regional clean power goal at a summit this week in Ottawa, the White House said on Monday. The leaders, meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday at the so-called "Three Amigos" summit, will pledge to have their countries produce 50 percent of their power by 2025 from hydropower, wind, solar and nuclear plants, carbon capture and storage, as well as from energy efficiency measures, the White House said.
Trial begins in lawsuit over spinal bone cement
27 Jun 2016 at 3:51pm
SEATTLE (AP) ? The physician who used a non-FDA-approved bone cement during a woman's spinal surgery and the company that ran an illegal test market to promote the dangerous product should be held accountable for her death, a lawyer for the woman's daughter told a jury Monday.
PepsiCo brings back aspartame as diet cola sales fizzle
27 Jun 2016 at 3:40pm
PepsiCo said Monday it is putting aspartame back into some diet beverages in the United States, just a year after pulling the artificial sweetener from its products over consumer concerns about safety. "Consumers want choice in diet colas, so we're refreshing our US lineup to provide three options that meet differing needs and taste preferences," a PepsiCo spokeswoman, Gina Anderson, said in an email to AFP. The move comes as PepsiCo struggles with fizzling diet-cola sales.
GE Capital to sell bulk of U.S. restaurant franchise loan portfolio
27 Jun 2016 at 3:28pm
GE said it would retain the financing verticals related to its industrial businesses and sell the restaurant franchise financing assets to First Horizon National Corp , Wintrust Financial Corp and Sterling Bancorp . The sale is part of GE's plan to sell about $200 billion of GE Capital's businesses largely by the end of this year as it switches focus back to its industrial roots. GE said it had signed GE Capital deals worth about $180 billion so far and that GE Capital expects to deliver about $35 billion of dividends to the company under the plan.
Even with good healthcare, social factors affect death risk
27 Jun 2016 at 3:25pm
By Andrew M. Seaman Even in Sweden, a country with universal healthcare, disadvantaged people with diabetes are still more likely to die compared to diabetics with social and economic advantages, a new study finds. The risk of death was affected by marital status, education, immigration history and wealth, even though these factors don't stand in the way of receiving healthcare for the people in the study. "Sweden is arguably one of the most equitable countries in the world when it comes to use and access to healthcare," said lead author Dr. Araz Rawshani, of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.
Researchers may have found second 'superbug' gene in U.S. patient
27 Jun 2016 at 3:15pm
Scientists may have identified a second patient in the United States infected with bacteria carrying the mcr-1 "superbug" gene, which makes bacteria highly resistant to a last-resort class of antibiotics. The gene is believed to have been found in a sample of E. coli bacteria from a patient in New York. The finding follows the discovery late last month of a patient in Pennsylvania who had a urinary tract infection caused by E. coli that carried the gene.
Abortion providers aim to reopen some closed Texas clinics
27 Jun 2016 at 3:15pm
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Abortion providers in Texas reacted with surprise and elation on Monday to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to throw out the state's restrictive abortion law and said they aimed to reopen some clinics shut down since the measure was passed in 2013. Since the law was passed by a Republican-led legislature and signed by a Republican governor, the number of abortion clinics in Texas, the second-most-populous U.S. state with about 27 million people, has fallen from 41 to 19. "I am honestly surprised by the Supreme Court decision," Rachel Bergstrom-Carlson, health center manager at Planned Parenthood of Austin, said at the clinic that performs about 250 abortions per month in the Texas state capital.