The latest wave of COVID-19 infections has “overwhelmed” Hong Kong, the city’s leader said on Feb. 14, as daily cases have surged by some 20 times over the past two weeks, leaving hospitals short of beds and struggling to cope. South Korea will begin giving out fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines during February and supply millions of additional home test kits to ease shortages amid a surge in Omicron infections, authorities confirmed on Feb. 14.

Taiwan directly accused China for the first time on May 26 of blocking a deal with Germany’s BioNTech SE for Covid-19 vaccines, in an escalating war of words after Beijing offered the shots to the island via a Chinese company.

A top U.S. scientist said governments should not count on a successful vaccine against COVID-19 being developed anytime soon when deciding whether to ease restrictions imposed to curb the pandemic.

Hearing loss in middle age is associated with higher odds of cognitive decline and dementia in later years, suggests a large study in Taiwan.

Days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provided an expedited path forward for SAGE Therapeutics’ depression treatment SAGE-217, the company snagged a deal worth $575 million from Japanese pharma firm Shionogi & Co. Ltd. to market the potential drug in parts of Asia.

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. Ltd. and Poxel SA announced the signing of a strategic partnership for the development and commercialization of Imeglimin – an investigational therapeutic agent for type 2 diabetes – in Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and nine other Southeast Asian countries. Poxel is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative treatments for metabolic disorders.

There is a ray of sunshine for beleaguered Tesaro as Japanese pharma giant Takeda Pharmaceutical struck a deal worth up to $340 million for Asian development and marketing rights for recently approved PARP inhibitor Zejula (niraparib).