Shares of Veru Inc. soared nearly 200 percent after the Florida-based company announced its Phase III COVID-19 antiviral treatment was halted early based on positive efficacy following an Independent Data Monitoring Committee’s recommendation.

Coronavirus infections in Asia passed 100 million on March 30, according to a Reuters tally, as the region records a resurgence in cases dominated by the BA.2 Omicron sub-variant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a 2 mg dose of Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic (semaglutide) injection, a once-weekly glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog indicated along with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes and to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke or death in adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease.

Mainland China reported its first COVID-19 deaths in more than a year on March 19, according to a post on the National Health Commission’s website that said two people died in the northeastern region of Jilin.

Merck announced that the company’s proposed treatment Keytruda for non-small cell lung cancer delivered positive results from a Phase III trial. 

COVID-19 infections and deaths are declining in most of the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on March 16, with the exception of the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean Islands where cases increased by 56.6 percent in the past week.

Asia passed the grim milestone of 1 million coronavirus-linked deaths on March 11, a Reuters tally showed, as a spike in Omicron variant infections spreads across the region after starting in nations such as Japan and South Korea.

Two months after receiving a gene-edited pig heart, David Bennett Sr. passed away at the age of 57 years. 

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on March 9 said COVID-19 cases fell by 26 percent across the Americas during the previous week while deaths from the virus dropped by nearly 19 percent, but cautioned that some effective measures to curb infections should be maintained.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a partial clinical hold on Alpine Immune Sciences’ NEON-2 trial, which is evaluating davoceticept (ALPN-202) in combination with Merck’s immunotherapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in adults with cancer.