The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been found in about 15 U.S. states so far, but the Delta variant remains the majority of COVID-19 cases nationwide, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on December 5.
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Six more U.S. states confirmed infections of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 on December 3, but the Delta strain likely remains a greater threat as winter sets in and Americans gather for the holidays, experts said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda for the adjuvant treatment of adult and pediatric (12 years and older) patients with stage IIB or IIC melanoma following complete resection. Additionally, the FDA expanded the indication for Keytruda as adjuvant treatment for stage III melanoma following complete resection to include pediatric patients (12 years and older).
Less than three months after Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi) agreed to be acquired by Advent International and GIC Special Investments for nearly $8 billion, the deal fell through after AstraZeneca withheld the company’s 8 percent stake from the buyout offer.
The Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 likely acquired at least one of its mutations by picking up a snippet of genetic material from another virus – possibly one that causes the common cold – present in the same infected cells, according to researchers.
The U.S. health regulator added the FDA’s strictest warning to the labels of drugs from Pfizer, Eli Lilly and AbbVie belonging to a class of anti-inflammatory treatments called JAK inhibitors, citing risk of serious health issues and death in patients 50 and over, the drugmakers said on December 3.
COVID-19 vaccine makers have contingency plans to deal with the Omicron variant that include a combination vaccine against the original version and the variant as well as a variant-specific booster dose, a top U.S. health official said on December 3.
Missouri detected the state’s first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in a resident of St. Louis who had recently traveled domestically, according to the state health department.
Researchers from Harvard University and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that the Moderna mRNA vaccine was slightly better than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Europe crossed 75 million coronavirus cases on December 3, according to a Reuters tally, as the region braces for the new Omicron variant at a time when hospitals in some countries are already strained by the current surge.