InnovationRx: 50 Over 50; Plus Covid Clouds The Tokyo Olympics
InnovationRx is your weekly digest of healthcare news. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.
Today Forbes unveiled its inaugural 50 Over 50 List highlighting the women who are proving that success has no age limit. The list was filled with top-notch health industry leaders including Katalin Karikó, a biochemist and senior vice president at BioNTech, who pioneered research in mRNA technology which is fundamental to Covid-19 vaccines. Other healthcare honorees include: Rosalind Brewer, who 58, was named CEO of the Walgreens Boots Alliance this year, making her the only Black woman at the helm of an S&P 500 company. Nobel Prize-winning chemist Jennifer Doudna, 57, who is renowned for her work in CRISPR gene editing, which holds tremendous promise for future gene therapies to cure some rare diseases. And Karen Lynch, 58, is the president and CEO of CVS Health, which has played a crucial role in distributing Covid-19 vaccines across the U.S. The full list is here.
Plus, tennis star Naomi Osaka, 23, took a stand to protect her mental health over rigid French Open rules requiring obligatory press conferences. Osaka withdrew from the tournament and her sponsors backed her up, praising her for shining a spotlight on the importance of mental health.
Biohaven Scores Another FDA Approval On Its Quest To Beat Big Pharma
Biohaven’s Nurtec is the first drug to be approved by the FDA to treat acute migraines and for migraine prevention. The scrappy Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company with a $5 billion market cap is taking on the likes of pharmaceutical behemoths AbbVie, Lilly and Teva. Biohaven has similar revenue for its acute migraine treatment compared to competitors 40 times its market cap. One key factor? The company’s decentralized structure and aggressive marketing campaigns, which have included celebrities like Khloe Kardashian and Whoopi Goldberg. Read more here.
Walgreens Boots Alliancecompleted the sale of its European drug distribution business to wholesaler Amerisource Bergen for $6.5 billion.
The Tokyo Olympics are less than two months away, but the preparation has been anything but smooth. A slow vaccine rollout in Japan has led to a surge of new cases, and mounting opposition towards the games from the public. In a recent survey, 83% of Japanese respondents said that they want the Olympics to be canceled or postponed due to the risk of Covid-19 infection. And now, another stumbling block: volunteers are resigning en masse, with more than 10,000 volunteers dropping out to date. Meanwhile, in Europe the slow vaccine rollout is finally picking up the pace.
How To Investigate A Lab Leak
Dr. Mark Kortepeter, an infectious disease and biodefense expert, breaks down the different scenarios for lab leaks and how the U.S. can conduct its investigation into the virus’ origins. Read more here.
Other Coronavirus News
A recent study shows that the Pfizer vaccine may be linked to several heart inflammation cases in Israel.
24 states plan to cut off the $300-a-week unemployment benefits, which could cost their economies a combined $12 billion.