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This week, Forbes launched its annual list of the World’s Most Powerful Women. And while many of the people on the list are politicians, like the No. 1 ranked Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission, there are also a number of women on the list who are involved in healthcare. For example, there’s Melinda French Gates, who co-chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides grants for disease-fighting all over the world. Also on the list? Karen Lynch, CEO of CVS Health, and Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens. The list also includes healthcare heavy hitters, Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline; Judy Faulkner, CEO of Epic Systems; and Gail Boudreaux, CEO of Elevance Health.

You can check out the full list by clicking here.


This Company Just Raised $140 Million To Accelerate Patient-Oriented, Value-Based Primary Care

UpStream integrates teams of pharmacists and other experts into primary care systems to better manage care for Medicare patients. The end result? Better care outcomes for less money.

Read more here.


Deals Of The Week

Precision Medicine: Massachusetts-based Entact Bio has raised an $81 million Series A round to advance development of its platform, which aims to enhance the function of key proteins.

New Bio Fund: Avalon BioVentures, a spinoff firm from Avalon Ventures, announced that it has raised $135 million for its first fund, which will be focused on life sciences companies only.

Immunology: AbbVie announced that it’s launched a collaboration with HotSpot Therapeutics to license its treatment for autoimmune diseases, which is still in the discovery phase. The deal includes an upfront payment of $40 million to HotSpot, with milestone payments and potential royalties as well.


Noteworthy

A newly discovered immune response inside the nose could explain why respiratory illnesses like RSV, Covid, the common cold and flu thrive in winter, according to research published this week.

Billionaire Elon Musk said on Friday that his company Neuralink intends to begin human trials of its brain implant next year—but the company is also reportedly under investigation for alleged animal welfare abuses.

Hemophilia gene therapy Hemgenix was approved by the FDA last week and has an eye-popping price of $3.5 million per dose. But it’s not likely to be a financial burden to payers, writes Forbes contributor Joshua Cohen, and has a good chance of being more cost-effective than current treatments in the long run.

Novartis and the Medicines for Malaria Venture are moving into phase three clinical trials for their fixed-dose combination drug for patients with malaria.

Eight children in the United Kingdom have died in the past two months due to invasive strep infections.

Coronavirus Updates

Last week, we discussed the protests that have erupted in China over its zero-Covid policies. It looks like there’s been an impact: The national government has signaled that it will be loosening those restrictions–even as its official figures are recording record-high infections (though those “record-high” weekly Covid figures would represent a low, very good week for the United States). That includes lifting harsh quarantines and easing restrictions on travel between regions. These changes suggest that China is now abandoning its zero-Covid strategy in favor of trying to manage the spread of infection.

That’s going to be a major challenge, experts say, because China has not used lockdowns as an opportunity to expand vaccination in the country, even among its most vulnerable populations. Which means if China does give up its policy, more record weeks are likely. Some predictions suggest that if China were to lift its policy completely without widespread vaccinations, as many as 2 million people could die as a result. That’s not a likely scenario: Even the country’s “looser” rules are stricter than those in many other countries. But it does show the challenges the country will be dealing with in the weeks and months ahead.


Covid Still Killed Over 9,000 Americans In November, As Attention To It (And To Boosters) Declines

Covid hospital admissions are trending upwards and at least 9,000 died from the virus in November, figures at odds with widespread beliefs that the pandemic is over as increasing numbers of Americans return to their pre-pandemic lives and shun updated vaccines as immunity fades and the virus continues to evolve.

Read more here.

Other Coronavirus News

A new study finds that symptomatic Covid-19 infection is associated with the risk of developing overactive bladder symptoms or exacerbating existing symptoms.

No, the genetic material from PCR tests for Covid isn’t being used to make human clones.

A recent report from the CDC finds that Covid antivirals are being underutilized, which may be leading to hospitalizations and deaths that could have been prevented.

Across Forbes

Trump Owed Hidden Debt While In Office

2022 Forbes Holiday Gift Guide: An A-To-Z Guide Of Letter-Perfect Presents

Elon Musk Has Outfitted Twitter’s Headquarters With Bedrooms For Employees

What Else We are Reading

Medical malpractice lawsuits, delayed by the pandemic, are hitting hospitals harder than expected (Stat)

Hackers linked to Chinese government stole millions in Covid benefits, Secret Service says (NBC News)

Severe COVID could cause markers of old age in the brain (Nature)

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