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In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

August 29, 2022 by Hannah Sachs-Wetstone

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The World Health Organization (WHO) awarded the first prequalification to an African-manufactured antimalarial drug used to prevention infection in pregnant women and infants. The medicine, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, marketed as Wiwal, is made by Kenyan drug company Universal Corporation Limited. The approval is a step toward strengthening local production of medicines, as well as addressing the disproportionate burden of malaria in Africa.

An Oxford University research team announced their new PLATINUM trial assessing whether SIGA Technologies’ tecovirimat (Tpoxx) is an effective treatment for monkeypox. The study seeks to recruit at least 500 participants, who will be given a 14-day treatment of two doses daily or a placebo. Tpoxx has been cleared by the United Kingdom and European Union to treat diseases caused by the family of orthopoxvirus that includes smallpox and monkeypox based on studies in animals and healthy humans, though it has only been used in severe cases in Great Britain. In the United States and Canada, the drug has only been approved to treat smallpox. There have been no studies assessing the effectiveness of the drug in hastening recovery in those infected with monkeypox.

Moderna announced that it has requested emergency approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its variant-updated COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is a booster dose for adults 18 years and older targeting Omicron subvariants B.A.4 and B.A.5. If approved, doses could be ready to ship in September. Moderna’s announcement follows Pfizer and BioNTech’s news that they have applied for FDA approval for their updated booster.

About the author

Hannah Sachs-WetstoneGHTC

Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.Prior to joining GHTC, more about this author