Healthcare & Lifescience Talking Points | 18/01/2018

In today’s talking points: Biotech booming in China; Universal flu vaccine needed urgently; Aussie teens sobering up to the harmful effects of alcohol


Biotech booming in China

Biotechnology is now one the most in demand and rapidly developing industries in China. As part of the PRC’s ‘Thousand Talents’ initiative over 1400 out of a total 7000 life-sciences experts and business leaders have been recruited to supercharge the space in China, making it the largest cohort overall. In the 2.5 years prior to June 2017 Chinese venture capital and private equity funds raised $45 billion for investment in the life sciences, with some firms growing up to 20% year-on-year. Consequently demand for professionals has been enormous, especially in biotech start-ups. In June 2017 investor confidence was raised when the CFDA agreed to align drug regulations with global standards. It follows a widespread emphasis on innovation plus R&D across the PRC, with biotech being ripe for expansion.

Read more at: Nature


Universal flu vaccine needed urgently

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, responsible for the deaths of at least 50 million people (or 3-5% of the total world population). In that time vaccines have been available yet they cannot keep up with the viruses constant mutations and is only 60% effective. Dr. Fauci of the US National Institutes of Health states the most pressing strain is the lethal H7N9 bird flu. Which since 2013 has transferred to over 1500 people in China and has mutated, meaning current US vaccine stockpiles are no longer effective. Fortunately the last major pandemic in 2009 was mild, but in an ever more globalised world being prepared for such a crisis has never been more important.

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Aussie teens sobering up to the harmful effects of alcohol

The Drug and Alcohol Review published a study by Deakin University researchers on Friday and the results suggest that Australian teens are a “sober generation.” Between 1991 and 2015, 41,000 teenagers from Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland were surveyed. In 2000, almost 70 per cent had drunk a full glass of alcohol, compared with 45 per cent in 2015. Parents’ ability to communicate the harmful effects of alcohol to their children and limit their supply have been named as the key contributing factors to the decline, along with teenagers becoming increasingly health conscious.

Read more at: ABC