DAILY DOSE: Zero-Covid strategy claims a child’s life in China; Indian air pollution reaches life threatening levels.

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BETTING ON PHARMA.

Investment firm, J.P. Morgan is set to dive into the wild world of drug development. According to Fierce Biotech,

A few days ago, Stephen Squinto, Ph.D., had the kind of phone call that reminded him why he’s in the industry. The founder and former chief global development officer of Alexion (now owned by AstraZeneca), along with his new private equity partner Gaurav Gupta, were speaking with a 22-year-old woman whose life had been changed by one of Alexion’s rare disease drugs. She was correctly diagnosed at 14 and is now a law student who runs half-marathons. In the words of Squinto: “She can actually dream about the future.” 

Squinto, Gupta and Anya Schiess hope their new venture operation will have the opportunity to spur many more of those phone calls. The three make up the executive team of J.P. Morgan’s new life sciences private equity arm, Life Sciences Private Capital, which launched earlier this week. Both Squinto and Gupta also spent time at the well-known venture firm OrbiMed, while Schiess co-founded and was general partner at Healthy Ventures. 

In an interview with Fierce Biotech, Squinto and Gupta acknowledged they aren’t going to win every bet, but the hope is that the investments they make will be game changers. 

“Now, we're not going to find that that often. But, you know, we're going to look to find that occasionally, and that's what I hope happens,” said Squinto.

As we’ve noted on several occasions, the drug development business is not for the faint of heart. https://bit.ly/3zFJ1e3


ZERO-COVID CLAIMS A CHILD’S LIFE.

A child has died as a result of Beijing’s Zero-Covid strategy, according to reports, resulting in public anger. Per CNN,

The death of a 3-year-old boy following a suspected gas leak at a locked down residential compound in northwestern China has triggered a fresh wave of outrage at the country’s stringent zero-Covid policy.

The boy’s father claimed in a social media post that Covid workers tried to prevent him from leaving their compound in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, to seek treatment for his child – causing a delay that he believes proved fatal.

A social media post by the father on Wednesday about his son’s death was met with an outpouring of public anger and grief, with several related hashtags racking up hundreds of millions of views over the following day on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform.

“Three years of pandemic was his entire life,” a popular comment read.

At what point does the strategy become untenable? https://cnn.it/3UiHymp


LIFE-THREATENING POLLUTION IN INDIA.

India’s urban air pollution is out of control. Conditions are getting so bad that people are calling them a crime against humanity. Per Reuters,

Delhi's 20 million residents were effectively breathing smoke on Thursday as the air quality index (AQI) breached the "severe" and "hazardous" categories in nearly all monitoring stations of the Indian capital, raising calls to close schools.

The AQI exceeded 450 at many places early in the day, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board. A reading over 400 affects healthy people, with serious impacts on those with existing diseases, the federal government says.

The index was over 800 in some pockets of the city, according to data from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

"What is happening with air pollution in Delhi is nothing short of a crime against humanity!" author and socialite Suhel Seth wrote on Twitter. "There's a total collapse of accountability!

People have a right to leading as much of a healthy life as possible. It’s impossible to avoid breathing, so that immediately puts citizens at a disadvantage. https://reut.rs/3E7viiZ


NATURE’S BEAUTY CHALLENGED BY CLIMATE CHANGE.

If current climate conditions are allowed to exist unchecked, it will mean the loss of some significant natural beauties. Per Channel News Asia,

Glaciers at many UNESCO World Heritage sites including Yellowstone and Kilimanjaro National Park will likely vanish by 2050, the United Nations agency warned on Thursday (Nov 3), urging leaders to act fast to save the rest.

The warning followed a study of 18,600 glaciers at 50 World Heritage sites - covering around 66,000 sq km - which found glaciers at a third of the sites were "condemned to disappear".

The study "shows these glaciers have been retreating at an accelerated rate since 2000 due to CO2 emissions, which are warming temperatures", UNESCO said.

The glaciers were losing 58 billion tonnes of ice every year, equivalent to the combined annual water use of France and Spain, and were responsible for nearly 5 per cent of observed global sea-level rise, the agency explained.

Given the fact that few, if any, of the world’s major pollution-causing countries are making real moves to cut back on their emissions, the loss seems all but inevitable. https://bit.ly/3U6EpWG


MORE DURABLE PASTA.

A team of researchers in Italy have figured out how to make fresh pasta last longer without going bad. Per the Frontiers In blog,

Pasta is serious business in Italy, with reportedly more than 300 specific forms known by some 1,300 names. There is even a 55-year-old ‘pasta law’ that governs its production and manufacture. But that doesn’t mean the beloved food staple is shut off from innovation.

Now, Italian researchers have cooked up a new process for extending the shelf life of fresh pasta by 30 days, using a novel packaging process that also involves applying bioprotective probiotic cultures to the dough. They published this new recipe for better preserving fresh pasta in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.

Of course, they did. https://bit.ly/3WrZGeQ

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.


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