What We're Reading: Alzheimer Test; Crestor Rights for $320M; COVID-19–Linked Syndrome Risk in Black Children

December 1, 2020
AJMC Staff

The first blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer disease is now for sale; AstraZeneca will sell the rights to its cholesterol drug Crestor for $320 million; Black children are disproportionately affected by severe syndrome linked with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

First Blood Test to Help Diagnosis Alzheimer Disease on the Market

The first blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer disease (AD) is now for sale by manufacturer C2N Diagnostics. The Associated Press reported that independent experts remain skeptical as key test results have not been published on the test’s efficacy and it has not been approved by the FDA. While not intended for general screening or for those without symptoms, the test is aimed for people 60 years and older who are having thinking problems and are being evaluated for AD.

AstraZeneca to Sell Cholesterol Drug for $320M

AstraZeneca said it would sell the rights to its cholesterol drug Crestor to German pharmaceutical company Gruenenthal GmbH for an upfront payment of $320 million, Reuters reported. The move comes as the British drugmaker seeks to shift focus to its cancer treatments portfolio, with the deal expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. While among the best-selling medicines in 2015, Crestor’s sales were said to have been hit by the arrival of more cost-efficient generic rivals in 2016.

Black Children More Prone to Severe COVID-19–Linked Syndrome

A study published yesterday in JAMA Network Open assessing 223 patients in New York City younger than 20 years hospitalized with the rare, severe multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) found that Black children were disproportionately affected. According to CIDRAP, development of MIS-C was noted to be an abnormal immune response to coronavirus disease 2019, with adults potentially at risk as well. Black children constituted 34.4% of MIS-C cases, followed by Hispanic children (29.8%) and White children (12.8%).