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Catching the Eye of Pharma

Derek Lowe is intrigued by NIH's latest announcement that it is beginning a preclinical drug discovery endeavor for rare diseases and says that it'll be a good learning experience for researchers to see the difficulties involved in getting a drug through the development process. He adds that the NIH, judging by its release, is clear-eyed about the process. "If they can get some things to the point that a company or foundation is willing to take on the (now somewhat reduced) risks, that'll be great," Lowe says. The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog adds that NIH will be spending about $24 million per year to get these potential drugs through the preclinical stage.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.