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A Positive Trial

Genentech's Lucentis helps prevent vision loss due to diabetic macular edema, a phase three clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute found. The trial, which included 691 patients or 854 eyes (as not everyone had both eyes treated), found that 3 to 4 percent of Lucentis-treated eyes had visual loss after the one year while 13 percent of those treated with lasers did, reports the New York Times. Lucentis is already approved for macular degeneration, and is similar to another Genentech drug, Avastin, which is approved for treating cancer and is more commonly prescribed off-label. Avastin, the Times notes, costs $20 to $100 a dose while Lucentis rings up at $2,000. However, the trial included Lucentis rather than Avastin since Roche (which now owns Genentech) said it would supply the drug for free as well as provide $9 million in financing for the trial if it were conducted on Lucentis.

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.