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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

China says will help key resume industries work in locked-down Shanghai

China said on Friday that it will help hundreds of companies in key sectors to resume production in locked-down Shanghai, the commercial capital at the center of the country’s latest COVID-19 outbreak, as businesses warn of the growing economic toll of restrictions. The announcement comes as a growing number of business leaders and analysts warn that China’s strict “zero-COVID” policy is triggering economic disruptions that are rippling through global supply chains for goods from electric vehicles to iPhones.

‘Last few tweaks’ being made to COVID IP waiver deal -WTO chief

The head of the World Trade Organization told Reuters on Thursday that negotiations on an intellectual property deal for COVID-19 vaccines were ongoing between the four parties, saying they were seeking to agree on the proposal’s final terms. Since the draft compromise emerged in the media a month ago, pressure from civil society groups has been rising for the parties – the United States, the European Union, India and South Africa – to walk away from the deal. Other public figures have also criticized it such as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying it is too narrowly focused on vaccines.

More Chinese cities tighten controls as Shanghai COVID cases rise

Shanghai reported a record number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases on Saturday and other areas across China tightened controls as the country kept up its “dynamic clearance” approach that aims to stamp out the highly transmissible Omicron variant. The Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone, a central Chinese manufacturing area that includes Apple Inc supplier Foxconn, announced a 14-day lockdown on Friday “to be adjusted according to the epidemic situation”.

Omicron-specific Sinopharm, Sinovac COVID vaccine candidates cleared for clinical trial

COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed by a Sinopharm subsidiary and Sinovac Biotech to target the Omicron variant were approved for clinical trials in Hong Kong, the companies said on Saturday. Scientists worldwide are racing to study upgraded injections against Omicron, as data indicated that antibodies elicited by vaccines based on older strains show weaker activity to neutralize the highly transmissible variant.

Growing defiance of COVID curbs in China brings wave of arrests

Sun Jian, a 37-year-old master’s degree student in the Chinese city of Yantai, for months staged a solo campaign against his university’s COVID-19 prevention measures, including blistering criticism on social media. The last straw for authorities came on March 27, when Sun walked around his campus carrying a placard that read “lift the lockdown on Ludong”.

Nektar stops clinical trials for key cancer drug, shares tumble

Nektar Therapeutics said on Thursday it had stopped all trials involving its key cancer drug following its failure in multiple studies, dragging the drug developer’s shares down 23% in after-market trading. The trials that Nektar stopped included those involving a combination of its drug bempegaldesleukin with Bristol Myers Squibb Co’s cancer drug Opdivo as well Merck & Co Inc’s cancer drug Keytruda.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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