Trending News Today: Gene-Silencing Therapy for Rare Disease Effective in Late-Stage Trial

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

An estimated 80,000 Americans died of the flu and its complications during the last flu season, which is the highest death toll associated with the virus in at least 40 years, the Associated Press reported. According to the article, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, reported the total in an interview on Tuesday, calling the figure preliminary. CDC officials do not have exact counts of how many individuals die from the flu each year, but the CDC uses statistical models to make estimates, the article reported.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals’ gene-silencing therapy for patients with acute hepatic porphyria showed efficacy in a late-stage trial, Reuters reported. According to the article, the drug, called givosiran, showed a significant reduction in urinary aminolevulinic acid in patients with the disease. Acute hepatic porphyria is a family of rare diseases that affects the liver and has no approved treatments. The company plans for accelerated approval by the end of the year, the article reported.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that countries have agreed to contribute $13 billion per year by 2022 to prevent and treat tuberculosis (TB), the Associated Press reported. According to the article, an increasing number of the 10 million individuals infected each year suffer from drug-resistant strains of TB that are difficult and costly to treat. WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the decision “a landmark in the long war on TB” that countries hope to win by 2030, the article reported.