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NEWS IN BRIEF: Oldest Pharmacy; Community Centre; Cancer Alliance; HIV; Fizzy Drinks; Shire; Ebola; Putin


14 Jan 2016

Inside Britain’s oldest chemist

The oldest chemist in Britain remains as popular as ever with its loyal customer base almost 300 years after first opening its doors – and its owner still even sells some remedies that date back almost just as long, the Daily Mail reports.

Cedric Reavley is the third generation of his family to run Reavley’s pharmacy in the Cotswold town of Burford.

It first opened its doors in 1734 when it was a pub offering medical remedies on the side.

A lot might have changed since then, but the much-loved store is still going strong a full 282 years on, healing locals’ ills with a plethora of new and traditional medicines – many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the country.

Fullarton Community Centre awarded over £1 million pounds to help build new hub

Fullarton Community Centre have this week been given over £1million from the Big Lottery Fund to help build a new centre, the Daily Record writes.

The award from the Big Lottery Fund amounts to £1,127,389 and will regenerate the Fullarton community with a new build on the existing centre on School Lane, Irvine.

The project will include a designated youth club space, a training kitchen, community cafe, multi-purpose hall, community garden, games area, informal meeting areas and office space as well as housing a relocated doctor’s surgery and pharmacy.

The new hub will benefit over 3200 residents of the Fullarton and Harbourside areas of Irvine, and it is hoped that the construction of the building will commence later in the year.

Drugmakers form alliance to fight cancer

GSK, Amgen and Celgene back initiative to speed up discovery of treatments for cancer.
Some of the biggest makers of cancer drugs are joining an alliance to speed up the discovery of treatments for the disease, the Financial Times reports.

The aim is to test scores of experimental and approved medicines on 20,000 patients within the next four years.

The three drugmakers have signed up to the Cancer Moonshot 2020 initiative spearheaded by Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, the founder of Nantworks who became a billionaire by inventing a type of chemotherapy known as Abraxane.

Giving healthy gay men HIV drugs ‘could help reverse epidemic’

Giving daily HIV drugs to healthy gay men has huge potential to help reverse the epidemic, the BBC reports.

Scientists say the medication prevents new infections by killing the virus before it has a chance to take hold in the body.

Calculations, published in the Lancet, indicate giving the drugs to the most at-risk men could cut new infections by more than 40% in the UK.

Experts said the approach was of “huge benefit” to at-risk men and should be adopted.

Daily fizzy drink can add 30% to body fat

Consuming one sugary drink a day is linked to a 30 per cent increase in high-risk body fat, The Times reports.

Researches found that levels of visceral fat, which is linked to diabetes and heart disease, went up as a person drank more sugar-sweetened drinks.

Participants who did not drink sugary drinks saw their visceral fat increase by 658 cubic centimetres in six years.

Shire chief’s Baxalta takeover

Shire’s $32bn takeover of Baxalta caps the company’s transformation from a specialist in pills for teenagers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder into a leading producer of treatments for rare diseases, the Financial Times reports.

Flemming Ornskov, Shire’s ambitious Danish chief executive, has made a series of acquisitions to suppoty this overhaul since taking charge in 2013 but none as the one just agreed.

He now faces a career-defining challenge to make the deal pay off in the face of caution from shareholders and analysts about the risks involved.

Liberia declared Ebola-free, ending West African outbreak

Liberia has been declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO), effectively putting an end to the world’s worst outbreak of the disease, the BBC reports.

The “end of active transmission” was declared, after 42 days without a new case in Liberia.

It joins Guinea and Sierra Leone, which earned the status last year.

However, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has warned that West Africa may see flare-ups of the virus. It has killed more than 11,000 people since December 2013.

Vladimir Putin claims Ebola virus vaccine has been developed by Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that his country has developed a vaccine for the Ebola virus which has killed thousands of people in west Africa, the Guardian reports.

But Putin, who is famed for his talent for headline-grabbing announcements, did not divulge the vaccine’s name, nor did he say how it worked, who was developing it or give details of any trials.

“We have good news,” Putin was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency.

“We have registered a drug against Ebola, which after the corresponding tests has been shown to be highly effective, more effective than the drugs used worldwide up to now.”


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