U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a record high Monday, surpassing the pandemic’s previous peak in January 2021. There were 132,646 people hospitalized on Monday, largely due to the Omicron variant. (Reuters)

Pfizer will spend $300 million on a deal with Beam Therapeutics to treat three rare genetic diseases. The deal is part of Pfizer’s push to build a “comprehensive growth engine of mRNA-based products,” chief scientific officer Mikael Dolsten said. (STAT)

Bristol Myers Squibb announced it will pay $150 million in a partnership with Century Therapeutics for four off-the-shelf engineered cell therapies. Century is developing therapies from donor-induced pluripotent stem cells for acute myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma, among other conditions. (Endpoints News)

Pfizer and Moderna scientists are working to create a more effective influenza vaccine from mRNA technology. Current flu vaccines are only about 40% to 60% protective against infection. (CNBC Weekly)

Most COVID-19 rapid tests are inaccessible to blind people and advocates are calling on their makers to incorporate more accessible elements. Abbott, maker of BinaxNOW, said it will “continue to design with access and affordability in mind,” but did not provide details. (The New York Times)