U.S. COVID-19 cases reached their lowest number in almost a year. New cases declined by 26% in the last week, with nearly 40% of the country fully vaccinated. (Reuters)

Optogenetic therapy was successful in restoring sight to a blind patient for the first time, according to a new study. The treatment involves placing DNA into neurons to help them become responsive to light. (STAT)

Verastem has won Food and Drug Administration breakthrough therapy designation for its novel RAF/MEK inhibitor in combination with defactinib. The combo is being investigated for treatment of ovarian cancer. (Endpoints News)

Billions of dollars in COVID-19 aid has enabled large hospital systems to buy smaller competitors. Some lawmakers are fighting for greater oversight over hospital consolidation, arguing it could lead to more expensive medical care. (The New York Times)

Nursing homes are hoping to fight off wrongful death lawsuits from COVID-19 by invoking liability protections expanded during the Trump administration. Nursing home lobbyists spent some $4 million pushing Congress last year to provide protection against pandemic-related lawsuits. (Politico)