Stanford researchers have identified five new cases of a double mutant COVID-19 variant in California. It’s unknown whether the strain makes vaccines less effective, but researchers stressed that vaccines remain “extremely effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths.” (CNBC Weekly)

Several countries, including Australia, Belgium and Italy, have restricted the AstraZeneca vaccine after it was found to be linked to rare blood clotting. They join the U.K. and several other European nations in halting the rollout of the vaccine. (The Wall Street Journal)

Former Eli Lilly COO of international business Michelle Carnahan has joined digital pharmacy Thirty Madison as president. Thirty Madison is one of a growing number of virtual care companies that deliver medicines to people’s homes. (STAT)

Baricitinib, Eli Lilly’s rheumatoid arthritis drug, failed to prevent progression to mechanical ventilation among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Patients who received the drug were only 2.7% less likely to progress to ventilation, a result considered statistically insignificant. (Reuters)

Biogen announced it will partner with Bio-Thera Solutions to develop an experimental IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody. The therapy could be a biosimilar to Roche’s rheumatoid arthritis drug, Actemra. (Endpoints News)