A new study found that two arthritis drugs, tocilizumab and sarilumab, reduced death rates among severely ill COVID-19 patients. The British government encouraged healthcare providers to use the drugs in the treatment of ICU patients. (The New York Times)

Boston-based startup Scorpion Therapeutics, which concentrates on precision treatments for cancer, has reeled in $162 million in funding. Scorpion CEO Gary Glick said the company’s first medicine candidate would be announced this year. (The Boston Globe)

UnitedHealth announced it will purchase Change Healthcare for $8 billion. As part of a plan to expand its health services business, UnitedHealth will merge Change Healthcare with OptumInsight. (Bloomberg)

In the wake of its COVID-19 vaccine success, BioNTech is seeking to use a similar strategy to treat autoimmune disorders. Scientists hope to test whether synthetic messenger RNA could prevent the immune system from attacking the body. (STAT)

Affinivax has brought in $226 million in funding for the Phase III trial of its pneumococcal vaccine. The vaccine candidate is a potential rival to Pfizer’s Prevnar 13 vaccine. (Endpoints News)