1. Dynavax Technologies received FDA approval for its two-dose hepatitis B vaccine Heplisav-B, following rejections in 2013 and 2016. It will be the company’s first drug on the market and compete with GlaxoSmithKline’s three-dose vaccine Engerix-B. (Reuters)
2. Novartis reached an R&D deal with startup Homology Medicines to develop its gene-editing platform for ophthalmology and other therapeutic areas. Novartis also plans to seek FDA approval for its experimental eye drug RTH258, set to complete with Regeneron’s Eylea. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. (Endpoints News)
3. The White House nominated former Eli Lilly executive Alex Azar as the secretary of the Health and Human Services Department. If confirmed, he will succeed Tom Price, who left the post in September amid criticism about his use of private jets. (NYT)
4.Publicis Health acquired communications agency PlowShare Group, which works with nonprofit groups and federal agencies on social issue campaigns. PlowShare Group is based in Stamford, Connecticut, and has 18 full-time employees. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
5. Bill Gates invested $100 million in venture capital fund Dementia Discovery Fund and startups working on Alzheimer’s research. (CNBC)