New drug therapy helps suppress severe COVID-19 infections, Canadian-led study finds

Local: CBC: Canopy Growth Corp., a cannabis company based in Smith Falls, will lay off 800 employees in a plan to close their 1 Hershey Dr. facility. Canopy Growth said Thursday that 40 per cent of the cuts are effective immediately and the rest will span several months. Having lost $266.7 million in sales in […]

Local:

CBC: Canopy Growth Corp., a cannabis company based in Smith Falls, will lay off 800 employees in a plan to close their 1 Hershey Dr. facility.

Canopy Growth said Thursday that 40 per cent of the cuts are effective immediately and the rest will span several months. Having lost $266.7 million in sales in its most recent quarter, the company plans to get behind other cannabis brands to up profits and attain sustainable growth.

It has become difficult for these companies since the illicit marijuana market makes up about 40 per cent of all sales, while the Canadian cannabis sector is valued under its projected $7 billion, said Canopy Growth’s chief executive David Klein.

National:

CTV News: An antiviral drug injection in the early stages of a COVID-19 infection helps keep people alive and out of hospitals, according to a Canadian-led study.

The drug, peg-interferon lambda, was tested in almost 2,000 COVID-19 cases in Canada and Brazil. Vaccinated patients were 51 per cent less likely to die or be hospitalized, researchers found, while unvaccinated patients had a greater outcome at 89 per cent. The positive effects of treatment were especially prominent if given within three days of noticed symptoms, according to the study.

The drug therapy works by stimulating the body’s own immune system to help clear the virus, according to Dr. Jordan Feld, the study’s co-author, and senior scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute at University Health Network. The therapy was also helpful in cases of different variants, including Omicron.

International:

Global News: Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrapped up a tour of Ukraine’s European supporters on Thursday with a speech at the European Parliament.

Zelenskyy was met with applause and cheers from various legislators, insisting that Ukraine’s fight against Russia was fought for the freedom of Europe in its entirety. Allies should consider providing long-range systems as a next step, said European Parliament President Roberta Metsola before his speech.

Russia is feared to be making new offensive moves around the anniversary of the war on Feb. 24. Though, the latest summit conclusions draft says “the European Union will stand by Ukraine with steadfast support for as long as it takes,” indicating a signal of unity and solidarity with Ukraine, according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

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