The Health News United Kingdom January 17 2018

  • UK-based start-up Vaccitech is celebrating after raising £20m in funding lead by Google’s venture capital arm, GV. Vaccitech is based in Oxford, at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute. The company was created back in 2016 and has since raised £30m to fund its research into developing a universal flu vaccine.
  • Coca-Cola has announced it will cut the size of a 1.75l bottle to 1.5l and put up the price by 20p in March, because of the introduction of a sugar tax on soft drinks from April this year. However, the company said it has no plans to change its classic recipe. It is estimated, the tax will raise £520m a year – to be spent on funding sport in primary schools.
  • Research suggests that women who go through early menopause are at higher risk of heart disease and stroke. A study led by the University of Oxford also found a strong link women’s reproductive health and her risk of cardiovascular problems. Women who began their periods early, or who had pregnancy complications such as stillbirth, or who needed a hysterectomy were also more likely to develop heart issues.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 16th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.standard.co.uk/tech/google-investment-oxford-health-startup-a3740346.html

UK-based start-up Vaccitech is celebrating after raising twenty million pounds in funding lead by Google’s venture capital arm, GV. Vaccitech is based in Oxford, at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute. The company was created back in two thousand sixteen and has since raised thirty million pounds to fund its research into developing a universal flu vaccine.

The startup was founded by Professors Sarah Gilbert and Adrian Hill, based on their research into infectious diseases and how the body responds to vaccinations. The new set of funding from GV, as well as Oxford Sciences Innovation and the Chinese investor, Sequoia China, will be used to push through its current flu vaccine trials. Over eight hundred sixty people are currently enrolled in the first year of the trial, which aims to improve the flu vaccination protection for people over sixty five.
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Aside from the seasonal flu, here are the other diseases Vaccitech wants to cure.

Number one: Prostate cancer – Vaccitech’s work on creating a vaccine for prostate cancer is currently in its first phase.  According to Cancer Research UK, there are nearly fifty thousand new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed every year, so it makes sense the start-up would want to tackle it.
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Number two: The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS- which was first reported in Saudi Arabia back in two thousand twelve. The disease has a thirty five percent mortality rate, according to the World Health Organisation .
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Number three: Human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV). The start-up is also working on developing vaccines for HPV, Hepatitis B and other infectious diseases. At the moment, the work on these diseases is all in the late preclinical development stage.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42690487

Coca-Cola has announced it will cut the size of a one point seventy five liter bottle to one point five liters and put up the price by twenty p in March, because of the introduction of a sugar tax on soft drinks from April this year. However, the company said it has no plans to change its classic recipe. A spokesman said: “People love the taste… and have told us not to change.” Coca-Cola Classic contains ten point six grams of sugar per one hundred milliliters. Under the terms of the government’s new tax, it will be subject to a tax of twenty four p per litre.
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The sugar tax was announced in March two thousand sixteen, by the then Chancellor George Osborne, in an attempt to tackle rising obesity among children in the UK. From April, soft drinks manufacturers will be taxed at eighteen p per litre on drinks containing five grams of sugar or more per one hundred milliliters, or twenty four p per litre if the drink has more than eight grams of sugar per one hundred milliliters.

It is estimated, the tax will raise five hundred twenty million pounds a year – to be spent on funding sport in primary schools. The tax will apply to one in five soft drinks sold in the UK.
Manufacturers and supermarkets have responded by tweaking recipes – typically upping the volume of artificial sweeteners – to avoid the levy.

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However, the makers of Coca-Cola remain adamant they will stick with the original recipe – perhaps fearing the public backlash they faced in nineteen eighty five when they were forced to abandon the ‘new Coke’ recipe after seventy nine days and return to the original version.
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The nature of the tax suggests a three hundred thirty militer can of Classic Coke may now be more expensive than a can of Diet Coke – which is not subject to the tax.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/01/15/early-menopause-raises-risk-heart-disease-stroke-study-suggests/

Research suggests that women who go through early menopause are at higher risk of heart disease and stroke. A study led by the University of Oxford also found a strong link women’s reproductive health and her risk of cardiovascular problems. Women who began their periods early, or who had pregnancy complications such as stillbirth, or who needed a hysterectomy were also more likely to develop heart issues. The researchers said doctors needed to be more aware of the risk when dealing with women suffering from reproductive problems and increase screening.
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Cardiovascular disease, a general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels, remains the leading cause of death and in Britain, killing around twenty seven thousand women every year. For the study, the team drew on data from the UK Biobank, a large population-based study of more than half a million men and women up to the age of sixty nine, who were recruited between two thousand six and two thousand ten.

Participants filled in questionnaires on their lifestyle, environment, and medical history, which included their reproductive history. They were monitored up to March two thousand sixteen or until they suffered a first heart attack. Women who went through the menopause before the age of forty seven had a thirty three percent heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, rising to forty two per cent for their risk of stroke.

Previous miscarriages were associated with a higher risk of heart disease, with each miscarriage increasing the risk by six percent. And having a stillbirth was associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease in general (twenty two per cent) and of stroke in particular (forty four per cent).

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