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Good morning, everyone. I’m Jason Mast, the last of the understudies filling in while Ed is on vacation. On most mornings, I’d be pouring a hot cup, no cream, no sugar, but we’ve got a holiday weekend ahead and I’m out of beans. So I’ll be sipping on a Starbucks cold brew as we go through the news. It’s even got a touch of sweet cream. We’ll be off for Labor Day, and Pharmalittle will at last be back in Ed’s trusty hands come Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control recommended new Covid boosters designed to closely match the Omicron variants now in circulation, STAT writes. Director Rochelle Walensky’s sign-off followed a Food and Drug Administration decision Wednesday and a nearly unanimous recommendation yesterday from a panel of outside advisors. The shots will likely reach a pharmacy near you in the coming days.


Sequencing giant Illumina won its case against the Federal Trade Commission, clearing a major hurdle to its $8 billion buyout of cancer detection company Grail, STAT reports. Nevertheless, Illumina isn’t quite out of the woods, as the FTC could appeal. And the company appears unlikely to win a parallel antitrust fight in Europe, where regulators have also argued that the buyout could stifle competition in the nascent market for blood-based cancer detection, because Illumina has cornered the market on the sequencing machines nearly all such startups rely on. Sales of Grail’s test have been slow, but the buyout is a key pillar of Illumina’s broader effort to expand beyond the sequencing tech that made it famous.

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