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Hello, everyone, and how are you today? The skies over the Pharmalot campus remain gloomy this morning, but our spirits are sunny, nonetheless. After all, as the Morning Mayor liked to say: Every new day should be unwrapped like a precious gift. So while you tug on the ribbon, we will get busy gathering interesting items for you to peruse. So time to get started. The coffee kettle is boiling, which allows us to pour a delicious cup of stimulation. Our choice today is, once again, chocolate raspberry. Meanwhile, we hope that you have a smashing day and stay in touch. We are always happy to have new pen pals. …

President Biden appointed longtime biologist and former DARPA scientist Renee Wegrzyn as the first director of the nascent Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, STAT notes. The announcement comes as ARPA-H advocates debate where the multibillion-dollar agency should be headquartered and which elusive disease areas should be prioritized. Biden officially launched the agency in March with $1 billion in initial funding allotted by Congress. Wegrzyn, 45, currently works at Ginkgo Bioworks, a company focused on biological engineering, but has prior experience in two government agencies Biden hopes to emulate with ARPA.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration scheduled a joint advisory committee meeting to discuss an application filed by Perrigo for what could be the first over-the-counter daily birth control pill available in the U.S., The Hill tells us. If approved by the FDA, Perrigo’s progestin-only daily pill would be the first non-prescription birth control pill available in the U.S. Perrigo filed its application to move its birth control pill from prescription to OTC in July. Perrigo filed its application just weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, leading to several states in the U.S. enacting total or near-total abortion bans. The meeting will be held on Nov. 18.

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