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Johnson & Johnson to Test a Pioneering HIV Vaccine: Brainstorm Health

Happy Friday, readers!

Johnson & Johnson doesn't just want to treat HIV—it wants to prevent against it altogether with an experimental vaccine.

The U.S. drug giant announced Friday that will test out the vaccine in the U.S. and Europe this year, according to CNBC. If it proves successful—following testing on thousands of men who have sex with men—it could become the first approved immunization against the virus.

That would be one of the most significant advances in a field that's been filled with milestones over the past few decades. For instance, biotech Gilead's Truvada can prevent HIV transmission among those who take the pill regularly by more than 90%, according to clinical trial data.

And earlier this week, Viiv Healthcare—a joint collaboration between J&J, GlaxoSmithKline, and Shionogi in which Glaxo holds a majority stake—said it would launch trials testing the practicality of a once-monthly HIV treatment injection in U.S. clinics.

Read on for the day's news, and have a wonderful weekend.

Sy Mukherjee, @the_sy_guy, sayak.mukherjee@fortune.com

DIGITAL HEALTH

Gene editing, but for Alzheimer’s. CRISPR gene editing wunderkind Feng Zhang and his posse are at it again—this time, targeting RNA rather than DNA in, what they say, could one day become a technique used to ward off one of the most insidious diseases around: Alzheimer’s. (FierceBiotech)

INDICATIONS

Indivior sinks on opioid treatment generic court ruling. Shares of Indivior sank 3% in Friday trading after a federal appellate court upheld lower court rulings finding that generic makers of the opioid addiction treatment Suboxone did not infringe on a number of Indivior’s patents. In a separate case, original Indivior parent Reckett Benckiser paid $1.4 billion to settle allegations of scheming to boost Suboxone sales on Thursday; Indivior has faced similar allegations. (Reuters)

THE BIG PICTURE

California extends health care coverage to undocumented young adults. California Gov. Gavin Newsom this week signed into law legislation that will allow undocumented young adults to access health coverage—making California the first state in the nation to do so. The law focuses on California’s Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal, which serves poor and disabled residents. It’s an expansion of an existing law signed by former governor Jerry Brown which covered residents under the age of 19; now, all Californians under the age of 25 will be able to access to program irrespective of immigration status. (ABC News)

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