Foam on the Birs / Bild: AUE BL
Foam on the Birs / Bild: AUE BL
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Local News Summary of July, 17th

  • Djokovic returns to top ten - Federer remains ATP 2
  • Novartis migraine medicine Aimovig approved in Switzerland
  • Foam on the Birs

Djokovic returns to top ten - Federer remains ATP 2

Novak Djokovic returns to the top ten male tennis players after a hiatus of nearly nine months thanks to his Wimbledon victory. Roger Federer remains far behind world number 1 Rafael Nadal.

Serbian player Novak Djokovic, who has now won 13 Grand Slam tournaments, moved from 21st to 10th place in the ATP world rankings, while his final opponent Kevin Anderson rose by three positions and is newly ranked 5th.

Rafael Nadal continues to lead the rankings ahead of Roger Federer. Now, however, the Spaniard increased his lead from 50 to 2230 points. This is more than the equivalent of a Grand Slam title (2000 points). Stan Wawrinka moved up from 224th to 199th place thanks to his second round qualification.

Bencic back in the top 50

The first two places in women’s tennis also remained the same - Simona Halep is ahead of Caroline Wozniacki. Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber rose by six ranks and is now WTA number 4, while finalist Serena Williams jumped from WTA 181 to 28, with only four tournaments played.

The best Swiss female player, Belinda Bencic, moved eleven positions up to the 45th rank thanks to her qualification for the last sixteen at Wimbledon, and Stefanie Vögele even improved by 15 places with her victory at the ITF tournament in Contrexeville, France. The woman from the canton of Argovia is now WTA number 78.

Novartis migraine medicine Aimovig approved in Switzerland

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has been given permission to sell its migraine drug, Aimovig, in Switzerland. The Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products «Swissmedic» has approved the medicine for migraine prevention.

Clinical studies have shown that patients suffer from fewer migraines after taking the medicine. Aimovig has been proved to reduce the number of migraine days both for episodic and chronic migraines, Novartis announced yesterday. This also applies to patients with prior treatment failure or overuse of acute therapies.

Aimovig (erenumab), a drug developed jointly by Novartis and the biotech company, Amgen, was approved in the United States in May 2018.

In the European Union, a committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the drug for approval at the end of May. The final decision by the EMA is expected in the coming months. Analysts see a «blockbuster» potential for the drug, meaning that Novartis could generate more than a billion dollars of revenue.

According to Novartis, approximately 11 per cent of the population in Switzerland suffer from migraines. One in three migraine attacks makes patients unable to work.

Foam on the Birs

A large amount of foam was seen floating on the Birs river in Zwingen at around 5.30am on Monday morning. The foam gave off a faint detergent smell.

Investigations revealed that the foam was visible from Bahnhofstrasse in Laufen up to Grellingen. The source of the pollution and the location of the discharge into the Birs have not yet been found by the emergency services.

No damage to plants or animals has so far been observed. The underlying water suppliers were informed about the event as a precaution. The Cantonal Crisis Committee Basel-Land imposed a water withdrawal ban. Several water samples are currently still undergoing analysis.

Foam on rivers can have many causes and the origin of such substances is often unspecific – therefore, it is difficult to determine who is responsible for the water pollution. Further clarifications are ongoing.

Among other units, the fire brigade of Laufental, the Baselland oil brigade, the Basel-Land police, employees of the Water Protection, the Cantonal Crisis Task Force, the Office for Environmental Protection and Energy of the canton of Baselland, and the Cantonal Fisheries Inspectorate were on site.