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Gerry Broome / AP

Injections of an anti-inflammatory drug called canakinumab has been found to lower the risk of heart attack in people who have already survived one attack, according to a recent study by Brigham and Women's hospital in Boston. The drug is normally used for rare inflammatory conditions.

Why it matters: About half of all heart attacks occur in people who don't have high cholesterol levels. Researchers have suspected inflammation has a role in heart disease and this study confirms the connection. Canakinumab itself may not be useful in treating the condition because of side effects, but the finding offers another avenue for treating heart disease in people who don't respond to cholesterol-lowering statins.

The results: Out of the 10,000 patients in the study, those who were given canakinumab had a 15% lower chance of having a heart attack or stroke and a 30% lower risk of having to have an interventional procedure, such as a bypass.

The cons: Prof Martin Bennett, a cardiologist from Cambridge who did not participate in the study, told the Guardian that he his concerns were: 1.The drug (manufactured by Novartis which sponsored the study) is expensive at $200K a year. 2. It appears to increase the risk of developing a severe infection, which one out of a thousand people in the study died from 3. There was a higher risk of death among those who took the drug.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

4 hours ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.