R&D,Bioprocess,Clinical Development,Weekly Roundups

Weekly News Round-up – 17/4/20

Proventa International Weekly News 4 years ago By Josh Neil
Proventa International Weekly News

This week, a glimpse of non-Covid normalcy is provided by news that a Tagrisso lung cancer study was unblinded early after ‘overwhelming accuracy’, potentially expanding the drug’s usage further. In other (Covid-related) news, GSK and Sanofi are set to collaborate on a treatment, Remdesivir trials have slowed in China over lack of enrolment, and Astrazeneca and Lilly are the latest companies to move into the coronavirus treatment space.

GSK AND SANOFI IN ‘UNPRECEDENTED’ COLLABORATION TO DEVELOP COVID-19 VACCINE – GSK and Sanofi will work together to develop a Covid-19 vaccine in what has been called an ‘unprecedented’ collaboration. If successful, the two companies could produce hundreds of millions of vaccines between them. The vaccine being developed is based on an existing DNA-based technology used to make Sanofi’s flu vaccine. GSK is contributing an adjuvant which triggers a stronger immune reaction. This adjuvant could lower necessary dose per person by a factor of four. This in turn would increase speed of production. 

SECOND TRIAL OF REMDESIVIR STOPPED IN CHINA OVER PATIENT ENROLMENT – Two Remdesivir trials in China have been halted due to low patient enrolment. The studies, aimed at patients with milder Covid symptoms, failed after the number of cases dropped dramatically in the country over the last few weeks. Results published this week showed that while anecdotally patients recovered with the drug’s help, no concrete evidence was at hand. In the first study, 68% of patients showed clinical improvement after 10 days’ treatment. Limitations in the study, however, make the findings “impossible to interpret”.

AZ’S LUNG CANCER DRUG TAGRISSO UNBLINDED AFTER ‘OVERWHELMING’ EFFICACY – A study of Astrazeneca’s lung cancer drug Tagrisso will be unblinded due to high success. The Independent Data Monitoring Committee noted ‘overwhelming efficacy’. This is the first global trial of an EGFR inhibitor showing significant benefit in adjuvant treatment of lung cancer. It could significantly expand use of Tagrisso, which already has approval in 80 countries for first-line EGFRm advanced NSCLC. 

In other news: 

R&D

AZ and Lilly move into Covid-19 cure space with repurposed drugs

Clinical Trials

AZ testing Calquence on severe Covid-19 patients to treat exaggerated immune response

FDA receives FDA approval for combo colon cancer drug Braftovi

Manufacturing

UK experiences local shortages of anaesthetic medicines and painkillers

That’s all for now. See you next week!

Joshua Neil, Editor
Proventa International

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