R&D,Bioprocess,Clinical Development,Weekly Roundups

Weekly News Round-up – 1/5/20

7 months ago By Josh Neil
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Proventa International Weekly News

This week, Covid-19 vaccines see some advancement, with remdesivir showing strong signs of success as Pfizer prepare to put their own candidate through U.S. trials starting from next week. In other news, ‘natural killer’ cell therapies show strong potential efficacy in fighting cancers as the next big cell therapy, and GSK announces that almost all non-Covid-related drug trials have been delayed in its search for a Covid vaccine.

PHASE 3 REMDESIVIR TRIAL SHOWS PROMISING SIGNS OF SUCCESS – Gilead’s antiviral drug Remdesivir has shortened the average recovery time for Covid-19 in the largest of several recent trials. Weak evidence also shows that the drug reduces death in patients. The U.S. director of NIAID hailed the drug as the ‘standard of care’. It allegedly reduced average time to recover by 31% over those taking a placebo. This comes as five hospitals in Australia are set to receive doses of the sought-after drug. The only confirmed hospital so far is St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney. 

PFIZER PREPARING FOR U.S. COVID-19 TRIALS NEXT WEEK – Pfizer will begin clinical trials of mRNA-based Covid candidate BNT162 in America next week, the company announced. The product has already undergone phase 1 and 2 trials in Germany, with FDA approval expected ‘shortly’. The company is expecting to manufacture millions of doses of the drug by the end of 2020.

HIGH-DOSE CHLOROQUINE TRIAL STOPPED OVER RAISED DANGER OF DEATH – A study of chloroquine, a drug similar to anti-malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine, has been stopped after high-dose patients showed a higher death rate than those who took low doses of the drug. High-dose patients also showed higher incidences of toxicity, though elements of the study meant researchers could not determine the independent toxicity of high-dose chloroquine. 

In other news: 

R&D

Natural killer cell therapies show promise for fighting cancer

Clinical Trials

GSK has delayed most of its non-Covid-19 clinical trials

UK’s ACCORD-2 pharma collaboration looks to cut Covid-19 drug development to a few weeks

AiCure releases ‘digital biomarker’ app for clinical trials

Manufacturing

AstraZeneca partners with Oxford University to produce potential vaccine

J&J and Catalent sign deal over Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing

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

Joshua Neil, Editor
Proventa International

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