Here’s a quick review of our lead stories from Aug. 24 – Aug. 28, 2020. Missed an issue? You can find all the back issues here.

Thanks for the memories, but could you make them less selective?

With COVID-19, questions about how infections cause lasting immunity, or don’t, and how you know and what it all means for vaccines have become a matter of public focus. But some immunologists have been pondering those questions for years.

Final offer? Or will U.S. drug pricing negotiations continue as election looms?

“Maybe this is not their final offer and maybe they’re not digging as deep as they perhaps could or should,” Michael Abrams, managing partner and co-founder of Numerof & Associates, said of the biopharma industry’s counteroffer to U.S. President Donald Trump on drug pricing.

BioWorld Perspectives: U.S. politicking threatens public trust in the FDA and CDC

The truth that every action has a reaction is being proven again in the public square of the U.S. as the shrill, endless clamor of politicians hoping to score against their opponents via health care issues or accomplishments threatens to undermine confidence in the FDA, the products it approves and even the guidance offered by the CDC.

Acadia buys into non-opioid pain therapy with Cersci buy

Moving to build out its central nervous system portfolio with an eye to what Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. CEO Steve Davis called an "urgent need for new approaches to treat pain without causing addiction," the company is acquiring privately held Cersci Therapeutics Inc. for $52.5 million, primarily in stock. Cersci shareholders could earn up to $887 million more should the marriage, driven by Cersci's reactive species decomposition accelerant program, succeed. A phase II trial of Cersci’s lead candidate, now dubbed ACP-004, is planned for the first half of 2021.

EUA broadens access to plasma in U.S., raises questions about trial enrollment

As of Aug. 13, more than 90,000 patients hospitalized in the U.S. with COVID-19 already had been given access to convalescent plasma through a national expanded use protocol (EAP) sponsored by the Mayo Clinic. The FDA’s decision Sunday to grant emergency use authorization (EUA) for the potential therapy will further expand access to convalescent plasma for hospitalized patients throughout the country at a time when fully approved COVID-19 treatments are nonexistent and even EUAs are few and far between.

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