PERTH, Australia – Australian stem cell therapy company Mesoblast Ltd. announced that the FDA gave it the green light to test its allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) product candidate remestemcel-L in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). “We’re going to be evaluating whether an injection of our cells intravenously can tone down the immune system just enough so it gets rid of the virus but doesn’t destroy your lungs at the same time,” Mesoblast CEO Silviu Itescu told BioWorld.
HONG KONG – Another promising candidate has emerged in the race to find a treatment for the COVID-19 coronavirus. San Diego-based Ansun Biopharma Inc. released positive results from a four-patient study of its DAS-181 candidate, which is being developed for the treatment of severe COVID-19 infection.
HONG KONG – Phase II data of South Korea-based Qurient Co. Ltd.’s novel antibiotic candidate may offer hope that the first universal regimen to treat tuberculosis (TB) regardless of drug resistance status has been found.
BEIJING – Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Ltd. is developing neutralizing antibodies as a potential treatment for COVID-19, and the program will move on to clinical trials soon. Meanwhile, the biotech is set to launch a pre-revenue IPO on Shanghai’s STAR market.
The past week has seen a lot of movement in terms of tests to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. “It is notable that the diagnostics community is coming together in a way we have not seen in our 20 years covering this industry,” wrote William Blair analyst Brian Weinstein in a March 14 note. “Regulators, lab professionals, and manufacturers are all in a frenetic fury to try and get testing up and running, and we generally see a sense of ‘in it together’ playing out.”