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.”
BEIJING – Beijing-based Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd. said it has initiated clinical trials of broad-spectrum antiviral favipiravir to treat COVID-19. China now has six clinical trials investigating the drug, originally developed for influenza and also tested against Ebola virus disease.
PERTH, Australia – Immutep Ltd. reported positive interim data for its phase II basket trial in non-small-cell lung cancer and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma for its lead immunotherapy in combination with Merck & Co. Inc.’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab).
BEIJING – Multiple China-based clinical trials have been put on hold as the country concentrates on its fight against COVID-19. To curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that has infected over 72,000 people and killed nearly 2,000, China has imposed travel and transport restrictions, making trips difficult or even impossible for patients and physicians.
BEIJING – China will kickstart a phase III trial Feb. 3 to determine whether patients with 2019-nCoV can be treated with Gilead Sciences Inc.’s NUC inhibitor, remdesivir, which was originally developed for Ebola, four days after a U.S. patient was said to have recovered by using the drug candidate.
BEIJING – With promising phase II data in hand – and newly designated FDA orphan drug status – Suzhou, China-based Tennor Therapeutics Suzhou Co. Ltd. is gearing up to move into pivotal testing with TNP-2092 to treat prosthetic joint infections.
BEIJING – Hong Kong-headquartered Hutchison China Meditech Ltd.’s (Chi-Med) called an early stop to its phase III pivotal study of surufatinib in advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET) in China after it met the predefined primary endpoint of progression-free survival.
China-based Innovent Biologics Inc. will need to get on two new tasks this year: Preparing for the first clinical trial for an anti-TIGIT antibody in China and investigating the combination therapy of its Tyvyt (sintilimab) and Sirnaomics Inc.’s STP-705.