LONDON – A large scale U.K. study looking at the impact of COVID-19 vaccinations on antibody responses and new infections in 373,402 people in the general population has shown a single dose of vaccine cut infections by 65%. Symptomatic infections fell by 74% and infections with no reported symptoms by 57%, 21 days after receiving the first dose of either Astrazeneca plc’s or Pfizer Inc./Biontech SE’s vaccine.
Clinical updates, including trial initiations, enrollment status and data readouts and publications: Arcutis, Arena, Avillion, Boehringer Ingelheim, Brickell, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, EMD Serona, Incyte, Janssen, Nicox, Novartis, Novavax, UCB, Verona.
TORONTO – Perimeter Medical Imaging Inc. has been awarded an FDA breakthrough device designation for a machine learning medical platform it said drives ultra-high-resolution, real-time imaging of breast cancer. Data collected from multiple pathology labs in Texas this past year were fed through the optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging system which now is at the stage where its Imgassist artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms can be tested.
Atheart Medical Inc. came on the market with splash, simultaneously announcing the company’s formation and its launch of a U.S. investigational device exemption (IDE) trial for the Resept ASD occluder, a device designed to close atrial septal defects. Resept features a metal-free, bioresorbable frame to reduce the risks associated with the long-term presence of metal in the heart.
Advances lately in the genome-editing space include Beam Therapeutics Inc. publication in The CRISPR Journal details of its work with inlaid base editors, which the firm is applying in the BEAM-102 program for sickle cell disease. IBEs’ predictable, shifted editing window lets researchers go after disease-causing mutations that canonical base editors cannot reach, Beam said, and do the job with high efficiency and few off-target effects on the genome. The hottest news due in the near-term future from the sector will spill from Intellia Therapeutics Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., which is due to roll out first-in-human data with a systemic CRISPR-based genome editing therapy, NTLA-2001, in hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis.
Location, location, location. Not only is that the mantra for real estate, it often is seen as an answer to diversifying clinical trials. But having a trial site in or near an underserved community is no guarantee of a diverse study population, as health care disparities can be a more pervasive issue than location. That was one of the lessons learned from the development of Celltrans Inc.’s donislecel at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Casualties continue to accrue in Huntington’s disease, but drug developers continue their work in the challenging, fatal genetic disorder that afflicts an estimated 2.71 per 100,000 people globally. In March, Basel, Switzerland-based Roche Holding AG pulled the plug on its phase III Generation HD1 study with the antisense therapy tominersen, licensed from Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Carlsbad, Calif., in a tie-up that dates back to the spring of 2013. Roche subsidiary Genentech Inc. said the move was based on an independent data monitoring committee's preplanned look at the drug's risk-benefit profile.
With phase III data due from Phathom Pharmaceuticals Inc. in the near term, investor eyes are turning to the ways that lead compound vonoprazan, a potassium-competitive acid blocker, might distinguish itself from proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).