Boston Scientific Corp. reported positive results for its Emblem subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) system and next-generation Watchman Flx left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) device at the Heart Rhythm Society scientific sessions, which were online only this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While COVID-19 dominated the clinical data news during the month of April, with 45% due to trial delays, suspensions and terminations, and another 12% focused on therapeutic and vaccine development targeting the deadly infection, a number of companies still posted positive phase III data for other indications and are preparing for regulatory filings and commercialization.
“All along our guidance has been that, look, we are doing multiple open-label studies with the intent of picking a winner,” said Protagonist Therapeutics Inc. CEO Dinesh Patel during a conference call with investors. “Today, we have picked a winner by a huge margin” in the shape of PTG-300, an injectable hepcidin mimetic for the rare blood cancer polycythemia vera (PV).
Clinical updates, including trial initiations, enrollment status and data readouts and publications: Amgen, Cytodyn, Daewoong, Five Prime, Flexion, Kadmon, Lundbeck, Millendo, Protagonist, Revance, Savara, Scholar Rock.
Two companies, Hightide Therapeutics Inc. and Axcella Health Inc., posted positive data from recent liver disease studies while Enanta Pharmaceuticals Inc. missed its phase II liver study’s primary endpoint.
CEO Carsten Brunn said Selecta Biosciences Inc. has “not seen a material impact” from the COVID-19 pandemic and remains on track to report in the third quarter phase IIb data from a head-to-head trial comparing its refractory gout candidate, SEL-212, with Krystexxa (pegloticase), from Horizon Therapeutics plc, of Dublin.
Wearables giant Fitbit Inc. has kicked off its first large-scale, virtual study to evaluate how well its wrist-worn technology can spot episodes of irregular heart rhythm that might indicate atrial fibrillation (AF). The study, part of a broader plan to equip Fitbit devices with new tools to speed the detection of a range of conditions, is open to people in the U.S. ages 22 and older who own a Fitbit that tracks heart rate.
Stem cells haven’t exactly panned out as hoped when it comes to approved therapeutics. There are only a couple that have received a nod from the FDA in very specific indications. But the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could push stem cells back into the limelight and more firmly establish them as therapeutically relevant.