HONG KONG – A Japanese phase III study of Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.’s interleukin-6 inhibitor Actemra (tocilizumab) in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 pneumonia has read out, expanding what’s known about the drug’s use in the pandemic, which had been inconclusive until recently, though is now known to reduce mortality in the vulnerable population.
HONG KONG – Celltrion Inc. has received conditional marketing authorization from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) for its anti-COVID-19 monoclonal antibody, Regkirona (regdanvimab, also known as CT-P59), in South Korea. It’s the first company to receive approval for a COVID-19 antibody treatment developed in South Korea, a MFDS spokesman told BioWorld.
HONG KONG – Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has granted approval for Biocryst Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s Orladeyo (berotralstat), the first and only drug for prophylactic treatment of hereditary angioedema (HAE) approved in the country. Biocryst’ partner, Torii Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., will launch the drug after completing pricing negotiations with the Japanese National Health Insurance System (NHI). Tokyo-based Orphanpacific Inc., Biocryst’s representative in Japan, holds the marketing authorization.
HONG KONG – Shortly after Australia’s recent provisional approval for the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty (tozinameran), originally developed by Pfizer Inc. and Biontech SE, Hong Kong has approved it, too, for emergency use ahead of rivals developed in mainland China. It is the first vaccine to be approved in the Chinese territory, made possible through a collaboration between Biontech and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd.
PERTH, Australia – The majority of medical device and biopharma industry respondents agreed that Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) responded effectively to COVID-19, but they want to see the agency improve its processes to act faster and with more clarity, according to the TGA’s annual stakeholder survey.
Luye Pharma Group Ltd. won marketing approval in China for its risperidone microspheres for injection to treat schizophrenia, which the company said is the first formulation developed by a Chinese company in the space to get a green light. Under the trade name Ruixintuo, the long-acting drug is administered once every two weeks by intramuscular injection.
PERTH, Australia – Australia’s Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Industry Growth Center (MTPConnect) is boosting funding for the translation and commercialization of research in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and regenerative medicine.
NEW DELHI – The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) granted its first emergency conditional approvals Jan. 3 for a pair of COVID-19 vaccines, including Covishield, developed abroad by Astrazeneca plc and Oxford University and manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII).
HONG KONG – India’s conditional approval on Jan. 3 of a COVID-19 vaccine developed domestically by Bharat Biotech International Ltd. but still in phase III trials has sparked concerns about its safety. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave emergency authorization to the product, Covaxin, along with the Astrazeneca plc and Oxford University vaccine Covishield. The DCGI said the conditional approval granting “restricted use in emergency situation” for Covaxin was done in “clinical trial mode” to account for the fact that the shot is still being tested. But the rush to approve it has created controversy and confusion.