HONG KONG – The recent coronavirus (2019-nCov) scare has led to a rush of demand for masks that could soon strain pharmaceuticals and med-tech companies alike. In Hong Kong, queues for surgical masks now snake around the block.
BEIJING – Zhongshan-based Akeso Inc., which focuses on bispecific antibodies, is again seeking pre-revenue listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), after its first IPO attempt failed to go through in December. The move comes at a time when analysts believe the coronavirus outbreak is weighing on the city’s IPO market.
BEIJING – China’s partial shutdown caused by the 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak has sparked global fears of a disrupted supply chain of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), as the country is a major exporter. Drugs that many depend on, such as ibuprofen and acarbose, could be affected.
HONG KONG – A team of researchers at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) claim to have invented the world’s fastest portable 2019-nCoV diagnostic device. From sampling to testing, the device is apparently able to detect the novel coronavirus in just 40 minutes. In comparison, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology that is currently in use can take between 1.5 to 3 hours. The device draws on the latest microfluidic chip technology from Shenzhen Shineway Hi-Tech Co. Ltd.
BEIJING – Share prices of Chinese biotechs that partner with Gilead Science Inc. have surged in China this week, after the U.S. firm’s remdesivir was identified as the most promising drug candidate to treat 2019-nCoV.
A half-day open meeting intended to examine “how the public perceives and values pharmaceutical quality,” convened by the Robert J. Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University in cooperation with the FDA, included a rundown of the agency’s oversight program, results of surveys to measure viewpoints of patients and providers – and tart commentary from a two-member “reactant panel.”
HONG KONG – In another example that communication is proving as difficult as containment in the current coronavirus outbreak, China’s state media reported, to increasing skepticism, that a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) oral liquid could inhibit the new coronavirus.
HONG KONG – As drug developers are racing to find a cure for the new coronavirus, researchers in Hong Kong claim to have made major headway in the development of a vaccine for the virus that has so far killed 132. Yuen Kwok-yung, the chair of infectious diseases at the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) department of microbiology, said in a press briefing at Hong Kong’s Queen Mary Hospital that his team had successfully isolated the novel virus from the first imported case in Hong Kong. But he said the vaccine still needs months to be tested on animals and an additional year for human trials before it is fit for use.
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.
The market for multinational medical device companies in China has largely been driven by use only in major public hospitals for patients who pay mostly or entirely out-of-pocket. But that’s continuing to change in ways that could offer a window onto medical device trends in the region over the coming decades.