LONDON – Conflicting data from around the world on the extent to which the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is reducing the effectiveness of vaccines is generating uncertainty over the need, or not, for booster programs.
Samsung Bioepis Co. Ltd. has emerged as the first company to obtain marketing authorization from the EMA for a biosimilar of Lucentis (ranibizumab), a significant development for the Korean biosimilar specialist. The approval comes less than two months after the company received a positive opinion from the EMA’s CHMP for Byooviz (ranibizumab), formerly called SB-11.
Less than two weeks after Fibrogen Inc. received an FDA complete response letter for its hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase (HIF-PH) inhibitor, Evrenzo (roxadustat), Astellas Pharma Inc. and Fibrogen have won European Commission approval for the drug to treat symptomatic anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. The approval, which followed a positive CHMP opinion in June, triggered a $120 million milestone payment from Astellas to Fibrogen. In addition, Fibrogen will receive royalties on EU sales of the drug.
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%.
HONG KONG – SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. partner Arvelle Therapeutics GmbH, now part of Angelini Pharma, has received European Commission (EC) approval for Ontozry (cenobamate), a treatment for drug-resistant focal-onset seizures. The approval was granted for focal-onset seizures with or without secondary generalization in adults who have not been adequately controlled despite a history of treatment with at least two anti-epileptic medicines.
A large-scale metabolomics study of blood samples from 11,000 people has identified common biological links among a number of chronic non-communicable diseases, opening up the possibility of countering multiple diseases simultaneously.
LONDON – A new national consortium of virologists has been set up to systematically assess how mutations in SARS-CoV-2 affect key outcomes such as effectiveness of vaccines and therapies, transmissibility of the virus and the severity of COVID-19 infections.
LONDON – The COVAX initiative, set up in a bid to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, is poised for a global rollout starting in Q1 2021, after sealing agreements to access 2 billion doses of a number of different products. That puts the world on a clear pathway to ending the acute phase of the pandemic, by protecting the most vulnerable people around the world, according to GAVI, the vaccines alliance, which is spearheading COVAX.
LONDON – The first of 800,000 commercial doses of Pfizer Inc./Biontech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the U.K., after the Medicines and Healthcare products Agency (MHRA) became the first regulator to grant conditional approval. A total of 1,500 immunization centers in the U.K. are preparing to receive the vaccine, with administration beginning Dec. 8.
Moderna Inc., late on Nov. 30, said it has asked the FDA to bless emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 after phase III data confirmed it to be 94.1% effective in preventing symptomatic cases of the disease and 100% effective in preventing severe cases. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company said efficacy was "consistent across age, race and ethnicity and gender demographics."