LONDON – Researchers at the Jenner Institute in Oxford have given an inside view of how they are accelerating clinical development of a COVID-19 vaccine and at the same time putting in place commercial manufacturing for when phase III efficacy data are available, expected in August or September.
Biopharma happenings, including deals and partnerships, grants, preclinical data and other news in brief: Clarus Therapeutics, Cynata Therapeutics, Evolus, Halix, Highlight Therapeutics, Lipocine, Nicox, Ocumension Therapeutics, Redhill Biopharma, Retrotope, Roche, Storm Therapeutics.
Clinical updates, including trial initiations, enrollment status and data readouts and publications: Astrazeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Genentech, GSK, Lilly, Mesoblast, Mind Medicine, Momenta, Novartis, Oryzon, Regeneron, Sanofi, Sinovac, UCB, Veloxis.
HONG KONG – Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences Inc., which is ramping up its COVID-19 candidate production and research and is donating 1.5 million doses for compassionate use, published results in New England Journal of Medicine from a cohort analysis of 53 severe patients hospitalized with severe complications from COVID-19, showing a cumulative incidence of clinical improvement of 84% after 28 days of follow-up, according to Kaplan-Meier analysis.
Gaithersburg, Md.-based startup Hememics Biotechnologies Inc. is partnering with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop a rapid, Bluetooth-connected, point-of-care (POC) test for COVID-19. Designed for use in both field and traditional settings, the test detects SARS-CoV-2 and related antibodies from nasal swabs and whole blood, delivering results in a minute or less.
A recent Senate hearing raised the question of whether privacy and confidentiality are at risk when software is installed in smart devices for disease surveillance purposes, but there may be no absolute guarantee of confidentiality, jeopardizing the goodwill of citizens who are wary of big government.
Case Western Reserve University spinout Synapse Biomedical Inc. has received emergency use authorization from the U.S. FDA for its Transaeris diaphragm pacing system (DPS) device to prevent and treat ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction (VIDD).
Despite challenges associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Abbott Laboratories saw its first-quarter revenue beating expectations, coming in at $7.73 billion vs. an expected $7.44 billion. Cowen’s Josh Jennings highlighted this result, adding in a note that while there are challenges for nondiabetes medical devices and core diagnostics, areas including diabetes, nutrition, the established pharmaceuticals division and COVID-19 testing shined.
BEIJING – During the market downturn caused by COVID-19 disruptions, biotech and med-tech companies continue to attract investors at a time when medical solutions are needed more than ever. Qiming Venture Partners said it has established a new $1.1 billion fund to target early stage health care and technology investments.