LONDON – The discovery of a compound that can prevent replication of various coronaviruses – which cause common respiratory infections as well as rare but highly dangerous infections – has raised hopes that it may be possible in the future to develop drugs to treat these infections.
BOSTON – At the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Monday's symposium on "the next emerging threat" acquired an unexpected timeliness as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials reported the first case of person-to-person transmission of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the U.S. – so much so that the session was hastily moved into the grand ballroom to accommodate surging interest.
Amgen Inc., of Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Astrazeneca plc, of London, reported that the phase III AMAGINE-1 study testing brodalumab, a drug designed to bind to the interleukin-17 receptor, in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis met all primary and secondary endpoints for both evaluated doses.
Beigene Co. Ltd., of Beijing, received a $5 million milestone in the company's collaboration with Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, of Darmstadt, Germany, for BGB-283, a second-generation BRAF inhibitor candidate currently in phase I development. The milestone triggers a $5 million payment from Merck to Beigene.
Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the first U.S. case of Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. The patient had returned from Saudi Arabia on April 24, first fell ill in Indiana on April 27 and was hospitalized on April 28.
Two independent teams of scientists, one from the Chinese Tsinghua University and one from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of North Carolina, have identified antibodies to the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that may form the basis of prophylactic or therapeutic treatments against the virus.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM-SOM) and Novavax Inc., of Gaithersburg, Md., said an investigational vaccine candidate developed by Novavax against the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) blocked infection in laboratory studies.