KARACHI, Pakistan – Beyond stepping up manufacturing of the medical devices it needs to fight COVID-19, Pakistan is using technology platforms to reach out to a large diaspora for help. The country is taking steps to leverage limited resources through a more comprehensive system of telehealth applications that allow for faster self-diagnosis and make it possible to tap into the expertise of Pakistani doctors.
Widespread testing is going to be key to safely reopening businesses and global economies in the current pandemic. To that end, Kahala Biosciences LLC, an Irvine, Calif.-based testing and tracking startup, and its technology partner, Rymedi Inc., of Greenville, S.C., have launched the Adiona COVID-19 antibody testing platform, combining antibody testing with a blockchain-enabled smartphone app to increase predictability and traceability of potential outbreaks.
The number of tests of various types for the SARS-CoV-2 virus are still growing, but the emergency use authorization (EUA) program is not the only option for developers. Timothy Stenzel, director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiology, said on the agency’s May 27 town hall that the agency would like to see test developers file for a 510(k) for their tests when the data are sufficient to support an application, adding that any such clearances will not affect the U.S. FDA’s interest in keeping plenty of similar tests on the market via the EUA mechanism.
Amsterdam-based Royal Philips NV has launched a five-day, wearable biosensor patch that monitors respiratory and heart rates once every minute, as well as assesses contextual information such as posture, activity level and ambulation. The wearable, disposable patch, dubbed the Philips Biosensor BX100, has received FDA clearance and a CE mark and is intended for use in lower acuity hospital care.
As the FDA continues to shift its limited resources to the development and review of COVID-19 therapies and vaccines, other drugs in the pipeline may be delayed. In a question-and-answer guidance released late Tuesday, the agency acknowledged that, going forward, it may not be able to sustain its current performance level in meeting all its goal dates for new drugs and biologics.
Within a month of disclosing a CA$175.6 million (US$124.7 million) award from the Canadian government to use its antibody discovery platform for the analysis of patients who have recovered from COVID-19, Abcellera Biologics Inc. closed a $105 million series B financing aimed at expanding its capacity and investing in new technologies that complement its antibody discovery engine.
Regulatory snapshots, including global drug submissions and approvals, clinical trial approvals and other regulatory decisions and designations: Algernon, Amivas, Anivive, Astellas, Azitra, Beyond Air, BMS, Diffusion, Fresenius Kabi, GSK, Immunitybio, Intelgenx, Microbion, Protara, Radius, Regenerx, Regeneron, Relmada, Sanofi, Sorrento.