Biopharma happenings, including deals and partnerships, grants, preclinical data and other news in brief: Aqualung, Arecor, Cyclica, Entos, Forma, Generex, Hoth, Lilly, Mateon, Nascent, Neurotheryx, Rocket, Roivant, Stabilitech.
Clinical updates, including trial initiations, enrollment status and data readouts and publications: Algernon, Bellus, Biondvax, Bioxcel, Cellphire, Genentech, GT Biopharma, ISA, Nantkwest, Novartis, Oramed, Pfizer, Phathom, Soligenix, TFF.
The first attempt at using existing drugs to treat patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 has yielded disappointing results. In 200 hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19, a 14-day regimen of twice-daily treatment with Kaletra/Aluvia (lopinavir/ritonavir, Abbvie Inc.) did not hasten recovery when added to the standard of care.
The U.S. capacity for SARS-CoV-2 testing is limited by several items, including the swabs used to collect patient specimens, but the supply of reagents has been front and center recently. Despite those concerns, several private test makers said they are quickly ramping up production, including Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., of Waltham, Mass., which said it has enough supplies of all types on hand to provide 2 million reactions per week, a volume that should increase to 5 million per week in April.
LONDON – In the rush to test drugs against COVID-19, clinical trials in other indications are starting to be interrupted by the strains on health care systems and the fact that many potential patients are those most at risk from the effects of the novel coronavirus.
With medical researchers across the globe adjusting to the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19, commercial and academic trialists are taking action to protect essential studies. Regulators, too, are now joining the effort in a more concerted way, with the FDA issuing new guidance for industry, investigators and institutional review boards on conducting clinical trials during the pandemic.
Randomized trials of the broad-spectrum antiviral favipiravir, marketed as an anti-influenza treatment by Fujifilm Holdings Corp., have shown "obvious efficacy" against COVID-19, according to Zhang Xinmin, head of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development.