LONDON – The first population-level real world data on COVID-19 vaccines indicate they are having a dramatic impact on severe disease, with a study in Scotland showing a fall of 85% in hospital admissions for people who received the Pfizer Inc./Biontech SE product, and a drop of 94% for those who had Astrazeneca plc’s vaccine, four weeks after receiving the first dose.
Organoids grown from cholangiocytes – the epithelial cells of the bile duct – are poised to be used in ex vivo cell therapy to increase the number of donated livers that are suitable for transplant, and also for direct bile duct repairs. The organoids have been shown to be effective in correcting defects in mouse models and in perfused donated livers. They are now being tested in large animal models.
LONDON – Exosome specialist Evox Therapeutics Ltd. has raised $95.4 million in a series C round that will enable it to progress a number of rare disease programs into the clinic, with the lead due to enter phase I at the beginning of next year.
LONDON – Advent Life Sciences announced the close of two new transatlantic funds with a total of $215 million, to be dedicated to seed and series A funding of early stage science. The first fund is Advent’s own Life Sciences fund III, while the second is the Advent-Harrington Impact fund, which London-based Advent has raised, and will manage, on behalf of the Harrington Discovery Institute of Cleveland.
Organoids grown from cholangiocytes – the epithelial cells of the bile duct – are poised to be used in ex vivo cell therapy to increase the number of donated livers that are suitable for transplant, and also for direct bile duct repairs.
LONDON – The EU is taking concerted action to detect new variants of SARS-CoV-2, investing €225 million (US$270 million) to increase viral genome sequencing to 5% of positive cases across Europe, and to carry out research on their evolution and transmissibility.
LONDON – After a number of equivocal small studies, the U.K. Recovery trial has applied its heft to turn in statistically significant evidence that the rheumatoid arthritis treatment Roactemra (tocilizumab) reduces mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
LONDON – It began life as a legal tidy-up of post-Brexit regulatory issues, but the Medicines and Medical Devices bill that emerged from its final reading last week is in a significantly different form. Most notably, the bill legislates for the creation of a national register of all implantable medical devices and the appointment of a patient safety commissioner to act a single port of call and advocate for patients when devices fail.
LONDON – The World Health Organization’s (WHO) mission to Wuhan has rejected accidental laboratory escape as the source of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, but failed to uncover satisfactory evidence of its exact origin.