Astrazeneca plc officials, during the firm’s Feb. 11 conference call on fourth-quarter earnings, highlighted the oral selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD) camizestrant in breast cancer (BC), which Cristian Massacesi, head of late-stage oncology development, said bears “best-in-class potential, in terms of providing superior clinical benefit at a well-tolerated dose” of 75 mg once per day.
In the shadow of the COVID-19-related deaths of more than half a million Americans and far more deaths across the world, the Biden administration is reportedly rethinking its position on a proposal before the World Trade Organization to waive intellectual property protection for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
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.
Pfizer Inc. and Biontech SE submitted new data to the FDA showing its COVID-19 vaccine’s stability can be maintained at temperatures often found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators: -13°F to 5°F (-25°C to -15°C). That’s cold but not nearly as cold as the mRNA-based vaccine’s emergency use authorization label calls for, which is storage in an ultra-cold freezer at temps of between -112 to -76 degrees Fahrenheit (-80 and -60 degrees Celsius).
CAJICA, Colombia – A cooler box with 70 vials allegedly filled with counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines seized from a Chinese couple in Colombia’s El Dorado International Airport on Feb. 17 underscored the growing challenges facing pharmaceutical companies, law enforcement authorities and health care regulators around the world. Patient safety, company liability, and the security of distribution channels have all been areas of growing concern.
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 – South Africa has decided against using the 1 million doses of Astrazeneca plc’s COVID-19 vaccine already in the country to start the rollout of its national vaccination program, in favor of opening a phase IIIb study of Johnson & Johnson’s single shot product. “Over the next few days, we expect to announce a plan to expedite vaccination using [J&J’s] investigational vaccine in health care professionals in South Africa,” said Glenda Gray, CEO of the South African Medical Research Council and chair of the country’s research committee on COVID-19.
LONDON – The U.K has started the world’s first trial alternating an adenoviral vectored COVID-19 vaccine with one that delivers the virus spike protein instructions encoded in messenger RNA. The heterologous prime boost trial will recruit 820 participants into an eight-arm study comparing different combinations of the Astrazeneca plc/Oxford University and Pfizer Inc./Biontech SE vaccines, administered in a different order and at different intervals.