COVID-19 has vexed researchers, physicians and public health authorities since its emergence with an unexpectedly rapid rate of mutation. In addition to requiring constant adjustment of therapeutics and repeated vaccinations, the ever-changing virus has rapidly made scores of prognostic models irrelevant within months of development. Feinstein researchers appear to have met the challenge with an auto-updating model that predicts 28-day survival in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Molecular Sensoring Technology Co. Ltd. (Molsentech) has developed a diagnostic platform using semiconductor chips with biosensors for COVID-19 testing. The platform could deliver a result anywhere from three to 30 minutes, with accuracy compatible to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
It was a busy day at Moderna Inc. as Merck & Co. Inc. exercised its option to jointly develop and commercialize a personalized cancer vaccine with Moderna in a deal the two companies inked in 2016. Moderna also notched another emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine, this one targeting the omicron variant, for use by those under age 18.
The COVID-19 pandemic may or may not be over, depending on which member of the U.S. government’s executive branch one asks, but the FDA’s device center has drawn much tighter lines around its emergency use authorization (EUA) program for COVID-19 tests.
Cue Health Inc. rolled out a same-day, at-home, test-to-treatment program through its Cue Health app for any patient in the U.S. with a positive result from its COVID-19 test. The service includes a virtual, on-demand visit with a health care professional to discuss the test result; a prescription for medication to treat the virus, if appropriate; and home delivery of the medication, typically within hours of the visit. Medications may also be made available for pickup at a local pharmacy.
After political leaders across the globe made patents and other intellectual property (IP) safeguards the scapegoat for disparities in access to COVID-19 vaccines, the biopharma industry is sharing its vision for how to deal with the foundational issues of equitable access in pandemics to come – and it has nothing to do with IP waivers like the one World Trade Organization members adopted last month.
Armed with data but no crystal ball, the U.S. FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will be asked June 28 to predict the next-generation vaccines that will be needed to best respond to the COVID-19 futurescape. While Moderna Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Novavax Inc. will briefly present clinical data for their variant vaccines at the VRBPAC meeting, the discussion will be about the future of all COVID-19 vaccines being developed or authorized for the U.S. market.
Mittelstand Santé, a new Franco-German health-tech alliance, has just published its first compilation of feedback from executives of French and German health care companies relating to the COVID pandemic. The French contingent is developing proposals aimed at strengthening the resilience of European health care manufacturing.
The cost of providing COVID-19 vaccines and therapies for a possible fall surge in the U.S. is coming at the expense of testing and personal protection equipment. While other countries are planning for the expected surge by placing their orders for vaccines and therapies, “we are starting to lose our place in line,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Ashish Jha said during a June 9 media briefing.