Shares of Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals Ltd. hit a 52-week high on June 29 as pivotal phase III results showed that Arcalyst (rilonacept), a medicine it licensed from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., led to a 96% reduction in risk of recurrent pericarditis events among 61 people not helped by standard-of-care treatments.
Blue chip public biopharmaceutical companies continued their positive trajectory in May, with the BioWorld Biopharmaceutical index recording an 8% jump in valuation and contributing to its year-to-date performance of approximately 17%.
Preliminary data from the first part of a phase II/III trial testing the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antibody Kevzara (sarilumab, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sanofi SA) in patients with severe or critical respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 found that, relative to a placebo, the medicine "had no notable benefit on clinical outcomes" among that combined group.
Given all the public-private partnerships responding to the need for timely COVID-19 therapies, diagnostics and vaccines, the demands to forgo patents or exclusive licenses for coronavirus products and the clamor that industry shouldn’t “profit” from U.S. taxpayer-supported research are growing louder.
Concerns about the escalating global spread of COVID-19 panicked the markets big time at the close of the month. With investors rushing to the sidelines, it only took five days for the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop more than 10% from its all-time high, getting close to the 30,000 mark.
“The FDA is keenly aware that the outbreak will likely affect the medical product supply chain, including potential disruption to supplier shortages of critical medical products in the U.S.,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said Tuesday, Feb. 25, during a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged COVID-19 is spreading, they say it has not yet reached pandemic disease status. The statement did little to comfort the nerves of investors Feb. 24 as they exited global markets big time in the wake of an eruption of new infections in Italy, Iran and South Korea.