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Y-mAbs announces FDA approval of Danyelza for the treatment of Neuroblastoma

Photo by RadsWiki https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neuroblastoma_103.jpg

Y-mAbs Therapeutics has announced that the FDA has approved Danyelza in combination with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (“GM-CSF”), for the treatment of relapsed or refractory high-risk neuroblastoma of the bone or bone marrow in patients at least one uear old.

England COVID-19 spread levelling off after cases fell slightly

Photo by Mtaylor848

Coronavirus infection rates across England are levelling off after a slight decrease in cases last week, according to the Office of National Statistics. 

The group estimated that 633,000 people in private households in England had COVID-19 between 15 and 21 November, around 1.16% of the population. This is down from 664,700 the previous week, or 1.22% of the population. 

Plan to import Canadian drugs to the US challenged by pharmaceutical lobby in Florida

Photo by Ragesoss https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Money_and_pills_in_three_colors.jpg

The proposed plan to import cheaper Canadian drugs to Florida is being challenged by the US pharmaceutical lobby in court. 

The plan was proposed under rules finalised by Alex Azar and the Department of Health and Human Services in July, and is now being challenged by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Partnership for Safe Medicines and the Council for Affordable Health Coverage. 

FDA approves first drug to treat rare rapid ageing condition progeria

The Cell Nucleus and Aging: Tantalizing Clues and Hopeful Promises. Scaffidi P, Gordon L, Misteli T. PLoS Biology Vol. 3/11/2005, e395 https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0030395

The FDA has approved the first drug to treat the rare genetic disorder progeria, a rare condition which causes cells to age rapidly and prematurely, leading children to appear older before they reach maturity. Most people with this condition die in their early teens from heart failure, heart attack or stroke. 

The December 2020 issue of Pharmafocus is available to read free online now!

The final 2020 monthly edition of Pharmafocus is available to read for free online now!

After a long and theatrical election, Joe Biden has emerged as the next US President, setting a new direction that has many hopeful that 2021 will play out quite differently to this year. He has his work cut out in curbing a pandemic that has claimed more than 258,000 lives in the US so far.

OPEN Health reveals new CEO appointment

Rob Barker has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at health communications and market access group OPEN Health, replacing current CEO and Co-Founder David Rowley, who has been in the role for a decade.

Barker steps into the head role after six years at the company, having most recently served as CEO of Open Health’s Medical Communications practice. Over the course of his 30-year career in biopharmaceuticals, Barker has held a number of executive leadership roles at companies including Huntsworth Health, The Central Group and Medicus International.

First multiple sclerosis clinical trial for patients who can’t walk to begin recruitment

The first clinical trial to focus on multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who can’t walk will begin enrolling patients next year. 

The ChariotMS study will test whether Mavenclad can slow the rate of upper limb disability and progression in people with advanced MS. If successful, the study could lead to the first MS drug authorisations to protect upper limb function. 

Five Chinese coronavirus vaccines in overseas clinical trials

Photo by Daniel Paquet from Regina, Canada

Five different coronavirus vaccines from China are being tested in Phase 3 trials around the world. 

The countries conducting the trials are the UAE, Brazil, Pakistan and Peru. Two of the vaccines are being developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm); one inactivated vaccine is being developed by Sinovac; one adenoviral vector vaccine is being developed in collaboration between the Academy of Military Sciences and CanSino; and the final on is a recombinant protein vaccine developed by Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biologic Pharmacy. 

Vietnam selected as Asian pilot country for UK’s new global healthcare partnership

Hector Garcia from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

A new global healthcare partnership funded by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the London School of Economics and AstraZeneca has selected Vietnam as its only Asian pilot country for the scheme. 

This is part of the Partnership for Global Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR) which aims to initiate a multi-sector effort to help health systems foresee, adapt and prevent emerging global health challenges. 

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