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Pharmafile.com's weekly COVID-19 news round-up

Published on 24/06/20 at 11:35am
Photo by CDC

Coronavirus news this week sees treatments for existing diseases being tested in COVID-19 patients, with Roche's rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra showing no benefit in COVID-19 pneumonia while researchers at the University of Buffalo have launched a study to see if the steroid treatment ciclesonide could be effective in treating the coronavirus.

In other virus related news, It has been reported that the European Union is currently negotiating a deal with Johnson & Johnson to reserve or buy upfront the COVID-19 vaccine they currently have in development, while the Independent SAGE group has warned that it is not safe to relax social distancing rules for indoor settings in England, after the government reduce it to just 1 metre.

1. Roche's rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra shows no benefit in COVID-19 pneumonia - Published on 18/06/20

Hope is waning around the efficacy of Roche’s Actemra (tocilizumab) following the release of results from an Italian study focusing on the use of the drug in patients with early-stage COVID-19 pneumonia.  

2. Study launched to assess if asthma treatment ciclesonide can treat COVID-19 - Published on 18/06/20

Researchers at the University of Buffalo have launched a study to see if the steroid treatment ciclesonide could be effective in treating the coronavirus.

3. EU reportedly in talks with J&J to secure doses of its COVID-19 vaccine - Published on 19/06/20

It has been reported that the European Union is currently negotiating a deal with pharma giant Johnson & Johnson to reserve or buy upfront the COVID-19 vaccine the latter currently has in development.

4. SAGE group warns it is not safe to relax social distancing rules across Britain - Published on 22/06/20

The Independent SAGE group has warned that it is not safe to relax social distancing rules for indoor settings, after the government’s expected proposal to reduce it to just 1 metre.

5. Repurposed corticosteroid dexamethasone shown to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients needing respiratory support - Published on 17/06/20

The University of Oxford has unveiled exciting new data in the treatment of the novel coronavirus, with a randomised clinical trial proving the efficacy of the corticosteroid dexamethasone in reducing mortality rates in COVID-19-infected patients requiring respiratory intervention.

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