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Published on 19/03/21 at 12:17pm

In the last week, a number of new developments have made the news; for COVID-19, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been suspended in 11 European countries, a Florida woman has given birth to the first-known baby born with COVID-19 antibodies, and a number of new trials have shown promising findings. Elsewhere, and in the most-read story of the week, the Phase III trial of Libtayo stopped early after positive overall survival results.

 1. Medicago & GSK start plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine trial Published 17/03/21

Medicago and GSK have announced the start of Phase III clinical testing of Medicago’s plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine.

2. Kintor’s COVID-19 treatment reduces mortality by 92% – Published 12/03/21

Kintor Pharmaceutical’s Proxalutamide treatment has been proven to reduce risk of mortality from COVID-19 by 92%, in a clinical trial conducted on patients in Brazil.

3. Phase III trial of Libtayo stopped early after positive overall survival results – Published 15/03/21

A Phase III trial of Sanofi and Regeneron’s PD-1 inhibitor Libtayo (cemiplimab) will be stopped early after positive results demonstrated an overall survival (OS) benefit in Libtayo monotherapy compared to chemotherapy in patients previously treated with chemotherapy, whose cervical cancer is recurrent or metastatic.

4. Netherlands suspends AstraZeneca vaccine despite safety assurances – Published 15/03/21

The Netherlands has become the latest country to suspend the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid concerns it may cause blood clotting, cancelling 43,000 vaccination appointments.

5. AstraZeneca vaccine suspended in 11 European countries – Published 16/03/21

Blood clot fears have caused 11 European countries to suspend the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

6. Johnson & Johnson’s arthritis drug shows promising results in Phase III trialPublished 16/03/21

Johnson & Johnson’s TREMFYA treatment for active Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) has returned positive results in its Phase III trial.

7. Lilly’s ulcerative colitis treatment meets all key endpoints in Phase III trial Published 17/03/21

Eli Lilly’s mirikizumab treatment for ulcerative colitis (UC) patients has met the primary endpoints and all key secondary endpoints in a Phase III trial.

8. Florida woman gives birth to first-known baby born with COVID-19 antibodiesPublished 18/03/21

A woman from Florida has given birth to the first-known baby born with COVID-19 antibodies, according to findings recently published by US paediatricians, Dr Paul Gilbert and Dr Chad Rudnick.

9. Roche acquire GenMark in $1.8 billion deal Published 15/03/21

Pharmaceutical giant Roche have bought GenMark Diagnostics in a deal worth $1.8 billion, expanding their infectious disease testing for illnesses including respiratory and bloodstream infections.

10. Perception and Otsuka enter collaboration and licensing deal for depression drug candidatePublished 16/03/21

Perception Neuroscience and Otsuka Pharmaceutical have announced a collaboration and licensing agreement for the development and commercialisation of Perception’s lead molecule, PCN-101, in Japan as a potential treatment for mood disorders such as major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

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