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Pharmafile.com's top 10 news stories of the week

Published on 16/04/21 at 12:12pm
Top 10 news roundup

A number of new COVID-19 developments have dominated the news again this week: J&J’s vaccine for the virus has been paused in the US due to blood clot fears, while asthma drug budesonide has been proven to help recovery from COVID at home; elsewhere, Roche’s Evrysdi drug for SMA has shown to significantly increase survival in a two-year study.

 1. Moderna publishes antibody persistence data of COVID-19 vaccine Published 09/04/21

Moderna have published antibody persistence data out to six months following the second dose of its COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) in The New England Journal of Medicine this week.

2. Asthma drug Budesonide helps COVID-19 recovery at home – Published 13/04/21

Budesonide, a widely-used asthma drug, is the first treatment to be proven to speed up the recovery of COVID-19 patients who stay at home.

3. Roche’s Evrysdi drug for SMA shown to significantly increase survival – Published 15/04/21

Roche’s Evrysdi therapy for the treatment of children with type 1 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been shown to increase chances of survival and sustain improvements in achieving key motor milestones, according to results from drug co-developer PTC Therapeutics’ FIREFISH trial.

4. AstraZeneca’s Farxiga falls short in Phase III trials for treatment of COVID-19 – Published 13/04/21

AstraZeneca’s Farxiga drug, usually used in patients with diabetes, did not show statistical significance in the Phase III trial into its effects in people hospitalised with COVID-19.

5. J&J vaccine halted in US due to blood clots – Published 14/04/21

The CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the US, over fears that the shot may cause blood clotting.

6. EMA launch investigation into J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine amid US blood clot reportsPublished 12/04/21

The EMA is reviewing reports of rare blood clots in four people in the US who received Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, one of whom has died.

7. Regeneron’s drug cocktail shown to prevent symptomatic COVID-19Published 13/04/21

Regeneron’s REGEN-COV treatment cocktail for COVID-19, a combination between casirivimab and imdevimab, has shown a significant reduction in progression to symptomatic versions of the virus, according to a Phase III trial.

8. First approved C5 complement inhibitor recommended by NICE for NHS usePublished 15/04/21

NICE has recommended Ultomiris (ravulizumab) for use in the NHS for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (PNH) in adult patients with haemolysis with clinical symptoms suggesting high disease activity, or whose disease is clinically stable after having Solris (eculizumab) for at least six months.

9. Gilead’s bladder cancer drug gets FDA approvalPublished 15/04/21

The FDA have granted accelerated approval to Gilead’s Trodelvy drug for the treatment of metastatic urothelial cancer (UC).

10. Exscientia enter first-ever AI cancer drug into Phase I trials Published 09/04/21

Exscientia and Evotec have announced that they are entering an AI-designed immuno-oncology drug into Phase I trials for the first time ever.

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