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Pharmaceuticals, health and wellness

Novartis, Mylan and Teva to supply tens of millions of chloroquine tablets to fight COVID-19

As efforts to discover new COVID-19 medicines roll on, President Donald Trump and others this week focused attention on the decades-old malaria drug chloroquine. Bayer got things rolling with an initial donation of the drug, and now Novartis, Mylan and Teva are taking steps to deliver tens of millions of tablets. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, a […]

GSK’s ViiV, post-FDA rejection, scores Canadian nod for once-monthly HIV regimen Cabenuva

Despite high hopes for its game-changing monthly HIV regimen Cabenuva, GlaxoSmithKline’s ViiV Healthcare went back to the drawing board after the FDA slammed the drug’s manufacturing late last year. But Canadian regulators had few concerns and now Cabenuva will be ready for launch in its first global market.  ViiV Healthcare’s long-acting Cabenuva (cabotegravir and rilpivirine) has been approved in […]

Trump talks antiviral progress amid COVID-19 pandemic, but FDA chief Hahn urges caution

In a much-anticipated press conference Thursday, President Donald Trump said the U.S. has stepped up near-term efforts to advance and make available antivirals to help patients with COVID-19 illnesses. But despite the urgency and the progress, FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said it’s important to learn more about all potential treatments. Amid the pandemic, one drug […]

China’s CanSino pushes coronavirus vaccine into clinical testing as Moderna kicks off trial

Among a long list of biopharma companies developing vaccines against the novel coronavirus, China’s CanSino Biologics and Massachusetts-based Moderna Therapeutics are so far the frontrunners. CanSino Bio and its collaborators at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences’ Institute of Biotechnology secured a quick Chinese regulatory go-ahead to start human testing of their recombinant coronavirus vaccine, […]

Tennessee’s ‘patient zero,’ a Biogen employee, comes forward to discuss ‘hysteria’ and ‘human kindness at its very best’

The novel coronavirus case count stemming from Biogen’s late-February meeting in Boston has climbed to more than 100 globally, but behind each case is a story and a family.  In Tennessee, the state’s self-described “patient zero” has decided to come forward and share his experience. Like others, 44-year-old Chris Baumgartner has witnessed “mass hysteria” in recent weeks, […]

Merck’s Keytruda pulled from England’s Cancer Drugs Fund in bladder cancer

Merck’s Keytruda has suffered its second setback with English cost watchdogs in as many months. In final guidance, NICE rejected the drug in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who have had platinum-containing chemotherapy. The drug had been available via England’s Cancer Drugs Fund following an earlier review while authorities collected more evidence. But […]

Look for novel coronavirus treatments first, experts say, and vaccines are farther off than you think

What’s the outlook for really fending off the novel coronavirus? Small molecule drugs and other therapeutics will obviously beat vaccines to market, and Gilead’s remdesivir, if effective, could scale up fast, experts said. Vaccines are likely farther off than quoted timelines suggest. It’s “overly optimistic” to expect them in 12 to 18 months, two opinion leaders […]

Pfizer, Merck KGaA’s Bavencio skewered by Javelin in head and neck cancer

Pfizer and Merck KGaA’s Bavencio threw another Javelin but missed their target in head and neck cancer. Adding Bavencio to chemoradiotherapy didn’t provide much extra benefit to patients with previously untreated locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, the pair unveiled Friday. The independent data monitoring committee found at an interim analysis that the […]

Regeneron a ‘national strategic asset’ for quick response to COVID-19 outbreak: analyst

Drugmakers of all shapes and sizes are chasing after therapeutics and vaccines to fight the novel coronavirus. But among the pack, one company’s track record might give it the jump on a treatment—and at least one analyst is not afraid to heap praise on its efforts.  Regeneron’s “innovative horsepower and initiative” in its response to COVID-19, including a push to repurpose arthritis med […]

Biogen signs on to manufacture clinical supplies for Vir’s COVID-19 antibodies

Biopharma companies across the globe are scrambling to address the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was declared a pandemic on Wednesday. Now, two of them—Biogen and former CEO George Scangos’ new company, Vir Biotechnology—are teaming up on an antibody development and manufacturing pact. Biogen and Vir have signed a letter of intent and have already started working together. The deal is still subject to final agreements, but due […]

Bristol Myers Squibb snags new liver cancer nod for Opdivo-Yervoy combo

Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo-Yervoy immuno-oncology combo has had some ups and downs lately. But it can now claim a new FDA nod in pretreated liver cancer. The Opdivo-Yervoy regimen is now FDA-approved to treat hepatocellular carcinoma patients who have previously received Bayer’s standard-of-care Nexavar, Bristol said Wednesday. Because the FDA doled out the indication under […]

Takeda’s Ninlaro swings and misses in newly diagnosed myeloma

Just one day after Bristol Myers Squibb said its Empliciti had failed a multiple myeloma trial that could have widened its market, Takeda revealed Ninlaro had suffered the exact same fate. In a study of previously untreated patients ineligible for stem cell transplant, adding Ninlaro to a combination of Celgene’s Revlimid and steroid dexamethasone didn’t […]