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COVID-19 research and development (R&D) has started to see the first set of novel drug candidates enter clinical trials by way of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Experts interviewed by GlobalData see potential in these but are cautious that the cocktail strategy may not pan out better than treating with a single mAb, according to reporting from Manasi Vaidya, Pharma Writer for the Investigative News team at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Vaidya adds: “Beyond their treatment potential, when it comes to preventing infection, mAbs will likely be most applicable to the post-exposure setting. “While the clinical development landscape has, so far, largely focused on repurposing existing drugs and investigating vaccines, mAbs for COVID-19 provide a novel and attractive appr…
DANBURY, Conn. & RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IQVIA™ (NYSE:IQV) has announced its collaboration with AstraZeneca (LON: AZN) to accelerate development of a potential new vaccine for COVID-19. This joint initiative is part of the U.S. government’s recently announced Operation Warp Speed project. Operation Warp Speed is part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. The specific IQVIA and AstraZeneca collaboration will drive faster delivery of clinical studies in the U.S. aimed at demonstrating efficacy of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222. This initiative includes an expansive subject study, which is expected to begin enrolling participants this summer and wil…
Edinburgh, UK, July 14, 2020 – Macomics Ltd, an immuno-oncology company with world-leading expertise in macrophage biology, launches today with a £3.2 million seed financing round led by transatlantic VC Epidarex Capital, with the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, also investing. Company formation and in-licensing of the technology has been facilitated by Edinburgh Innovations, the commercialisation service for the University of Edinburgh. Macomics, which was spun out from the University of Edinburgh, will use the proceeds of this fundraising round to develop novel, first-in-class immunotherapies designed to modulate macrophages, increasing the body’s immune defence against tumours.  Macomics’ approach is based on leading academic research around macropha…
Responding to the latest monthly NHS England performance figures, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:"Against a backdrop that has been so heavily dominated by bad news, it is welcome to see a glimmer of positivity in the latest NHS England performance figures with a month-on-month rise in the percentage of people seen by a specialist within two weeks of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer. This is testament to the phenomenal efforts of our frontline staff. “However, these figures also demonstrate that we are seeing the fallout from coronavirus across the NHS, as the percentage of patients waiting more than 18 weeks to start treatment is rising again, and low A&E attendances and emergency admissions…
New technologies capable of sequencing single molecules in fine detail will help scientists better understand the mechanisms of rare nucleotides thought to play an important role in the progression of some diseases.   A review paper, led by a scientist at the University of Birmingham, describes how emerging sequencing technologies will transform our understanding of these molecules, ultimately leading to new drug targets. The paper is published in the journal Trends in Biotechnology.   Expression of genes to make protein involves making a messenger RNA molecule. Although RNA, like DNA consist of the four nucleotides, some of them carry decorations called the epitranscriptome. These modified nucleotides are important additions to the genetic code whose functions are little understood, but h…
The spread of Covid-19 inside care homes has been fuelled by a lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) – according to new research from the University of East Anglia. Researchers studying the spread of the virus in Norfolk care homes found that once the virus was present, its spread was most strongly linked to a lack of PPE, particularly facemasks and eye protection. But the introduction of the virus into the homes wasn’t dependent on PPE but rather the total numbers of non-care staff working there.  Covid-19 was more likely to get into residential care homes when there were more non-care staff such as maintenance people, cooks and those in administrative roles. The research is the first to observe how Covid-19 seems to enter and spread through care homes. Due to the rapid-response nat…
London & Reykjavik, 29 June, 2020 – Pfizer is partnering with Nordic digital therapeutics company SidekickHealth to advance patient wellbeing across Europe via a digital therapeutics platform. The solution combines scientific expertise and digital technologies, giving patients a new tool to help them maintain healthy lifestyles, improve their disease management and quality of life, while providing guidance and resources to facilitate easier and faster communication between them and their healthcare professional. The collaboration is designed to empower patients to take control of their health and focuses on a number of therapeutic areas. First, for patients in Finland suffering from the two main inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) conditions, ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (C…
London, 30 June, 2020 – Freeline, a biotechnology company focused on developing curative gene therapies for chronic systemic diseases, today announced the closing of a $120 million extended Series C financing. The financing augments Syncona’s previously announced Series C investment in Freeline of $40 million (£30.6 million) with an additional $80 million (£61.2 million) of new capital. The round was led by Novo Holdings A/S, Eventide Asset Management and Wellington Management Company, with additional participation from Cowen Healthcare Investments, Acorn Bioventures and Ample Plus Fund. Freeline expects to use the proceeds from the financing to bring its lead program in Haemophilia B into a pivotal trial, as well as to continue its Phase 1/2 clinical program for Fabry Disease and further…
New UK fund cornerstoned by £50 million investment from the British Business Bank, through its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme Epidarex Capital III UK LP will invest in new life science companies from emerging research hubs across the UK, including spinouts from highly regarded universities Edinburgh, UK, 22 June 2020 - Epidarex Capital (“Epidarex”), a transatlantic life science venture firm, announces that it has closed Epidarex Capital III UK LP (the “Fund”) at £102.1 million. The Fund will build new life science companies based on world-class research and innovation from emerging hubs across the UK, including spinouts from highly regarded universities. Typical initial investments will range from £2 million to £5 million. The new Fund has been cornerstoned by the British Busin…
--- Royal Society of Chemistry gathers publishers of more than 4,400 scholarly journals and tens of thousands of books in landmark commitment to reduce bias --- --- Publications range across disciplines including STEM and medicine to humanities and social sciences --- --- American Chemical Society, BMJ, Elsevier, the Royal Society, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press among those to sign up --- --- Nobel Prize-winning chemist Professor Frances Arnold endorses RSC leadership --- Publishers responsible for tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journals and books have signed an agreement to take a proactive stance against bias, as they commit to working together to better reflect the diversity of their communities and to remove barriers for under-represented groups. The joint…
UK medtech start-up Gendius has signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with global, science-led biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to develop Gendius’ leading diabetes management platform (Intellin®) and support patients in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which have some of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. This strategic partnership will build on Gendius’ expertise from its market-leading diabetes management platform, Intellin®, which has more than 200,000 downloads worldwide. Through the partnership with AstraZeneca, healthcare professionals across the Gulf region will use Gendius’ Intellin® platform to optimise their patients’ diabetes management, in order to reduce the incidence of complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, amputation, and blin…
Behavioural change platform Changing Health has been appointed by NHS England to develop Healthy Living, a free, personalised NHS programme for the 3.4 million people living with Type 2 diabetes in the UK. A condition which currently costs the NHS £9bn per year - around 10% of the total health budget - this will be the first national rollout of its kind. With figures showing there are 22,000 avoidable deaths each year due to Type 2 diabetes, the new NHS support provides users with the skills and knowledge to manage their condition effectively, including advice on emotional and mental wellbeing, and helps users adopt and maintain healthy behaviours around diet and exercise. From later this year, users will be able access the digital platform at any time they need to via a phone or laptop an…
BASINGSTOKE, June 15, 2020 – Eli Lilly and Company announced today that the first patient has been enrolled in a Phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of baricitinib, an oral JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor licensed from Incyte, in hospitalized adults with COVID-19. Baricitinib, is approved in 70 countries as a treatment for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Lilly expects to enroll 400 patients in the trial, with data expected in the next few months. The study will be conducted in the U.S., U.K., Europe and Latin America and includes patients hospitalized with SARS-CoV- 2 infection who have at least one elevated marker of inflammation but do not require invasive mechanical ventilation at study entry. In COVID-1…
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., June 10, 2020 – Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) (the Company) today announced that through its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies (Janssen) it has accelerated the initiation of the Phase 1/2a first-in-human clinical trial of its investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S, recombinant. Initially scheduled to begin in September, the trial is now expected to commence in the second half of July. Paul Stoffels, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson, said, “Based on the strength of the preclinical data we have seen so far and interactions with the regulatory authorities, we have been able to further accelerate the clinical development of our investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S, recombinant. Simulta…
Zegami, the Oxford University data visualisation spin-out, has joined an international team of medical researchers to try and find the cause of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).  This could then help in the development of the first ever medical test for the condition, new treatments or even to find a cure.  The work could also help researchers studying other medical conditions that have a fatigue symptom including cancer, strokes, Parkinson Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.    ME/CFS affects 20 million people worldwide, but it is not clear what causes it.  Complex and variable symptoms make it difficult to diagnose and only 5% of patients make a full recovery.  Research into the causes has been limited due to a lack of funding, but the recent identification o…
Abu Dhabi; June 09, 2020: Group 42 (G42), a leading AI and Cloud Computing company based in the United Arab Emirates, and Oxford Nanopore Technologies, an advanced sequencing technology company based in the United Kingdom, announced today they have developed an unprecedented population-scale technology that rapidly and accurately detects SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The end-to-end solution will be officially launched within weeks. With ultra-high parallel processing capacity, the new technology has the potential to transform the diagnostics industry globally. This innovation uses the LamPORE assay, which is based on the LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) technique and Oxford Nanopore’s rapid sequencing platform, in combination with the high-throughput automation,…
eConsult, the UK’s leading online triage provider to the NHS, has become the first online consultation service to be integrated with the NHS App. Patients whose GP surgeries use eConsult can use the NHS App to ‘Ask your GP for advice’ and are prompted to complete clinically validated eConsult questions. This is known as an online consultation and allows the GP Surgery to decide how best to advise the patient. Where possible the online consultation will be passed to the patient’s regular GP or member of the team who will then respond. The NHS App, owned by the NHS is a simple and secure way to access a variety of NHS services from mobile devices. Now eConsult is integrated into the NHS App for initial, online triage with efficient use for patients and doctors. Further detail can be found vi…
The House of Lords International Agreements Sub-Committee has today launched its first call for evidence, seeking views on the ongoing UK-US trade negotiations. The committee is seeking evidence on the full range of areas being negotiated with the US, with an initial focus on agriculture and food safety, healthcare and drug pricing, and digital trade and services. The committee is asking for submissions of written evidence to be received by Friday 26 June, but the call for evidence will remain open throughout the negotiations. Lord Goldsmith, Chairman of the Internaional Agreements Sub-Committee, said: “The International Agreements Sub-Committee has been established to scrutinise how the Government negotiates new international agreements for a post-Brexit UK. This includes new trade deals.…
JUNE 1 2020, 10:00 KST, INCHEON, KOREA – Celltrion Group today announced positive pre-clinical results for its COVID-19 antiviral antibody treatment, with data demonstrating a 100-fold reduction in the viral load of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The treatment was also able to show improvement in lung lesions to a normal activity level in animal models. The pre-clinical study was conducted in an animal model in collaboration with one of the Korean National Universities, Chungbuk National University College of Medicine. The trial set out to assess the efficacy of two dosage amounts (low and high) for the antiviral antibody treatment. In comparison to the placebo-controlled group, the research team observed improved recovery in terms of clinical symptom scores such as runny nose, co…
London, England, May 28, 2020 - ADVANZ PHARMA Corp. Limited (“ADVANZ PHARMA”), a global pharmaceutical company focused on serving the needs of patients and healthcare providers around the world with enhanced access to high quality, niche-established medicines, today announced that it closed its previously announced acquisition of specialty pharmaceutical company Correvio Pharma Corp. (“Correvio”).This acquisition will provide ADVANZ PHARMA with an immediate and direct commercial and medical presence in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the Benelux region, while strengthening its existing presence in the Nordics and the United Kingdom. It will also bring a portfolio of innovative high-quality brands that are sold in more than 60 countries around the world. ADVANZ PHARMA paid approximately…