April 29, 2020 - Fierce Pharma
Biopharma players worldwide have committed big money and talent to the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine, striking some unprecedented partnerships along the way.
Behind the scenes, another joint effort has been taking shape at the White House, Bloomberg
The Trump administration is working up a Manhattan Project-style joint initiative, bringing biotech, pharma and federal agencies together to speed up the work—and let the U.S. government take on the financial risks.
April 28, 2020 - Fierce Pharma
While drugmakers across the industry deal with their respective COVID-19 challenges, Merck faces a unique set of circumstances because of its reliance on physician-administered drugs. Several companies have reaffirmed their 2020 performance forecasts, but Merck’s management just laid out expectations for a multibillion-dollar hit to 2020 sales.
Along with its first-quarter
, Merck reduced its 2020 revenue guidance by $2.5 billion at the midpoint. The company expects a $2.1 billion hit to sales in human and animal health products from the pandemic, plus a $750 million hit from currency exchange rates as investors flock to safe holdings such as the U.S. dollar. Operational strength in its human pharmaceuticals business should partially offset those factors, an exec said.
April 27, 2020 - Fierce Biotech
Members of Congress have called on the FDA to re-evaluate its stance toward COVID-19 antibody tests. Since mid-March, the agency has allowed diagnostic developers to bring their products to market without any outside evaluation that the results they produce are accurate.
Instead, these manufacturers can proceed after validating the tests themselves, but they are not required to share those results. Companies must also print labels saying their antibody tests are not FDA approved or authorized and should not be used as the sole method to diagnose a coronavirus infection.
April 27, 2020 - MIT Technology Review
Starting in the fall of 2016 and continuing into 2018, researchers at Columbia University in Manhattan began collecting nasal swabs from 191 children, teachers, and emergency workers, asking them to record when they sneezed or had sore throats. The point was to create a map of common respiratory viruses and their symptoms, and how long people who recovered stayed immune to each one.
The research included four coronaviruses, HKU1, NL63, OC42, and C229E, which circulate widely every year but don’t get much attention because they only cause common colds. But now that a new coronavirus in the same broad family, SARS-CoV-2, has the world on lockdown, information about the mild viruses is among our clues to how the pandemic might unfold.
April 27, 2020 - Fierce Biotech
The leaders of Germany and France and a host of other EU countries and groups have come together with the World Health Organization (WHO) for an $8 billion push for a new vaccine against COVID-19.
This comes as the pandemic hit 3 million recorded cases this week, with around 206,000 official deaths, though both cases and mortality are suspected to be much higher given the methodology many are using to tot up the grim statistics.
As the world continues to battle the virus, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have spearheaded a European drive to work with the WHO for a vaccine via an $8 billion project. A conference to discuss project’s funding is to be held May 4, with more details to be revealed.