March 18, 2020 - Fierce Pharma
Biopharma companies have scrambled to start new R&D projects and repurpose existing medicines amid the COVID-19 crisis. Now, Bayer is donating an older treatment to the U.S. government for potential use.
The company is donating 3 million tablets of malaria medicine chloroquine, a decades-old drug that's available for cheap. Axios first
news of the donation Wednesday, citing a senior HHS official and another source with knowledge of the plan. Bayer confirmed the donation Thursday.
Chloroquine isn’t approved to treat patients suffering from novel coronavirus infections, but some early studies have shown promise. In France, for instance, a professor conducted a small study of the malaria drug in 24 patients with novel coronavirus infections. Of those who received the medicine, only 25% tested positive for the virus after 6 days,
to en24. Meanwhile, of those who didn't receive it, 90% tested positive after that timeframe. The French government now plans to run larger studies.
March 17, 2020 - Fierce Pharma
AbbVie and Allergan are looking for a quick close for their $63 billion merger after agreeing to sell off three drugs to help clear antitrust hurdles. But with the novel coronavirus slowing operations, that speedy approval could take longer than expected––at least that's what regulators are saying.
AbbVie and Allergan
a "consent decree" Tuesday with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to divest late-stage gastrointestinal candidate brazikumab and two pancreatic replacement enzymes in a move to ease antitrust concerns.
March 16, 2020 - Fierce Pharma
Seeking a shortcut to treatment for the novel coronavirus pandemic, Sanofi and Regeneron spied promising results in severe patients with their shared arthritis med Kevzara. Now, they're hustling the med into immediate clinical trials to put that promise to the test.
Sanofi and Regeneron are ready to enroll a phase 2/3 clinical program studying arthritis med Kevzara as a therapy for patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19, Sanofi said Monday.
In a two-part U.S. arm of the Kevzara program, the drugmakers will evaluate the drug as an add-on to supportive care in around 400 patients across 16 states. The first segment of the trial will study Kevzara's impact on fever and patients’ need for supplemental oxygen while a second segment will focus on longer-term outcomes, including preventing death and cutting the need for supportive care such as mechanical ventilation, supplemental oxygen and/or hospitalization, the partners said.
March 16, 2020 -BioPharma Dive
The U.S. government reportedly sought to access research by Germany's CureVac on an experimental coronvirus vaccine, raising concerns in the European country and deepening the intrigue surrounding the biotech, which last week ousted its CEO.
In a Sunday statement, CureVac said it rejected "current rumors of an acquisition." Reports of an offer from the U.S. to bring CureVac's research stateside, published first by the German newspaper Welt Am Sonntag, were also denied by the U.S. ambassador to Germany, who wrote on Twitter that the "Welt story was wrong."