Pharma

Methadone to be handed out without prescription during Covid-19 crisis | Politics

Pharmacists are to be allowed to hand out a range of super-strength medicines, including the heroin substitute methadone, without prescription during the Covid-19 crisis, under emergency measures that official drug policy advisers have warned could trigger a spike in drug misuse. The Advisory Council for Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), which makes recommendations to government on the control of dangerous drugs, was asked by the home secretary to consider the risks
Pharma

Can Drugs Help Us Focus? Casey Schwartz, You Better Watch Your Speed

Schwartz emerged from years of Adderall dependency to a world that felt transformed. Suddenly it seemed to her that everyone had an internet-enabled case of A.D.H.D. and a prescription for speed. In 1990, an estimated 3 percent to 5 percent of American children were thought to have “disordered attention,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and some 600,000 children were prescribed stimulants. By 2013, 3.5 million children
Pharma

EMA clears compassionate use of Gilead’s remdesivir for COVID-19 –

The EU drugs regulator says Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir should be made available for people seriously ill with COVID-19, despite limited data on its efficacy.The EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) says the antiviral drug can be used on compassionate-use grounds for people with severe coronavirus complications, such as pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, multi-organ failure and death.It developed its position on remdesivir after a request from EU member states Estonia,
Pharma

Firms form alliance to work on COVID-19 therapy

As of this morning – Tuesday April 7 – the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has hit 51,608 with 5,373 deathsBiotest, BPL, LFB, and Octapharma have joined an alliance formed by CSL Behring and Takeda to develop a potential plasma-derived therapy for treating COVID-19.The alliance will immediately start work on the development of one, unbranded anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune immunoglobulin medicine “with the potential to treat
Pharma

Alexion plans phase 2 study of Soliris in COVID-19 in coming days: report

The race for a COVID-19 therapeutic has attracted many of the biggest names in biopharma, and now Alexion is getting ready to place a bet on its own Soliris, GlobalData reports.  The company, which markets several rare disease medicines, plans to start a phase 2 study of Soliris in COVID-19 in the "next few days," the group reports. The study would follow a 10-patient proof-of-concept trial in which “patients improved in general," a source told GlobalData pharmaceuticals writer
Pharma

Opinion | When Will There Be a Treatment for the Coronavirus?

This article is part of the Debatable newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it Tuesdays and Thursdays.For all of modern medicine’s advances, the immune system is still largely on its own when it comes to viruses: Of the 200 or so types that are known to infect humans, only about 10 have approved treatments, according to the science journalist Matthew Hutson.The race is now on to make the
Pharma

Gilead and Second Genome Enter into $338 Million Biomarker and Drug Discovery Collaboration

Gilead Sciences and Second Genome, a biotechnology company located in San Francisco, CA, announced on April 6, 2020 that they are entering into a four-year collaboration to identify biomarkers associated with clinical response in up to five of Gilead’s pipeline compounds, and to identify potential new targets and drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) for up to $338 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Second
Pharma

GSK links with Vir Biotechnology to find coronavirus solutions

As of this morning – Tuesday April 7 – the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has hit 51,608 with 5,373 deaths.GlaxoSmithKline has bought a $250-million stake in Vir Biotechnology as the companies reveal they will collaborate to research and develop solutions for coronaviruses, including COVID-19.The partnership will utilise Vir’s proprietary monoclonal antibody platform technology to accelerate existing and identify new antiviral antibodies that could be
Pharma

Roche takes $25M in BARDA backing to accelerate Actemra trial in COVID-19

Roche has stepped on the gas in testing Actemra for coronavirus patients, thanks to a little more help from the U.S. government. With $25 million in backing from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the Swiss drugmaker will speed up Actemra's  phase 3 trial in COVID-19 patients, the agency said Tuesday. The BARDA grant is part of an expanded partnership Roche's Genentech signed with the agency to accelerate
Pharma

Angiotensin and Coronavirus Infection: The Latest as of April 7

I wrote here the other day on the recent recommendation that people taking either ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors or ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) should not alter their treatment regimens because of the coronavirus outbreak. Some background on the angiotensin system is here, and here’s an open-access review for those who know the basics and want to dive much deeper into the details. But now there’s even more to report on