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Pharmafile.com's weekly COVID-19 news round-up

Published on 06/11/20 at 10:40am

The top ten news stories this week focus on regulatory approvals as the European Commission has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Zeljula as a first line monotherapy maintenance treatment for adult patients with ovarian cancer who are in complete or partial response after receiving platinum-based chemotherapy, while Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab is on track to be approved by the FDA after a successful late-stage clinical trial.

In coronavirus news, Denmark is set to cull its 17 million mink population after it was found a mutation of coronavirus in the animal had spread to humans, while there is evidence that human T-cells can respond to coronavirus six months after the body is initially infected, according to a new study.

1. Pfizer announces €300m investment in Irish manufacturing sites

Pfizer is set to invest €300 million in its three Irish manufacturing sites in Ringaskiddy, Dublin and Kildare.

2. How the US election could affect the pharmaceutical industry

The US is one of the most lucrative markets for the pharmaceutical industry. This is a country where a lack of strict price regulation can see companies make record profits, while also getting many of their research and development projects subsidised by the government. It is where Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly began their businesses, and all notable pharmaceutical companies have a major US presence.

3. Denmark set to cull mink population after mutated strain of COVID-19 spreads to humans

Denmark is set to cull its 17 million mink population after it was found a mutation of coronavirus in the animal had spread to humans. 

4. EU approves Zejula as a first-line monotherapy maintenance treatment in advanced ovarian cancer

The European Commission has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Zeljula as a first line monotherapy maintenance treatment for adult patients with ovarian cancer who are in complete or partial response after receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.

5. UCB Pharma's bimekizumab improves skin clearance over Humira in plaque psoriasis

In recent Phase 3 study data presented European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Congress last weekend, UCB Pharma reported that its IL-17A and IL-17F inhibitor bimekizumab met both its primary and secondary goals in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis when compared to AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab) in a head-to-head setting.

6. T-cells respond to COVID-19 six months after infection

There is evidence that human T-cells can respond to coronavirus six months after the body is initially infected, according to a new study.

7. NICE recommends Novo's liraglutide for management of obesity and non-diabetic hyperglycaemia

Novo Nordisk’s pre-filled injection Saxenda (liraglutide) has received the backing of drug watchdog NICE, meaning it will now be made available via the NHS for patients in England and Wales for the management of obesity and non-diabetic hyperglycaemia.

8. LEO Pharma's delgocitinib hits main goals in moderate-to-severe chronic hand eczema

LEO Pharma has revealed new Phase 2b at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Virtual 2020 Virtual Congress supporting the efficacy of its pan-Janus kinase (JAK)-inhibitor delgocitinib in the treatment of mild-to-severe chronic hand eczema (CHE).

9. Regeneron halts Phase 1 study into ultra-rare disease due to patient deaths

Regeneron has slammed the brakes on its Phase 1 trial of garetosmab in the treatment of the ultra-rare condition fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) due to fatal serious adverse events reported in the open-label extension of the trial where all participants were administered with active treatment.

10. Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug expected to be approved by the FDA after successful late-stage trial

Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab is on track to be approved by the FDA after a successful late-stage clinical trial.

Conor Kavanagh

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