Pharmafile's top 10 news roundup’s top 10 news stories of the week

pharmafile | March 5, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications COVID, COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccine, news roundup, pharma news, roundup 

The last week has seen its fair share of COVID-19 vaccine developments; Bharat Biotech’s candidate was found to be 81% effective, while a UK study has seen an 80% drop in hospitalisations among the country’s over-80s.

In other news, Astra Zeneca have won a court ruling in the US on Symbicort patent claims, and Merck and Debiopharm have agreed a €898 million deal to develop head and neck cancer treatments.

 1. AstraZeneca wins US court ruling on Symbicort patent claims – Published 03/03/21

A US district court has ruled in favour of AstraZeneca in litigation against Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Kindeva Drug Delivery, AstraZeneca announced in a statement.

2. Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN jab 81% effective in Phase III trial – Published 04/03/21

Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has shown an interim efficacy of 81% in a Phase III trial, the company announced yesterday.

3. NHS England increases access to cladribine tablets for multiple sclerosis patients during pandemic – Published 03/03/21

NHS England has updated the Blueteq requirements for patients with highly active relapsing MS starting Merck’s cladribine (Mavenclad) tablets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Merck and Debiopharm agree €898m deal to develop head and neck cancer treatments Published on 01/03/21

German science and technology company Merck have agreed a worldwide in-licensing agreement with Debiopharm for the development and commercialisation of xevinapant, a treatment currently being trialled for advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

5. Takeda sells four diabetes products to Teijin Pharma for $1.25m – Published 26/02/21

Takeda has entered into an agreement to transfer the assets, marketing rights, and, eventually, marketing authorisation associated with a portfolio of select non-core products in Japan to Teijin Pharma Limited, a Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company, for ¥133 billion ($1.25 million).

6. Iktos and Pfizer collaborate on AI drug designPublished on 02/03/21

Iktos has announced that its artificial intelligence (AI) technology for de novo design will be applied to selected Pfizer small-molecule discovery programmes in a new collaboration.

7. GSK’s Phase II otilimab study on COVID-19 patients promising for over-70s Published on 26/02/21

GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Phase II OSCAR study of their otilimab antibody’s effect on COVID-19 patients has shown promising results in older people, the company announced yesterday.

8. Single Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine dose drastically reduces COVID-19 hospitalisations in over-80sPublished on 02/03/21

A single dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces UK hospitalisations in over-80s by 80%, a Public Health England study has shown.

9. FDA approves Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency usePublished on 01/03/21

The FDA has issued emergency use authorisation for Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, approving the jab for use in individuals aged 18 and older in the US.

10. SERB acquires BTG to expand its treatment portfolio for unmet medical needsPublished on 02/03/21

SERB Specialty Pharmaceuticals has purchased BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals, a division of Boston Scientific that develops treatments with critical conditions, for an undisclosed fee.

Jack Goddard

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