Top Ten most popular articles on this week

pharmafile | December 18, 2020 | News story | Business Services, Manufacturing and Production, Medical Communications, Research and Development, Sales and Marketing COVID-19, Vaccine, antibody 

The top news stories of the past week continue to centre around the COVID-19 pandemic; a new variant of the virus has been identified in the UK, extra doses found in vials of the Pfizer vaccine have boosted the US’ supply, and researchers have said that a quarter of the global population may not be vaccinated until 2022.

Meanwhile, a number of treatments have secured recommendation or approval, including Janssen’s esketamine nasal spray for patients with major depressive disorder, and Novartis’ Beovu for wet age-related macular degeneration.

10. Pfizer and Merck KGaA secure CHMP recommendation for Bavencio in Europe for first-line maintenance of urothelial carcinomaPublished on 14/12/20

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has given its recommendation for Pfizer and Merck KGaA’s immunotherapy Bavencio (avelumab) in the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC).

9. NICE backs Novartis’ Aimovig for prevention of episodic and chronic migrainePublished on 11/12/20 

NICE has announced its decision to recommended Novartis’ Aimovig (erenumab) for the prevention of migraine, including both episodic and chronic migraine, on routine NHS use in England and Wales.

8. Quarter of the world may not access COVID-19 vaccine until 2022Published on 16/12/20

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said that high-income countries have already reserved billions of doses of vaccines, meaning access for middle and low-income countries is precarious.

7. Janssen’s esketamine nasal spray secures CHMP recommendation in Europe for the rapid reduction of depressive symptoms in a psychiatric emergency for patients with major depressive disorderPublished on 11/12/20

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has moved to recommend Janssen’s Spravato (esketamine nasal spray), when used in combination with standard oral antidepressant therapy in adults with a moderate to severe episode of MDD, as acute short-term treatment, for the rapid reduction of depressive symptoms, which according to clinical judgement constitute a psychiatric emergency.

6. AbbVie buys COVID-19 antibody licence from Harbour BioMedPublished on 16/12/20

Harbour BioMed (HBM) and Utrecht University (UU) have announced that their fully human, SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibody 47D11 and programme, has been licensed to AbbVie, which has since initiated a Phase I trial of the product.

5. European approval for AstraZeneca’s Trixeo Aerospace in moderate to severe COPDPublished on 14/12/20

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced the approval of AstraZeneca’s Trixeo Aerosphere (formoterol fumarate/glycopyrronium bromide/budesonide) in the European Union for the maintenance of moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

4. NICE recommends Novartis’ Beovu for wet age-related macular degenerationPublished on 16/12/20

NICE has published its final appraisal of Novartis’ Beovu (brolucizumab), recommending that the drug be made available via the NHS in England and Wales for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration in adults.

3. FDA says Pfizer vaccine vials contain extra doses, boosting US supplyPublished on 17/12/20

Vials of the US-based company’s vaccine were expected to contain only five doses, but pharmacists have found that each vial could provide up to seven.

2. New coronavirus strain identified in the UKPublished on 15/12/20

A new variant of coronavirus has been identified in the UK, and is growing faster in some parts of England, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

1. UAE rolls out Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine amid conflicting reports of efficacyPublished on 15/12/20

The United Arab Emirates has begun rolling out Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine in its capital Abu Dhabi, despite claims that numerous workers in Uganda who received the Chinese company’s jab later tested positive for the virus.

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