Medicine

Injectable Drug More Effective For PrEP Than Truvada

The Washington Post reports: A long-acting drug injected every two months is more effective at preventing HIV than the pills most commonly used by people at risk of acquiring the infection, according to research released Tuesday at an international AIDS conference. The drug cabotegravir was tested on more than 4,500 cisgender men who have sex with men and transgender women …

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Pfizer COVID Vaccine Shows Early Promise [VIDEO]

STAT News reports: An experimental Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the drug giant Pfizer and the biotech firm BioNTech spurred immune responses in healthy patients, but also caused fever and other side effects, especially at higher doses. The first clinical data on the vaccine were disclosed Wednesday in a paper released on medRXiv, a preprint server, meaning it has not …

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COVID Drug To Cost $3120 In Developed Countries

The Associated Press reports: The maker of a drug shown to shorten recovery time for severely ill COVID-19 patients says it will charge $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries. Gilead Sciences announced the price Monday for remdesivir, and said the price would be $3,120 for …

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Pharma Walks Back Offer Of Vaccine First Dibs To US

The Associated Press reports: French pharmaceutical group Sanofi promised Thursday that it would make its COVID-19 vaccine, when ready, available in all countries, hours after the company’s CEO said the United States will get first access. Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson’s comments that a vaccine would go first to the U.S. prompted an angry reaction from the French government. “Equal access …

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French Pharma To Give US “Preference” On Vaccine

Bloomberg News reports: Americans will likely get Sanofi’s Covid-19 vaccine before the rest of the world if the French pharmaceutical giant can successfully deliver one. That’s because the U.S. was first in line to fund Sanofi’s vaccine research, Chief Executive Officer Paul Hudson said in an interview with Bloomberg News. He warned that Europe risks falling behind unless it steps …

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Gilead Deal Allows Overseas Generics Of COVID Drug

STAT News reports: Seeking to blunt concerns about access to its remdesivir treatment for Covid-19, Gilead Sciences (GILD) signed deals with five generic companies in India and Pakistan to manufacture and distribute the experimental medicine to 127 countries. Under the agreements, the companies can set their own prices, but will not have to pay royalties to Gilead until the World …

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J&J Aiming For 1 Billion Vaccine Doses By 2021

NBC News reports: Health care giant Johnson and Johnson is looking to produce a billion coronavirus vaccines next year, according to the company’s chief scientific officer. Dr. Paul Stoffels said the company is upscaling manufacturing and will start producing the vaccine later this year. “We are preparing clinical trials. We are fully underway and upscaling. We start clinical trials in …

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Trump’s Malaria Drug Found Ineffective In US Study

CNBC reports: Hydroxychloroquine, a decades-old malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump, didn’t appear to help hospitalized patients with Covid-19, according to a new observational study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New …

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FDA Grants Emergency Use Approval For Gilead Drug

CNBC reports: The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for Gilead Sciences remdesivir drug to treat the coronavirus, President Donald Trump announced Friday. Trump made the announcement in the Oval Office alongside Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day. “We want to thank the collaborators that brought remdesivir to this point and many of our people that have been part …

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Gilead Drug Sees Some Success In Latest Study

The Associated Press reports: An experimental drug has proved effective against the new coronavirus in a major study, shortening the time it takes for patients to recover by four days on average, U.S. government and company officials announced Wednesday. Gilead Sciences’s remdesivir is the first treatment to pass such a strict test against the virus, which has killed more than …

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Pharma Triples Price Of Potential Anti-COVID Drug

Axios reports: This month, Jaguar Health more than tripled the price of its lone FDA-approved drug, right after asking the federal government to expand the use of its drug to coronavirus patients. Jaguar Health drastically raised the price of a drug during the height of the pandemic, but executives argued the move was needed to stave off the company’s collapse. …

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NIH Panel Recommends Against Trump’s Drug Combo

NPR reports: A panel of experts convened by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommends against doctors using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19 patients because of potential toxicities. “The combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin was associated with QTc prolongation in patients with COVID-19,” the panel said. QTc prolongation increases the risk of …

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“Large Analysis” By VA Finds No Benefit To Malaria Drug

The Associated Press reports: A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported. The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the largest …

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Gilead Drug Shows Promise In Leaked Results [VIDEO]

STAT News reports: A Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gilead Sciences’ antiviral medicine remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week, STAT has learned. Remdesivir was one of the first medicines identified as having the potential to impact SARS-CoV-2, the …

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Scientists Still Unsure If COVID Reinfection Is Possible

CNBC reports: World Health Organization officials said Monday not all people who recover from the coronavirus have the antibodies to fight a second infection, raising concern that patients may not develop immunity after surviving Covid-19. “With regards to recovery and then reinfection, I believe we do not have the answers to that. That is an unknown,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive …

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Malaria Drug Study Halted Over Heart Arrhythmias

The New York Times reports: A small study in Brazil was halted early for safety reasons after coronavirus patients taking a higher dose of chloroquine developed irregular heart rates that increased their risk of a potentially fatal heart arrhythmia. Roughly half the study participants were given a dose of 450 milligrams of chloroquine twice daily for five days, while the …

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Doctors Try Infusions Of Plasma From Virus Survivors

The Associated Press reports: Doctors around the world are dusting off a century-old treatment for infections: Infusions of blood plasma teeming with immune molecules that helped survivors beat the new coronavirus. There’s no proof it will work. But former patients in Houston and New York were early donors, and now hospitals and blood centers are getting ready for potentially hundreds …

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Study Finds Loss Of Taste, Smell To Be Virus Symptoms

Reuters reports: Losing your sense of smell and taste may be the best way to tell if you have COVID-19, according to a study of data collected via a symptom tracker app developed by British scientists to help monitor the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus. Almost 60% of patients who were subsequently confirmed as positive for COVID-19 had reported …

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Major Pharma To Begin Virus Vaccine Trial In September

Mediaite reports: Johnson & Johnson announced Monday that the first candidate for its experimental coronavirus vaccine has been selected, and trials will begin by September. J&J also said that if the first phase of testing goes as planned, the vaccine could be ready for administration under emergency authorization beginning in early 2021. This is much earlier than the usual 18-month …

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Gilead Opens Access To Experimental Anti-Virus Drug

Axios reports: Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients. President Trump has called the antiviral drug “promising,” but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness the treatment of the …

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