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New cancer drug trial achieves 100% remission
An experimental cancer drug appears to have cured every single patient involved in a small clinical trial, based in the US.
Researchers uncover origins of Black Death
An international team has linked spikes in deaths at cemeteries in Kyrgyzstan in the 1300s to the start of the plague pandemic. Ancient DNA from bubonic plague victims, buried in cemeteries on the Silk Road trade route in Central Asia, has pinpointed the area in northern Kyrgyzstan.
Researchers create Transformer-style robot that travels through body to cure disease
Scientists at Northwestern University have created a Transformer-style robot that travels through the human body to cure diseases. The tiny machine is controlled by magnets, carrying payloads directly to a tumour, blood clot, or infection. Set to revolutionise medicine, the ‘millibot’ may even come to replace pills or intravenous injections that can cause life threatening side effects.
Words from the Editor
We’ve got a particularly exciting issue for you this month, with Lina Adams and I joining forces to create a collaborative feature, providing a roundup of the recent Veeva R&D and Quality Summit we attended in Zürich. We touch upon many facets of R&D, including digital trials, end-to-end technology, data security, and patient centricity, and share insights from a number of the summit’s Keynote speakers.
Hundreds of thousands to benefit from new heart attack and stroke preventative
NICE has published final draft guidance for the use of icosapent ethyl in reducing the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes. The treatment has been recommended for use in adults who have raised levels of a specific type of blood fat called triglycerides.
UK COVID-19 expert: Monkeypox requires ‘substantial public health response’
Sir Andrew Pollard, who helped develop the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, has shared that the tropical virus outbreak does not pose the same threat as COVID-19, but that monkeypox does still require a “substantial public health response.”
£4bn NHS COVID-19 PPE to be burned as unusable, watchdog shares
Personal protective equipment (PPE) worth £4bn bought early in the pandemic to stop NHS staff being infected with COVID-19 is to be burned because it is unusable, a report has revealed.
Leaked data reveals NHS will miss target for 50,000 nurses by 2024
The Independent reported that Boris Johnson’s key manifesto pledge to add 50,000 NHS nurses to the workforce by 2024. The publication shared that the government could miss its target by over 10,000, according to leaked NHS modelling.
£4.25 million grant for UK-wide effort to end motor neuron disease
A group of charities and government research organisations have awarded £4.25 million in the form of a research grant, to enable motor neuron disease (MND) experts at six UK universities to begin a collaboration to end MND.
Polio virus detected in sewage from North and East London
Traces of the polio virus have been found during a routine sewage inspection in London. The UKHSA has consequently declared a national incident, and an investigation is now underway to protect the public, who are being urged to ensure they are up to date with their polio vaccines.
EMA’s releases first critical medicines list for COVID-19
The EMA’s Medicines Shortages Steering Group (MSSG) has now adopted the list of critical medicines for the COVID-19 public health emergency. The medicines included in the list are authorised for COVID-19, and their supply and demand will be closely monitored, aiming to identify and manage potential or actual shortages.
Positive Phase III data released from biosimilar trial
Samsung Bioepis has announced that SB12, a proposed biosimilar to Soliris (eculizumab), showed clinical equivalence in efficacy, safety, pharmacodynamics (PD), and pharmacokinetics (PK), in a Phase III trial.
UK warns of major cholera outbreak in Mariupol, Ukraine
The UK’s Ministry of Defence has said that Mariupol, now controlled by Russian forces after weeks of siege and heavy bombardment, is at risk of a major cholera outbreak. “There is likely a critical shortage of medicines in Kherson, while Mariupol is at risk of a major cholera outbreak. Isolated cases of cholera have been reported since May,” the UK Defence Ministry said in the latest intelligence update.
Positive data from Genentech’s blood cancer portfolio
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has presented follow-up results and subanalyses from clinical trials of its approved therapies, as well as data on investigational medicines from its broad blood cancer portfolio, at the European Hematology Association (EHA) 2022 Congress in Vienna.
New Moderna COVID-19 vaccine five times more effective
Moderna has unveiled a new Omicron COVID-19 vaccine that it says is five times more effective at boosting antibodies compared to its previous jab. The vaccine, which would also protect against the initial Wuhan strain, may only need to be administered once a year.
Tiziana Life Sciences announces positive results with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis
A second patient has shown clinical improvements in the positron emission tomography (PET) imaging analysis, neurologic exam, and in the timed 25ft walk test, following three months of treatment with foralumab.
FDA approves measles vaccine
The FDA has approved Priorix for active immunisation for the prevention of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) in individuals 12 months of age and older.
Malnutrition-related form of diabetes discovered
A study by researchers in New York has revealed the threat of a new form of diabetes caused by malnutrition. This is significantly different from Type 1 or 2, and should be considered a distinct form of the disease.
COVID-19 vaccine scheme for low-income countries pushes for delivery slowdown
Leaders of the global scheme aiming to distribute COVID-19 vacacines in the world’s poorest are encouraging manufacturers, including Pfizer and Moderna, to cut or slow deliveries of roughly half a billion jabs, to ensure that doses are not wasted.
Efforts to eliminate African trypanosomiasis continue
Efforts to eliminate the disease known as African trypanosomiasis are continuing to show strong progress, according to WHO. African trypanosomiasis, also called ‘sleeping sickness’, is endemic in 36 sub-Saharan African countries.
New genetic eye disease discovered
Researchers from the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, have identified a new disease that affects the macula. The new type of macular dystrophy is a cause of central vision loss.
Simple eye exam could predict heart attack risk
Researchers have found that patterns of blood vessels in the retina could help identify individuals at risk of experiencing cardiac problems, according to The Guardian.
Type 2 diabetes may speed up cognitive decline and brain ageing
Researchers have found that among older people with Type 2 diabetes, the brain appears to age at an accelerated rate, according to a study published in the journal eLife. The researchers analysed data from 20,314 people from the UK Biobank between the ages of 50 and 80.
Eagle Pharmaceuticals completes $104 million acquisition of Acacia Pharma
Acacia Pharma shareholders have voted to accept a $104 million rescue deal by New Hearsey-based Eagle Pharmaceuticals. The move adds two US FDA approved new chemical entities, with strong patent protection, to Eagle’s arsenal.
Bristol Myers Squibb to acquire cancer drugmaker Turning Point for $4.1 billion
Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has announced it will acquire oncology firm Turning Point Therapeutics in a $4.1 billion merger, expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022. The company will gain Turning Point’s lead asset, repotrectinib, aiming to treat lung cancer and solid tumours.
Astorg to acquire med comms platform OPEN Health
Astorg and Amulet Capital Partners have announced the signing of a binding agreement, through which Astorg will acquire OPEN Health. Astorg will actively support and accelerate OPEN Health’s next phase of growth and innovation.
REGENXBIO opens gene therapy manufacturing facility
REGENXBIO, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, has opened a $65 million Manufacturing Innovation Centre gene therapy manufacturing facility at their campus in Rockville, Maryland, US.
Seqiris completes $156 million expansion for influenza vaccine production
Seqiris has announced the completion of an expansion to the company’s manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, North Carolina, US, supporting the formulation and fill-finish of its cell-based influenza vaccines in pre-filled syringes for global communities.
Astellas opens $100 million US-based production plant
Astellas Pharma has completed construction of $100 million gene therapy manufacturing plant located in Sanford, North Carolina, US. The facility will support clinical- and commercial-scale manufacturing of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors for gene therapies.
YouTube feature could help users find credible health information online
YouTube has launched a new feature which will help people in the UK find credible health information online. Health source information panels will be displayed on videos which have been certified as coming from an authoritative source, according to news site Digital Health.
Smart technology can halve the risk of asthma attacks and prevent deaths
Research from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, has found that smart technology could halve asthma patients’ risk of suffering attacks and being admitted to hospital, thereby preventing deaths.
Somerset NHS Foundation Trust uses AI to halve time in key lung cancer stage
Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has become the first in the UK to study the performance of an AI algorithm for detecting lung cancer from X-rays. The trust has been testing whether Behold.AI can help it meet its national targets for lung cancer diagnosis.
Veeva la Vida: A Roundup of the R&D and Quality Summit 2022
Pharmafocus journalists Ana Ovey and Lina Adams made their way to Zurich for Veeva’s annual R&D and Quality Summit 2022. Here, they describe and unveil their reflections upon the event and what was learned.
Cutting through the noise: Data science and COVID-19
Georgios Tsatsaronis, Vice President Data Science Research Content at Elsevier, illuminates the role data scientists play in the plight for new and innovative therapeutics
The importance of testing in the face of pandemics
Paul Davis, GADx illuminates the potential of antigen tests in fighting against future pandemics, and the importance of ensuring equal access to testing.
Telemedicine driving smarter healthcare solutions in wound care
Bernard Ross, CEO of Sky, shares how telehealth solutions are the way forward, saving the NHS mass amounts of funding, and keeping patient centricity at the fore
Living with Chronic Kidney Disease
Hilary Rose shares her experience of living with Chronic Kidney Disease, and sheds light on the realities of stigma, diagnosis, and daily challenges for those living with the long-term condition
Metrion Biosciences appoints Dr Benedetta Montagnini as Head of European Business Development
Metrion Biosciences appoints Dr Benedetta Montagnini as Head of European Business Development.
DFE Pharma recruits new global HR director
DFE Pharma recruits new global HR director.
OxSonics appoints Dr Marianna Lalla as Chief Medical Officer
OxSonics appoints Dr Marianna Lalla as Chief Medical Officer.
Five exciting studies on diabetes
Five exciting and interesting studies on diabetes.
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