A very small study showed promising results with a drug that’s similar to the Sanofi and Regeneron drug, called Kevzara, that treats arthritis. Several patients in the study “got out of death’s bed and walked out of the hospital” after receiving Actemra, said a Regeneron scientist. The race for a treatment has sent pharma into a tizzy to be the first to strike on something that works. Meanwhile, other labs are working on creating an effective vaccine.
The Wall Street Journal: Regeneron, Sanofi To Test Arthritis Drug As Coronavirus Treatment
Drugmakers Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Sanofi SA are racing to launch clinical trials exploring whether their arthritis drug could treat symptoms of novel coronavirus infections. The study preparations mark the latest effort in an emerging front in researchers’ hunt for effective treatments for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. In the U.S., there aren’t any drugs or vaccines approved for the condition. The research aims to see whether certain drugs already on the market to tackle immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis could help ease damage to the lungs and respiratory system caused by the immune system’s overreaction to the virus causing Covid-19. (Walker, 3/10)
NBC News: A New York Biotech Company Is Working To Make An Antibody Treatment For The Coronavirus
As the new coronavirus continues to envelop much of the globe, a lab outside New York City is racing to find a antibody treatment that could temporarily protect from the illness — or even treat it. The biotech company Regeneron is in early development of a treatment that could guard against catching the coronavirus for several months using antibodies from mice that have been genetically modified with immune systems to mimic those of humans. (Blackman and Ali, 3/10)
The Baltimore Sun: Maryland Labs Working On Coronavirus Vaccine
Two Maryland biotech firms said Tuesday they will join the effort to make a vaccine against the new coronavirus that is sickening people in the state and across the globe. Emergent BioSolutions Inc. will produce the experimental vaccine that was developed by Novavax Inc. to protect against COVID-19 by using a genetically engineered protein nanoparticle technology. (Cohn, 3/10)
Colorado Sun: Inside The Colorado State University Lab That Is Trying To Develop The World’s First Vaccine For COVID-19
Welcome to Colorado State University’s Research Innovation Center, where scientists study many of the world’s scariest pathogens — including some carried by bats — and create medicines to protect humans and animals from them. Researchers here hope to be among the first in the world to create a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. They are among a handful of teams across the globe racing to develop a vaccine in record-setting time. And, as early as this week, researchers at the center may be able to achieve a key, early step toward creating the vaccine. (Ingold, 3/10)
In other vaccine news —
The New York Times: A Call To Arms: Under Attack, Pro-Vaccine Doctors Fight Back
Brad Bigford, a traveling nurse practitioner from Boise, Idaho, jumped at the invitation: spend an afternoon at Fred’s Reel Barber Shop in nearby Meridian, offering the flu vaccine to customers. “Ladies, send your guys for a trim and a flu shot,” Mr. Bigford posted on Facebook. He added, “Anti-vaxxers need not reply.” Within hours, his Facebook page was swarmed with hundreds of vitriolic comments, even violent threats from people opposed to vaccines. Vicious reviews on Yelp and Google about his urgent-care business, Table Rock Mobile Medicine, popped up from “patients” as far away as Los Angeles, Texas and Australia. Protesters circulated his cellphone number, hometown and wife’s name. (Hoffman, 3/10)
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