Hope for cancer and HIV patients as new treatments emerge
This week we take a look at some crucial developments in the industry. Most notably, three treatments have made significant headway, with each being a breakthrough in the field. These treatments include the first approved HIV Drug by Gilead, an antibiotic drug for drug-resistant bacteria, and a new cancer treatment. We will also be covering the painkiller and fever reliever shortage in Canada and Dr. Fauci’s departure from his position as the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert.
First HIV shot cleared for sale in Europe
U.S.-based biotech company Gilead has created and received approval for Sunlenca, its HIV shot. This treatment is the first of its kind and has received clearance for sale in Europe, while it awaits approval in the U.S. by the FDA. Sunlenca is an antiviral drug which is meant to enhance a person’s immune response against the HIV virus. The European Commission has approved its use in patients whose infections are not being controlled by currently available drugs. Analysts predict sales to reach $4 billion annually.
New cancer treatment for patients resistant to immunotherapy
A breakthrough treatment has been discovered by oncologists for patients who have become resistant to immunotherapy. While immunotherapy has had success along with other treatment options such as chemotherapy or surgery, it does not prove effective for every patient as some tumors grow resistant to the therapy. The novel treatment can reverse this resistance in patients, allowing for immunotherapy to work. The treatment combines an immunotherapy drug with a next-generation DNA hypomethylating agent. The combination has shown promise in a phase 1 trial, stopping the advancement of cancer in ⅓ of the enrolled participants.
Researchers find drug candidate for antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Antbiotic-resistant bacteria is an increasingly pressing issue in today’s time as bacteria continue to mutate, growing better equipped to take on existing antibiotics. However, researchers have made a synthesized version of an existing antibiotic to help with this problem. The synthesized antibiotic- fabimycin, has shown to neutralize over 200 types of bacteria that had become resistant to other antibiotics, such as the bacteria that cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). Best of all, fabimycin did not harm the useful bacteria present in the human gut. The trial so far has been conducted on mice but the results predict effects on humans.
Dr. Fauci to step down as Infectious Disease Director after 4 decades
Dr. Anthony Fauci, has announced that he will be stepping down as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases after nearly 40 years of diligent service. He will also be stepping down from his position as the Chief Medical Officer to U.S. President Joe Biden. Dr. Fauci has been at the forefront of infectious disease management since the Reagan era, first leading the fight against the HIV epidemic in the U.S. to most recently becoming the face of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shortage of Children’s Tylenol and Advil in Canada
Across Canada, children’s Tylenol and Advil remain short in supply with many parents unable to access the medication for their children. As the medicines are available over-the-counter this has led to panic buying, worsening the situation. The shortage is conjectured to be caused by a spike in Covid cases in the country. Healthcare providers urge parents to not hoard medication and reach out so backup options can be provided.