This week we take a look at a study finding just how deadly Omicron can be, how social media may be affecting your doctor’s perception of different drugs, a $270 million deal for Emergent’s vaccine portfolio, and other top news!
Omicron 50% more deadly compared to regular flu
A Swiss study has found that the mortality rate of patients that are hospitalized due to COVID-19 was 50 percent higher than those with regular influenza. The researchers dug through a nationwide database and collected intel on 3,066 patients who were hospitalized between 15th January and 15th March 2022. The data was then compared to influenza patients who were hospitalized from early January to mid-March of the same year. The COVID patients were more aged and almost 4 in 5 had comorbidities. The researchers concluded that the diseases still cannot be distinguished easily.
Physicians admit they changed their perception of a drug due to social media
A survey by LiveWorld and Sermo has revealed that more than half of the physicians surveyed changed their opinion about a drug because of social media. It showed that the impact of social media on physicians can be as great as that on the general public. Over 200 physicians and 50 pharma marketers in the country were a part of the survey. Of these, about 57% said that they had changed their initial perception of treatment repeatedly or occasionally because of social media. Nearly a sixth of the participants said that they did not change their perceptions due to social media.
Lantheus acquires Cerveau and its technology for Alzheimer’s imaging
The acquisition of Cerveau Technologies and its imaging tech for Alzheimer’s by extension will help Lantheus expand its radiopharmaceuticals line. Lantheus operates out of Massachusetts, U.S., and manufactures numerous medications, diagnostics, and artificial intelligence or AI-powered platforms. Cerveau is a tech company that developed positron emission tomography imaging agents that can be used to detect Alzheimer’s disease. The agent MK-6240 can be used to detect accumulating neurofibrillary tangles of tau, which is a protein in brain cells connected with the disease.
Emergent’s travel vaccine portfolio sold to Bavarian Nordic in a deal worth over $270M
Emergent announced the sale of its travel medicine division to Bavarian Nordic on Wednesday. This has brought in some much-needed capital after a tough third quarter in which the company had to reduce the sales projection by over $100M. Bavarian Nordic is well-known for its vaccine for monkeypox called Jynneos. The deal amounted to over $270M. As part of the deal, Emergent is turning up Vaxchora, its cholera injection, chikungunya contender CHIKV VLP, and Vivotif, its typhoid vaccine. To encourage more sales and development, the deal gives Emergent the chance to earn $110M in additional milestone payments.
FDA puts 4D Molecular Therapeutics’ gene therapy for Fabry on hold
4DMT by 4D Molecular Therapeutics is one of the three currently available treatments for Fabry disease. The other two are FLT190 by Freeline and ST-920 by Sangamo and Fabry is a genetic neurological disorder caused by a defective GLA gene. The FDA put the clinical trial of 4DMT on hold in an SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) filing. The clinical trial fixates on the effect of AAV (adeno-associated virus) treatment among Fabry patients. This hold-up is a result of half of the candidates in the treatment contracting (aHUS) atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a kidney problem in which small clots are formed in the small blood cells in kidneys.
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