Covering the latest happenings in the pharmaceutical industry – we take a look at a juvenile diabetes drug that took more than 3 decades to approve, a move towards removing racial bias in medical devices – one oximeter at a time, a potential therapy/vaccine option for Zika found by studying infected pregnant women, and other top news.
Three decade long wait over for diabetes drug
Provention Bio has become successful in obtaining approval for its juvenile diabetes drug, a journey it started more than 3 decades ago. The drug- teplizumab, is the first of its kind, meant for children ages 8 and above who have been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
The drug has shown to delay the progression of diabetes, from stage 2 to stage 3 by over 2 years. Stage 3 is known to be particularly dangerous. Read more here.
Oximeters without racial bias
An unfortunate issue relating to oximeters has been the racial bias that prevents the accuracy of results when used by people of color. This has been a concern for the FDA as well as healthcare providers for quite some time now. A study has found that Masimo’s oximeter is accurate for patients of all races regardless of their skin pigment.
The oximeter controls for not only race but also skin thickness and bone density among others. Previous work has revealed that patients of color, including Black, Hispanic, and Asian patients, were more likely to have doctors overlook low oxygen saturation which can have dire consequences. Read more about the study here.
Antibody against Zika found
An antibody against the Zika virus has been discovered by scientists. The antibody works so well that it leads to the mosquito-borne virus being undetectable in the body. The study has been going on since the 2015 Zika outbreak.
This antibody has been discovered in Zika-infected pregnant women who did not pass the virus onto their children. Researchers believe this discovery can lead to the development of a vaccine as well as a therapy for those already infected by the virus. The study has been conducted on mice, so far. To read more, click here.
One drug to end it all (by all, we mean covid and cancer)
Scientists at the University of California have found that one common drug can inhibit both cancer cells and the Covid-19 infection. The drug was tested on mice in both cases and it was discovered that the drug in question hinders the replication of coronavirus in the respiratory system, but also inhibits a protein- GRP78, which is seen to promote cancer in the body.
While research at USC was already being conducted on cancer, when the pandemic came, this drug started being tested for Covid-19. After testing the drug on human cells in the lab, the experiment to test the drug was conducted on live mice injected with coronavirus and the results showed a significantly less infection rate in the mice given the drug. You can read more about the drug here.
Gene therapy at the forefront of pharma investment
Ionis and Metagenomi have signed a deal, potentially, worth $3B as the pharmaceutical industry continuously works on gene therapy. The deal is a target-based deal for research and collaboration purposes related to gene therapy. While both companies are not large players, experts in the industry have stated that this deal signals the growing popularity of gene therapy as an avenue for growth in the pharma world. Read more here.
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