We are all in this together—the private sector, government scientists, and philanthropists. We have a lot of information below about private sector efforts, but we’re also cheering this information: according to STAT News, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will increase the amount of funding it will donate to fight COVID-19 from $105 million to more than $250 million. The money will be used to fund the development of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapies, and new efforts to combat the virus in Africa and South Asia.
An incredible effort from a strong proponent of the type of innovation we see every day from U.S. drug companies. (Click here for one of our past blog posts that discusses Bill Gates.)
If you need more info for a story, or have questions, please email us. We look forward to working with you.
Patrick O’Connor – Executive Director
Rosemarie Calabro Tully – Communications Director
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
- Several drug companies—like @Merck, @LillyPad and @Pfizer—have empowered their medical employees to volunteer in the fight against the #coronavirus, providing crucial public health support. We thank them and their employees’ work during this pandemic! https://bit.ly/3cqaUZC Click here to RT.
- .@moderna_tx, working together with the @NIH, is making huge strides in the development of a #COVID19 #vaccine – human trials were launched at a “record speed” and the next phase could begin this spring. https://cnb.cx/2K8APZt Click here to RT.
- .@TakedaPharma CEO Ramona Sequeira writes that the company is developing a #coronavirus treatment specifically for high-risk patients, collaborating with several partners in its #innovation efforts. https://onphr.ma/2XHLW3S Click here to RT.
THE STORIES THAT DIDN’T GET ENOUGH ATTENTION
Check out and share on Twitter our latest blog posts:
- Biotech Employees Working To Battle COVID-19. The U.S. biopharmaceutical industry employed more than 811,000 individuals in 2017 and supported another 3.2 million U.S. jobs through its varied supply base and from the economic impact stemming from industry and worker spending. We look at how these men and women impact our economy, and are working to meet the challenge of COVID-19. Click here to read the full blog post.
- Now Is No Time For Politics. An inside-the-Beltway magazine recently ran said “hell, yes” one of the major political parties should “politicize the coronavirus.” We respectfully disagree. There will be time for ideological arguments after the crisis has passed. (After all, this year is an election year.) But the John and Laura Arnold-funded Patients for Affordable Drugs is up to its old tricks, tossing around tired arguments that do not reflect the moment we’re living in. Click here to read the full blog post. Share on Twitter here.
- Rallying Resources For COVID-19.S. industry—from manufacturers to the biopharmaceutical community—are working together to stem the tide of COVID-19, treat patients, and find cures. Learn exactly how. Click here to read the full blog post. Share on Twitter here.
WHAT WE’RE READING
- Gilead COVID-19 Showed “Promising Results” In Small Human Trial. The Hill reports that a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed Gilead’s Remdesivir showed “promising results” in a compassionate use trial to treat a small group of COVID-19 coronavirus patients. Of the 53 patients, 36 saw improvements, 25 were discharged, and seven died.
- Sanofi/Glaxo COVID-19 Treatment Could Be Ready For Human Trials In Third Quarter. According to STAT News, Sanofi S.A. is partnering with GlaxoSmithKline PLC to speed up the development of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine, which the companies said will be ready for human testing in the second half of this year.
- Old Drugs, New Treatments And Vaccine For COVID-19? Reuters reports that AstraZeneca will start a clinical trial of its cancer drug Calquence to assess its potential to control the exaggerated immune system response associated with COVID-19 infection in severely ill patients. STAT News announces Athersys will start a new Phase 3 clinical trial of its stem cell treatment MultiStem and will enroll COVID-19 patients suffering from acute respiratory distress syndrome to see if it could be a treatment for the novel coronavirus. The Associated Press also says scientists are looking at whether older vaccines could protect against COVID-19 infection.
- New Hopes For Individuals With Schizophrenia? STAT News writes: “It’s been decades since the last meaningful advance in treating schizophrenia emerged. But a new medicine for treating this complex, debilitating disease might be on the horizon if work by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals scientists pans out.” Apparently “Sunovion’s experimental drug, dubbed SEP-363856, uses a different molecular pathway than existing antipsychotic medications, which target the receptor for dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in schizophrenia.” And, “according to a 245-person clinical trial, the drug might help ease a wider swath of schizophrenia symptoms than its pharmacologic peers.”
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK
At PennLive, Oliver McPherson-Smith and Steve Pociask write for the American Consumer Institute write:
“Price controls are an ad hoc effort to treat the symptom, rather than the underlying cause, of high prescription drug prices. Rather than penalizing consumers through knee-jerk, outdated interventions, affordability boards should focus on cleaning up the opaque pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry. As middlemen between insurers, pharmacists, and drug manufacturers, PBMs accrue billions upon billions of dollars’ worth of savings that could be passed onto consumers.”
UPCOMING EVENTS TO WATCH
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) holds an event.
April 23, 12:30 p.m. ET: How the Bayh-Dole Act Will Speed Development of Coronavirus Cures
Location: Online, hosted by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Topic: The world is anxiously awaiting effective treatments for COVID-19, which is ravaging most countries. Fortunately, some of the best minds in our public and private sectors are putting everything they have into developing effective vaccines, drugs, and tests that are so desperately needed. Because of the Bayh-Dole Act, which allows academic institutions and federal laboratories to effectively license their discoveries so they can make the leap from being laboratory concepts into useful products, these partnerships are proceeding at full speed. Unfortunately, some want to undo this model at the very time we need it the most.
Contact: 202-449-1351 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: Click here to watch.