Drugs

WHO recommends against the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its living guideline on COVID-19 therapeutics to include convalescent plasma. For non-severe COVID-19 patients, WHO recommends against its use, while it should only be used within clinical trials for severe and critical COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma is a transfusion of blood plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19. Current evidence shows that convalescent plasma does not improve survival or reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, while it has significant costs. An independent panel of experts,

The world’s first pill to treat COVID-19 set for approval

Merck and Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics today announced that the submission of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for molnupiravir, an investigational oral antiviral medicine, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. The companies are actively working with regulatory agencies worldwide to submit applications for emergency use or marketing authorization in the coming months. The submission is based on positive results

Progress towards ending AIDS among children, adolescents and young women has stalled

In the final report from the Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free initiative, UNAIDS and partners warn that progress towards ending AIDS among children, adolescents and young women has stalled and none of the targets for 2020 were met. The report shows that the total number of children on treatment declined for the first time, despite the fact that nearly 800 000 children living with HIV are not currently on treatment. It also shows that opportunities to identify

Chinese firm’s COVID-19 vaccine gets WHO approval

WHO today validated the Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving countries, funders, procuring agencies and communities the assurance that it meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing. The vaccine is produced by the Beijing-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac. “The world desperately needs multiple COVID-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe,” said Dr Mariângela Simão, WHO Assistant-Director General for Access to Health Products. “We urge manufacturers to participate in the COVAX Facility, share their

Download US FDA report on Johnson & Johnson’s single dose COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson is on track to become the latest vaccine in the global fight against COVI-19. Today (Wednesday), the US FDA released its report on the vaccine and you can read the entire 62 pages below. FDA-Briefing-Document According to the document, in the study that involved about 40,000 participants, as of February 5, 2021, there were 7 COVID-19 related deaths in the study in the placebo group and no COVID-19-related

There is an approved treatment for Ebola

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Ebanga (Ansuvimab-zykl), a human monoclonal antibody, for the treatment for Zaire ebolavirus (Ebolavirus) infection in adults and children. Ebanga blocks binding of the virus to the cell receptor, preventing its entry into the cell. FDA granted the approval to Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, LP. Ebanga was granted an Orphan Drug designation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage drug development for rare diseases. Additionally, the agency granted Ebanga a Breakthrough Therapy designation. “Patients who receive Ebanga should avoid

There is a new promising drug combination for melanoma

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) have identified a potential drug combination to treat uveal melanoma, a type of eye cancer. Lead author Amanda Truong, trainee in the McMahon Lab at HCI and student at the U of U, explains uveal melanoma patients frequently have changes in genes called GNAQ and GNA11, which are key targets for these drugs. This study was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. “Uveal melanoma is a relatively

NAFDAC raises alarm on the use of anti-inflammatory drugs

Late October 2020, Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it received a report about the US FDA’s warning on the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) around 20 weeks or later in pregnancy which may cause rare but serious kidney problems in an unborn baby. This can result in low amniotic fluid. “After about 20 weeks of pregnancy, the unborn babies’ kidneys produce most of the amniotic fluid, so kidney problems can lead to low