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Biotechnology

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A COVID-19 vaccine developed by German biotech firm BioNTech and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has shown potential and was found to be well tolerated in early-stage human trials, the companies said on Wednesday. The drug is one of 17 being tested on humans in a frantic global race to find a vaccine the world is counting on to end a pandemic that has infected 10.5 million people and killed more than half a million so far. The potential treatment is the fourth early-stage COVID-19 drug to show promise in human testing, along with projects involving Moderna, CanSino Biologics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals.


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By Marilynn MarchioneThe maker of a drug shown to shorten recovery time for severely ill COVID-19 patients says it will charge $2,340 for a typical treatment course for people covered by government health programs in the United States and other developed countries.Gilead Sciences announced the price Monday for remdesivir, and said the price would be $3,120 for patients with private insurance. The amount that patients pay out of pocket depends on insurance, income and other factors.“We’re in ...


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(Reuters) - AstraZeneca is eyeing the further growth of its respiratory treatments business as a three-drug inhaler was shown to prevent flare-ups and death in cases of smoker’s lung. AstraZeneca said on Wednesday that the ETHOS trial of triple-drug therapy Breztri Aerosphere, formerly known as PT010, helped patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as it seeks to catch up with the runaway success of rival Glaxosmithkline’s Trelegy Ellipta drug. Breztri was show...


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(Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc said on Tuesday it would buy a 49.9% stake in privately held cancer immunotherapies developer Pionyr Immunotherapeutics Inc for $275 million. The drugmaker said it has also secured the right to acquire the rest of Pionyr for a $315 million option exercise fee. Pionyr’s immuno-oncology product candidates, PY314 and PY159, have shown potential against solid tumors in animal studies and it plans to file applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in t...


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(Reuters) - Clover Biopharmaceuticals became the sixth Chinese developer of a potential COVID-19 vaccine to move into human trials on Friday, launching a study in Australia that will test its vaccine with boosters.China and the United States have faced off over the health crisis and are driving parallel efforts to get vaccines successfully approved and into large-scale production later this year.There are currently no approved vaccines or treatments for the illness caused by the new coronavirus,...


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(Reuters) - Pfizer Inc and Sangamo Therapeutics Inc said on Thursday their gene therapy helped maintain levels of a vital protein for up to 14 months in patients with a rare genetic disorder in which blood does not clot easily. All five patients in an early-stage trial given the one-time treatment, giroctocogene fitelparvovec, did not have spontaneous bleeding episodes or require infusions of the blood-clotting protein they otherwise lack, the companies said. Pfizer and Sangamo’s therapy is ...


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(Reuters) - Drugmaker Gilead Sciences said on Wednesday it will soon begin enrollment of pediatric patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 in a late-stage study testing its experimental drug, remdesivir. The trial will assess the effectiveness and safety of the drug in the patients, which would include newborns to adolescents, across more than 30 sites in the United States and Europe, the company said. Gilead’s remdesivir, which has been at the forefront in the fight against the virus and ...


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(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co said on Tuesday its treatment, Verzenio, met the trial goal of reducing the risk of early-stage breast cancer returning, sending the company’s shares up 11%.The treatment, also known as abemaciclib, is approved to treat certain forms of breast cancer but not prevent cancer from recurring, and analysts estimate the data could add billions to its sales.About 30% of patients with a common subtype of early breast cancer that the drug targets are at a high-risk of their...


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(Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co on Monday said it was launching a study of its rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. The trial is one of several efforts by the U.S. drugmaker to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 400,000 people globally, according to a Reuters tally. The drug is being tested to see if it can reduce deaths from the COVID-19 illness and lessen its severity. Scientists at Lilly believe that baricit...


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CHICAGO (Reuters) - Moderna Inc on Thursday confirmed it plans to start a trial of 30,000 volunteers of its much-anticipated coronavirus vaccine in July as the company enters the final stage of testing.The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech said the primary goal of the study would be to prevent symptomatic COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The key secondary goal would be prevention of severe disease, as defined by keeping people out of the hospital.The company’s shares...