Palm Beach, FL – The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with scientists across the globe on at least 20 different coronavirus vaccines with some already in clinical trials in record time — just 60 days after sequencing the gene, according to reports from CNBC.
“The acceleration of this process is really truly dramatic in terms of what we’re able to do, building on work that started with SARS, that started with MERS and now is being used for coronavirus COVID-19 ,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for WHO’s emergencies program, said at a press conference at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva on Friday.
Reuters reports that U.S. researchers, following the lead of scientists in other countries, have launched studies to see whether widely-available, low-cost generic drugs can be used to help treat the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
There are currently no vaccines or treatments for the highly-contagious coronavirus COVID-19 respiratory illness, so patients can only receive supportive care for now.
But a 1,500-person trial, led by the University of Minnesota, began this week to see whether malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine can prevent or reduce the severity of coronavirus COVID-19. Two other trials are studying the blood pressure drug losartan as a possible treatment for the disease.
Active healthcare stocks in news today include: BioSig Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:BSGM), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO), IMAC Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMAC), Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX).
Most people infected with the new coronavirus develop only mild flu-like symptoms, but around 20 percent can have more severe disease that can lead to pneumonia requiring hospitalization. A French team on Tuesday said initial results from a 24-patient trial of hydroxychloroquine showed that 25% of patients given the drug still carried the coronavirus after six days, compared with 90% of patients given a placebo.
A Reuters report concluded: “Pharmaceutical companies are also working to develop treatments for COVID-19, including Gilead Sciences Inc’s experimental antiviral drug remdesivir, which is given to hospitalized patients via intravenous infusion over several days.
BioSig Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: BSGM) BREAKING NEWS – BioSig subsidiary NeuroClear acquires license for a broad-spectrum anti-viral agent that may treat COVID-19. Laboratory results demonstrate high level of activity against COVID-19 in cell culture – BioSig Technologies, a medical technology company commercializing a proprietary biomedical signal processing platform, today announced that its majority-owned subsidiary NeuroClear Technologies, Inc. acquired the rights to develop a novel pharmaceutical to treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In a preliminary internal review, the orally administered, broad-spectrum anti-viral agent Vicromax(tm) demonstrated strong activity against COVID-19 in cell cultures in laboratory testing. In this analysis, Vicromax(tm) was added to a tissue culture assay for SARS-CO-2 coronavirus (the causative agent for COVID-19) and an anti-viral effect was observed, which led to a reduction of over 90% of infectious viruses. The Company intends to pursue development of this agent for the treatment of COVID-19 through FDA-approved clinical trials.
“Stopping the COVID-19 pandemic and preventing similar viral threats in the future must be the number-one priority of all of us in the healthcare community,” said Kenneth L. Londoner, Chairman and CEO of BioSig Technologies, Inc. “This very promising anti-viral is the result of tireless efforts by an accomplished group of pharmaceutical industry veterans, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure it gets tested and brought to market as soon as possible.”
The Company intends to develop Vicromax(tm) and take it through clinical trials under a new NeuroClear subsidiary, ViralClear Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The Company appointed Mr. Nick Spring as Chief Executive Officer of ViralClear and Mr. Steve King as Chief Operating Officer.
Mr. Spring is a seasoned global executive and entrepreneur with experience spanning both human and animal health. During his extensive career at Merck & Co., he led the worldwide franchise for live viral human vaccines as well as the strategic team that crafted the US launch plan for the HPV vaccine, Gardasil®, which became a billion-dollar franchise.
Most recently, Mr. Spring was Founder and CEO of Humanitas, a biotechnology and life sciences consulting firm that advises blue-chip global companies. Previously, he served as President and CEO of a medical device company, Reliefband Technologies, and as Founder and CEO of Topaz Pharmaceuticals Inc, where he raised $35 million in private investment and took the company from concept to FDA approval to exit, selling the company for over $200 million to Sanofi.
Earlier in his Merck career, Mr. Spring helped build the Ivermectin family of endectocides into a billion-dollar global franchise and manage the start-up of Merial, a Merck/Sanofi animal health joint venture. While at Merial, Mr. Spring was part of the strategic leadership planning team that laid the foundations for Heartgard® and the blockbuster Frontline® brand. Read this entire press release and more news for BSGM at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-bsgm
In other healthcare news of note:
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) recently announced data from clinical and preclinical studies exploring the use of GS-6207, an investigational, novel, first-in-class inhibitor of HIV-1 capsid function, as a potential long-acting therapy for people living with HIV. Results from a Phase 1b proof-of-concept study of a subcutaneous formulation showed antiviral activity with GS-6207 through the last day of monotherapy, Day 10, with significantly greater reductions in HIV-1 RNA versus placebo across all treatment groups (20 to 750 mg; all p<0.0001). These data were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) 2020 in Boston.
Under this program, Ology Bioservices will work with Inovio Pharmaceuticals to manufacture Inovio’s DNA vaccine (INO-4800) for prevention of infection with the COVID-19 virus. The aim of the program is to rapidly and efficiently deliver the vaccine to the Department of Defense for upcoming clinical trials.
IMAC Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMAC) a provider of innovative medical advancements and care specializing in regenerative rehabilitation orthopedic treatments without the use of surgery or opioids, recently announced it has implemented a new telehealth option to allow active care patients direct and consistent communications with IMAC medical professionals even while observing “shelter in place” status.
The telehealth option will allow for non-contact visits via a simple platform. Patients will provide an email address and will receive an invitation directly from their provider, which can be accessed on any Internet-connected device, and is compatible with all currently used platforms, including iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows and iPadOS.
Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) recently announced positive top-line results of its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of NanoFlu™, its recombinant quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine candidate with its proprietary Matrix-M™ adjuvant, in adults aged 65 and older. Using the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) criteria for accelerated approval of seasonal influenza vaccines, the trial evaluated the immunogenicity and safety of NanoFlu compared to Fluzone® Quadrivalent, a U.S.-licensed quadrivalent influenza vaccine.
The trial’s primary objectives were to demonstrate non-inferior immunogenicity of NanoFlu compared to Fluzone Quadrivalent using the day 28 ratio of geometric mean titers (GMT) and the difference in seroconversion rates (SCR), as well as the overall safety of NanoFlu. Immunogenicity was measured by hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assays using egg-derived reagents.
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