Roche’s diagnostic sales high thanks to Delta variant

SWITZERLAND – The delta variant’s high demand for COVID-19 diagnostics has resulted in rocketing sales at Roche’s diagnostics division, allowing the company to raise its sales forecast for the year. Diagnostics sales increased 39% year on year to CHF 13.3 billion (US$14.4 billion), with the strong performance of the company’s COVID-19 test kits backed up by a recovery in other products as health services begin to recover from the impact of the pandemic last year. In the first half, the company predicted that diagnostic sales would begin to decline in…

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GSK and Vir Biotech COVID-19 antibody gets Japanese approval

JAPAN – Sotrovimab, a COVID-19 antibody therapy developed by GlaxoSmithKline in collaboration with Vir Biotechnology has received Special approval for emergency use in Japan for patients who are not severely ill. Sotrovimab, is a monoclonal antibody that attacks the virus, is given intravenously, became the fifth medicine in Japan for treating COVID-19. The fast-tracked approval of sotrovimab came after a health ministry expert panel gave a positive nod for the therapy.   FDA granted Sotrovimab an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) in May for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in people…

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Antibody therapy for high-risk Covid-19 patients

USA – The World Health Organization (WHO) has added the Regeneron antibody drug cocktail (casirivimab and imdevimab) to its list of COVID-19 treatments, urging the manufacturer to lower its price and ensure equal access to the lifesaving treatment worldwide. WHO added that Regeneron, the patent holder should also share technology to allow for the manufacturing of biosimilar versions of the monoclonal antibody therapy. The guidelines published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), strongly recommend that patients at high risk of hospitalization or with severe disease should be given a combination…

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Sanofi, Regeneron burnish their blockbuster Dupixent franchise

FRANCE – As a stable of new players sets out to topple Dupixent’s status as the reigning antibody treatment for atopic dermatitis, the blockbuster’s developers are moving the goalposts. Dupixent has aced a Phase III trial involving 162 children between 6 months and 5 years old, Sanofi and Regeneron say, becoming the first biologic drug to show efficacy in this young population. When given Dupixent on top of standard of care topical corticosteroids, 28% of patients achieved clear or almost-clear skin compared to 4% of those on placebo — thus…

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