– The federal court of Canada on Monday dismissed a plea by drugmakers challenging the Canadian government’s new regulations aimed at lowering prices of patented drugs that could potentially lead them to lose billions over a decade. The court struck down one part of the new regulation, finding that using certain payments to third parties to determine a drug’s regulated price went beyond the government’s authority, but upheld the bulk of the rules. Canada published…"Canada federal court dismisses drugmakers’ plea challenging drug price rules"
ZURICH – Swiss drugmaker Molecular Partners has suffered a setback after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the company’s abicipar product for a blindness-causing eye disease had an unfavorable risk-benefit profile due to inflammation. Molecular Partners, which with abicipar was aiming for its first commercial product, has partnered on the medicine for macular degeneration with AbbVie unit Allergan, and has been hoping a successful launch would help bring in milestone payments to help fund…"Molecular Partners’s AbbVie-partnered eye drug gets FDA safety snub"
SEOUL – South Korea said on Wednesday it has approved the emergency use of Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir to treat COVID-19 after a government panel last week cited positive results for the anti-viral drug in other countries. Remdesivir, which is administered intravenously in hospital, is the first drug to show improvement in COVID-19 patients in formal clinical trials. “Remdesivir can help reduce the amount of coronavirus in the body,” South Korea’s Ministry for Food and…"South Korea approves emergency use of Gilead’s anti-viral drug to treat COVID-19"
TRINIDAD – Officials in the Bolivian city of Trinidad launched a campaign on Monday to give out free doses of the anti-parasite drug ivermectin in a bid to combat the coronavirus in the country’s hard-hit eastern region. Authorities will go house-to-house to pass out some 350,000 doses of the drug to residents in the region of Beni, where Trinidad is the capital. The area has 581 confirmed cases and 41 coronavirus-related deaths. The South American…"Bolivian city gives out free doses of de-worming drug in bid to combat coronavirus"
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump, in a surprise announcement, said on Monday he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive medicine against the coronavirus despite medical warnings about the use of the malaria drug. “I’m taking hydroxychloroquine,” Trump told reporters. “I’ve been taking it for the last week and a half. A pill every day.” Trump volunteered the disclosure during a question-and-answer session with reporters as he met restaurant executives whose businesses are reeling from…"Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine despite FDA warning"
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump revealed on Monday he is taking hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug that he has touted despite medical warnings about its use, as a preventive medicine against the coronavirus. “I’ve been taking it for the last week and a half. A pill every day,” Trump told reporters. He said he has been having “zero symptoms” from it."Trump reveals he is taking hydroxychloroquine as hedge against virus"
MOSCOW – A Russian company trialling a drug to treat the new coronavirus said on Thursday it was testing it on infected patients in what it called second- and third-phase clinical trials based on World Health Organisation (WHO) criteria. The first phase of testing, which involved healthy volunteers, was carried out by the drug’s initial developer, before trials began in Russia, a spokeswoman for ChemRar, the company conducting the trials, told . The drug, favipiravir,…"Russia’s ChemRar says in second-, third-phase testing of coronavirus drug favipiravir"
MOSCOW – A candidate drug for treating the new coronavirus, favipiravir, has produced promising results in early clinical trials in Russia, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which provided 150 million roubles ($2 million) in funding for the project. RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said 60% of the 40 coronavirus patients taking tablets of favipiravir, which was first developed in Japan under the name Avigan, tested negative for the virus within five days and said…"Russia claims promising signs in early trials of antiviral drug favipiravir"
HAVANA – Communist-run Cuba, laboring under a six-decade U.S. embargo, is betting a biotech sector begun by late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro can give the Caribbean island an edge in a global race to find effective treatments for the new coronavirus. Cuba is especially touting an interferon it produces, a decades old antiviral agent that boosts immune system. The island nation says it has been successful in treating the novel coronavirus at home and in…"With Castro-era biotech, Cuba seeks to compete in coronavirus treatment race"
– Two congresswomen wrote a letter Monday urging drugmaker Jaguar Health Inc to reverse recent price hikes on its drug Mytesi, which could be used to alleviate side effects in patients being treated for COVID-19. The letter, signed by House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, criticized Jaguar for what it said was a nearly threefold price increase on the drug, from $688.52 to $2,206.52 per bottle of pills, earlier this…"Congresswomen urge Jaguar Health to reverse price hike on drug that may be used in COVID-19 patients"