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| July 12, 2019
UPM Pharmaceuticals is a Bristol Tennessee based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) serving the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
Article | April 17, 2020
Swiss pharma giant Roche is joining the race to develop a test for COVID-19 antibodies in people who have been exposed to the disease. This morning, Roche announced the development and upcoming launch of its Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test to detect antibodies in people who have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Roche is eying May for the launch of the test in Europe and is in talks with the U.S Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval of the system.
Antibody testing is central to help identify people who have been infected by the virus, especially those who may have been infected but did not display symptoms, the company said. Roche noted that as more information becomes available about immunity levels to COVID-19, society can return to a sense of normal much more quickly. Roche’s test will join a number of other antibody tests that have recently come on the market. Earlier this month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first blood test for COVID-19 antibodies.
Pharmaceutical stocks have been somewhat of a safe haven for investors as the coronavirus outbreak spread from China to the rest of the world. But as the pandemic deepened, now resulting in more than 782,000 cases worldwide, even these "safer" companies are beginning to feel the effects. The U.S. is now the coronavirus epicenter, with the most cases -- more than 161,000 as of today. Initial concerns for drugmakers had to do with the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, which often come from China. The worry was that pharmaceutical companies wouldn't be able to produce enough of their drugs for patients.
The president and some of his close advisors — desperate for a COVID-19 cure — are asking “What do you have to lose?” by taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a strong medication never adequately tested for efficacy or safety in COVID-19 patients. The correct answer to the president’s question, which he doesn’t seem to want to hear, is that we have our lives to lose. The president acknowledges “I’m not a doctor” but this raises the question “What do doctors know about the drug recommended by the president? Most doctors are aware that HCQ can be effective for patients with malaria, arthritis or lupus. If they were to follow the president’s suggestion and prescribe it for COVID-19 patients, they would also like to know that it will benefit some of those patients, at least.
If you’re part of a clinical study team racing a new product to commercialization, you likely live by these two simple rules: time is money, and the first one to market wins. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. That ticking clock is background noise to the responsibilities of regulations, study protocols, supply chains, and patient recruitment — all the details that must be worked out before a study can even begin. The pressure is always there. The longer it takes for a study to start, the longer it takes to complete.
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