COVID-19 Top News – March 20, 2020

March 20, 2020

Cardax releases white paper on the potential role of astaxanthin in the treatment of coronavirus disease (PRNewswire) – Mar 20, 2020 – “Cardax…released a white paper outlining the potential role of astaxanthin in the treatment of coronavirus disease and is seeking strategic collaborations to further develop astaxanthin for COVID-19….Astaxanthin has been shown to (i) significantly attenuate pathological elevation…(ii) decrease the resulting elevated proinflammatory cytokine levels, (iii) reduce immune cell infiltration of the lung, and (iv) positively influence macrophage polarization in humans and animal models of disease….Company filed a patent application yesterday.”


Smartphone enabled rapid test for Covid 19 approved for at home use (Speciality Medical Dialogues) – Mar 20, 2020 – “A smartphone-enabled rapid serology test for Covid 19 for at-home use has been approved….The test takes 15 minutes to complete using the Scanwell Health app….The test developed by INNOVITA shall be distributed by Scanwell Health which has secured exclusive rights to license and distribute a SARS-CoV-2 test….Scanwell is anticipating that the SARS-CoV-2 rapid test kits will be available within 6 to 8 weeks after Scanwell obtains Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA for at-home use of serology tests.”


Sorrento Develops STI-4398 (COVIDTRAP Protein) for potential prevention and treatment of SARS-COV-2 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) (GlobeNewswire, Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc.) – Mar 20, 2020 – “Sorrento Therapeutics…announced it has produced a preclinical batch of the STI-4398 (COVIDTRAP) protein to immediately commence testing its neutralization and blocking activity in preventing SARS-CoV-2 virus from infecting ACE2-expressing cells….In vitro cell studies for SARS-CoVID-2 virus infection and neutralization are expected to be conducted in the next few weeks in collaboration with world-leading coronavirus experts….Sorrento currently anticipates it will complete the enabling studies for an expedited IND filing in the next few months.”


hydroxychloroquine / Generic mfg.
Anti-new crown pneumonia both drugs U.S. FDA proposes antimalarial drugs and recovery plasma (GeneOnline) – Mar 20, 2020 – U.S. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said…that FDA is carefully considering Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine)…as a new treatment for new coronary pneumonia (COVID-19)….Recovery plasma and the immunoglobulins it contains are another possible treatment that the FDA is considering….If the subject has been exposed to the coronavirus and your blood is free of the virus and symptoms, clinical researchers can collect blood….Once there is no pathogen, the FDA has the ability to treat other patients with COVID-19.”


WP1122 / WPD Pharma, Moleculin
Moleculin announces patent filing to cover new coronavirus drug candidate (PRNewswire) – Mar 20, 2020 – “Moleculin Biotech, Inc…announced that a new patent application has been filed covering the use of WP1122 and its analogs as therapies to limit the ability of coronavirus and other viruses to replicate. The patent application covers joint discoveries which came as a result of an ongoing sponsored research agreement.”


Apotex donates hydroxychloroquine for a clinical study to prevent infection from Covid-19 with front line health care workers (GlobeNewswire) – Mar 20, 2020 – “The study, conducted by the University Health Network and Unity Health (St Michael’s Hospital) in Toronto, aims to gather data from randomized controlled trials which is essential for informing the best practices in protecting our health care workers at this critical time. It is a PreExposure Prophylaxis randomized placebo controlled trial for front line health care workers including emergency room staff and ICU staff.”


FDA grants Bellerophon emergency expanded access for INOpulse for the treatment of COVID-19 virus (GlobeNewswire) – Mar 20, 2020 – “Bellerophon Therapeutics, Inc…today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency expanded access allowing its proprietary inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) delivery system, INOpulse®, to immediately be used for the treatment of COVID-19.”


Novartis commits to donate up to 130 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to support the global COVID-19 pandemic response (GlobeNewswire) – Mar 20, 2020 – “Novartis announced today its commitment to donate up to 130 million doses of generic hydroxychloroquine to support the global COVID-19 pandemic response. Hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, are currently under evaluation in clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19. Novartis is supporting ongoing clinical trial efforts, and will evaluate needs for additional clinical trials.”


Chembio Diagnostics receives $4 million purchase order from Bio-Manguinhos for production of DPP COVID-19 IgM/IgG system in Brazil (GlobeNewswire) – Mar 20, 2020 – “Chembio Diagnostics, Inc…today announced its receipt of a $4 million order from Bio-Manguinhos for the purchase of Chembio’s DPP COVID-19 IgM/IgG System, to support the urgent needs of Brazil’s Ministry of Health. Bio-Manguinhos is a subsidiary of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) that is responsible for the development and production of vaccines, diagnostics and biopharmaceuticals, primarily to meet demands of Brazil’s national public health system.”


Humanigen planning phase III study of coronavirus treatment (Yahoo Finance) – Mar 20, 2020 – “Humanigen, Inc…announced that the company is seeking to conduct a Phase III, randomized, controlled, clinical trial to rapidly advance the clinical development of lenzilumab for the prevention and treatment of cytokine storm which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in COVID-19….Clinical trials of lenzilumab in patients with COVID-19 will commence upon approval by relevant regulatory authorities. In addition, the company is planning on making lenzilumab available on a compassionate use basis.”

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