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Heart Failure: Implantable Sensors

Studies presented at HFSA suggested a number of ways that implantable pulmonary artery sensors can benefit heart failure patients, including detecting pulmonary embolisms, improving metabolic syndrome, reducing repeat hospitalizations, and patient satisfaction. All of the data was on Abbott’s CardioMEMS, but a Phase III trial is underway with Endotronix’s Cordella.

European Respiratory Society

Late-breaking data was presented at ERS on three drugs for asthma: AB Science’s masitinib, a TKI; Novartis’ fevipiprant, an oral DP2 receptor antagonist; and Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ Dupixent (dupilumab), an anti-IL-4/13. There was also data on a treatment nasal polyps. The dangers of light smoking and e-cigarettes were also highlighted.

Bulletin: Coronavirus Update 9/5

For the second time this year – and perhaps only the second time ever – the chief executive officers (CEOs) of five major pharmaceutical companies jointly held a press conference, sponsored and moderated by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), on Covid-19. The main focus was on therapeutics, though vaccines were also discussed by the heads of Gilead Sciences, Lilly, Merck MSD, Pfizer, and Roche.

Retina Report

There were positive data at the American Society of Retina Specialists virtual meeting on a number of drugs, including: Wet AMD: Roche’s PDS and faricimab, Kodiak Sciences’ KSI-301, and two gene therapies – Adverum Biotechnologies’ ADVM-022 and Regenexbio’s RGX-314; DME: Opthea’s OPT-302; Dry AMD: IVERIC bio’s Zimura and Hemera Biosciences’ gene therapy HMR-59; Retinitis pigmentosa: GenSight Biologics’ GS-030-DP and J&J’s AAV-RPGR gene therapy. But the news was not so good for Novartis’ Beovu. Doctors are reluctant to this longer-acting anti-VEGF due to safety issues.

TVT - LAA Closure

Interventional cardiologists are big fans of LAA closure for atrial fibrillation. In the U.S. only Boston Scientific’s Watchman is currently available, but cardiologists in Europe have a few others. European as well as U.S. cardiologists are anxious for newer devices – and there is a long list of them in development. Four sessions at the Transcatheter Valve Therapies virtual TVT 2020 provided a good overview and insight into how cardiologists are thinking about the new devices in development.

AACR-II Bulletin

Among the studies being presented in Part-II of the American Association for Cancer Research virtual meeting are a vaccine/immunotherapy combination in solid tumors, statins in epithelial ovarian cancer, and survival with immunotherapy in Stage III melanoma.

Bulletin: Coronavirus Update 5/31

The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. today is more than triple what it was 51 days ago, and the U.S. now has almost as many cases as existed in the entire world on April 11, 2020. Why is the mortality rate so low in Russia? Why are nursing homes 43% of all U.S. deaths? What does it mean to have a loved one in the hospital today for a non-Covid-19? Is flying really unsafe? What tests and treatments are being developed? What do leading pharma executives have to say about vaccine development? This report looks at each of these questions

ASCO Bulletin #1

In advance of the American Society of Clinical Oncology virtual meeting, ASCO highlighted potentially practice-changing results with three drugs in four cancers in a virtual press conference. Interestingly, all were drugs already approved for some other indication or cancer stage; they were not investigational agents.