Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? Gray skies are hovering over the Pharmalot campus, but our spirits remain as sunny as ever. As you may recall us noting previously, the Morning Mayor used to say that “every new day should be unwrapped like a precious gift.” So who cares about a few clouds? While you ponder the notion, feel free to join us for our usual cup of stimulation. Our choice today is salted caramel mocha, a touch of the Jersey Shore. And as always, here are the usual tidbits. Hope you have a smashing day and drop us a line when you run across something juicy…
Behind the unvarnished enthusiasm over an experimental Covid-19 pill, questions are emerging about the cost of the treatment and the leverage the U.S. government may have to address excessive pricing, STAT explains. At issue is molnupiravir, which is being developed by Merck (MRK) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Top-line data showed the pill reduced the risk that newly diagnosed patients would be hospitalized by about 50%. The findings suggested the pill would make it much easier and less costly to treat Covid-19 patients, who might otherwise receive pricey drugs that must be infused. As a result, manufacturing terms and related patent applications are being scrutinized.
AstraZeneca (AZN) requested emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its new treatment to prevent Covid-19 for people who don’t respond well to vaccines due to weakened immune systems, Reuters writes. The company filed data with the agency from a late-stage trial showing the drug reduced the risk of developing any Covid-19 symptoms by 77%. The drug maker maintained its antibody therapy, called AZD7442, could be used to protect people who do not have a strong enough immune response to vaccines or to supplement a vaccination course for those, such as military personnel, who need to booster their protection further.
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