San Francisco Chronicle: UCSF team has discovered drugs that block coronavirus, paving way for ‘a better drug sooner’. “A global team of scientists led by UCSF has discovered a range of existing drugs and experimental compounds that block the new coronavirus in lab tests, revealing some of the virus’ key weaknesses for the first time. Their findings point to possible treatments for COVID-19, according to a paper released Thursday in the journal Nature.”
MIT Technology Review: The race to find a covid-19 drug in the blood of survivors. “In the US, a slow and confused rollout of coronavirus testing helped the new virus get a foothold and cause what is now a raging outbreak. But drug and biotech companies have been searching for a cure since January, when the severity of the epidemic in China became evident. Among the most promising candidates are antibody drugs, a type that already accounts for most of the top-selling medicines in the US.”
PR Newswire: Excelra Releases COVID-19 Drug Repurposing Database to Support Global Drug Development Efforts Against Novel Coronavirus (PRESS RELEASE). “Excelra, a leading global data and analytics company, today announced the release of the COVID-19 Drug Repurposing Database (https://www.excelra.com/covid-19-drug-repurposing-database/). The ‘open-access’ database presents a compilation of ‘previously approved’ small molecules and biologics with known preclinical, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and toxicity profiles that can rapidly enter either Phase 2 or 3 clinical trials on fast track basis for COVID-19. In addition, the database also includes information on promising drug candidates that are in various ‘clinical, pre-clinical and experimental’ stages of drug discovery and development for COVID-19.”
Regulatory Focus: FDA Launches Searchable Purple Book. “The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday unveiled the first version of its searchable online database of biological product information, known as the Purple Book. Building off the previous PDF lists of biological products, the database now allows for easier searches and includes information on product names (proprietary and proper), the type of biologics license application (BLA) that was submitted, strength of the biologic, dosage form, product presentation, license status, BLA number and approval date.” I didn’t know how a “biological product” was defined. I got educated via this FDA PDF.
Science: FDA and NIH let clinical trial sponsors keep results secret and break the law. “Science examined more than 4700 trials whose results should have been posted on the NIH website ClinicalTrials.gov under the 2017 rule. Reporting rates by most large pharmaceutical companies and some universities have improved sharply, but performance by many other trial sponsors—including, ironically, NIH itself—was lackluster. Those sponsors, typically either the institution conducting a trial or its funder, must deposit results and other data within 1 year of completing a trial. But of 184 sponsor organizations with at least five trials due as of 25 September 2019, 30 companies, universities, or medical centers never met a single deadline.”
BusinessWire: Kramer Levin Launches Biologics Law Blog (PRESS RELEASE). “Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP today launched the Bio Law Blog, which provides insights into intellectual property law and regulatory developments for biologic medicines. The blog is edited by Kramer Levin partners Irena Royzman, Ph.D., Jonathan S. Caplan and Hannah Lee.” I wasn’t sure what “biologic medicine” was, but MedicineNet helped me out.
Chemistry World: Open access Atlas maps out microbial natural products. “A new open access database of microbial natural products has launched online. The Natural Products Atlas (NPAtlas) is free to use and contains more than 24,000 chemical structures. The tool is based on Fair data principles, making the information within it easier to search and use in secondary analysis.” I don’t put anything in RB unless I can get a basic understanding of what the resource is about. (I have skipped including items because I just didn’t get the underlying discipline or presentation.) In this case I had no idea what microbial natural products are, but I now understand better thanks to PubMed.