What to know about the latest setbacks in the hunt for COVID-19 vaccines and treatment
Amid the busy news cycle, I hope you're all having a chance to take in a few fall moments. My fall moments this week included baking my first pumpkin bread of the season, and making butternut squash soup for the first time (I had no idea how involved the process of cubing butternut squash could be!)This week, we've been watching
The sprint to make effective COVID-19 treatments and vaccines has hit some road bumps — and that's OKWe might know in the coming weeks whether some of the earliest COVID-19 vaccines work.
Getting to that point hasn't been without its challenges. Back in September, AstraZeneca paused its trials after a volunteer had what might've been a serious reaction (the trial resumed in the UK but not in the US yet.)And on Monday, Johnson & Johnson said it paused its vaccine trials after an unexplained illness in a participant. The next day, Eli Lilly, which is making a coronavirus antibody treatment, paused its trial over safety concerns.
The scope of some trials is changing as well. Pfizer on Monday said it's testing its vaccine in children as young as 12, which will be key to getting the shot in more people.
Then on Friday, Pfizer revealed it plans to submit its vaccine for emergency approval in late November, should the shot show it works. That puts a coronavirus
Other treatments evaluated as part of the WHO trial also faltered, with the organization finding that they had "little or no effect on hospitalized COVID-19."Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health is embarking on more studies to see how well remdesivir might work in combination with other drugs. This dispatch from Andrew Dunn comes complete with a vivid description of hunting for treatments that will help turn off the emergency sprinkler system activated in the body when it's mounting an overactive immune response to COVID-19.
Here's hoping the pauses to the trials and the detours in finding what treatments work pay off in the end.
Johnson & Johnson says pausing its coronavirus vaccine trials is 'not at all unusual,' as researchers investigate an unexplained illnessBlake Dodge reports on the push for cheap, fast, and at-home coronavirus testing. The closest comparison might be to a pregnancy test.
We're not completely there yet, but there are a lot of folks developing such technology for use at home or in pharmacies. Being able to check on your COVID-19 status more frequently could help you make more informed decisions — though of course, as we saw with the White House outbreaks, testing alone isn't a perfect system.
Meet the 11 companies racing to make coronavirus tests that cost as little as $5 and deliver results in under 15 minutes78704158 Megan Hernbroth had the exclusive on telemedicine startup 98point6's latest round of funding, raised just six months after its last batch.
Megan spoke to
So far, we've seen two SPAC deals in healthcare, for direct-to-consumer
"We will continue to make tradeoffs about the best financing strategies, and we will continue to make tradeoffs that ensure we can retain focus on the mission at hand as opposed to diluting it with other objectives and work items that come with managing a public company," Cape said.
Healthcare startups are racing to the public markets. The CEO of 98point6 shares why that didn't make sense and why decided to raise $118 million from private investors instead.
I'll leave you with some dispatches from our project highlighting the top young leaders in healthcare.This week: Megan highlights Anna Huyghues-Despointes, a former VC who joined a startup looking to change how we treat cancer. Instead, the 32-year-old has turned her attention to COVID-19 treatments.
That's all for now! Can you believe we're less than three weeks away from the election? (Sometimes I'm pretty convinced it's still April.)How are you expecting the election will change digital health? What ballot measures are you watching? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or find the whole healthcare team at email@example.com.
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