In the Pipeline

Derek Lowe’s commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry. An editorially independent blog from the publishers of Science Translational Medicine.

Latest articles

Oxford/AZ Vaccine Efficacy Data

As of this morning, we have a first look at the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine’s efficacy in clinical trials via press releases from both organizations. The number in the headlines says about 70% efficacy, but there’s more to the story. Here’s the landscape so far: we have results from Pfizer and from Moderna, both of them developing mRNA-based...

More Vaccine Data, in Advance of More Efficacy

I know that it’s been a run of vaccine posts around here, but the numbers just keep on coming. Today we have two more papers to look at, both published in The Lancet. – The first is from the SinoVac inactivated virus effort (the CoronaVac vaccine). In this one, the virus is grown in Vero cell culture, harvested, and inactivated by treatment with...

Vaccine Possibilities

Now that we’re seeing that coronavirus vaccines are indeed possible (and are on their way), let’s talk about the remaining unanswered questions and the things that we will be getting more data on. Here are some of the big issues – it’ll be good to see this stuff coming into focus. I’ll put these into the form of questions (think of it as a tribute to...

Moderna’s Vaccine Efficacy Readout

As expected, we have more vaccine news this morning. And the news is good. Moderna reports that their own mRNA candidate is >94% effective (point estimate), with 95 total cases in the trial to date, split 90/5 between the control group and the vaccinated group. 11 of those were severe infections: all 11 in the controls and zero in the vaccine patients....

Lilly’s Monoclonal EUA

I’ve been meaning to write about what has to be called a regulatory mystery. Eli Lilly obtained an Emergency Use Authorization for its monoclonal antibody (bamlanivimab) against SARS-Cov-2, but (as detailed in this post) the dosage that they applied for was 700mg. Which is one-quarter of the dose that showed any efficacy against the primary endpoint...

Good News on T-Cell Response

There are several recent preprints and publications that bear on the T-cell immunity story for the coronavirus pandemic, and I wanted to highlight these, since it’s been a big part of the story that’s needed more information for a long time now. Here, for one, is a multi-institute study from the UK. The authors are looking at 100 COVID-19 patients...

Vaccine Efficacy Data!

Earlier this morning, Pfizer and BioNTech announced the first controlled efficacy data for a coronavirus vaccine. And the news is good. You may recall that these vaccine trials are set up to get to a defined number of coronavirus cases overall, at which time the various monitoring committees lock the door and unblind the data to have a look at...

Aducanumab at the FDA

So it’s finally time for Biogen to sit down with an FDA advisory committee to look at their proposed Alzheimer’s therapy, the anti-amyloid antibody aducanumab. I last wrote about it here, back in December, and you know what? I haven’t changed my mind a bit, because (1) no new data have emerged (none were expected) and (2) I have not had a change of...

Don’t Make Mine Mink

Update: importantly, the follow-up news on this story argues that there’s less to worry about than appeared at first. The mutation described below has not actually appeared again in the last two months, and it ability to evade vaccine-raised neutralizing antibodies is still in doubt. There’s a situation in Denmark that deserves some epidemiological...

The Scientific Literature’s Own Pandemic

One side effect of the coronavirus has been an explosion of lower-quality publications in the scientific literature. This has come in several forms, some more excusable than others. In the former category are the papers that were rushed out earlier this year, observational studies that sometimes investigated possible therapies as well. These were often...

Discover, share and read the best on the web

Subscribe to RSS Feeds, Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter searches, Facebook pages, even Email Newsletters! Get unfiltered news feeds or filter them to your liking.

Get Inoreader
Inoreader - Subscribe to RSS Feeds, Blogs, Podcasts, Twitter searches, Facebook pages, even Email Newsletters!