As we work our way through October and deeper into autumn, there have been many recent developments in healthcare and clinical research. There’s a potential gamechanger in A.L.S. research and a reminder from the UK of the need for countries to ensure citizens have access to the right vision care. There’s news on breakthroughs in detecting genetic mutations that promote the growth of brain tumors and a drug that activates the body's natural defenses and may help better target stealthy melanoma tumors. On the COVID-19 front, clinical trials are progressing despite some temporary pauses, and looking past the pandemic, we get a glimpse of what’s in store for the pharmaceutical industry as new technologies are adopted.
Together Beyond COVID-19: A Look at the Future of the Pharmaceutical Industry
The global crisis that resulted from the outbreak of COVID-19 has affected various industries in different ways – benefiting some and disrupting, or even sidelining, others. In a short time, COVID-19 has increased dependency on technology, and companies are actively adapting to this digital transformation. While there are a number of challenges, COVID-19 has initiated new ways of carrying out clinical trials safely and effectively, and physicians are currently utilizing digital health technologies while developing long-term digital strategies.
Drug May Extend A.L.S. Patients’ Lives by Several Months, Study Finds
While researchers are still working towards a homerun in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a two-drug combination invented by college students could potentially be a gamechanger in extending the lives of patients with the paralyzing fatal condition.
Quarter of Partially-sighted Have Unmet Needs
A new study finds that roughly a quarter of people with severe sight loss in the UK are going without the treatment they need. According to the study, 26% of people across Europe reporting either blindness or severe vision loss had unmet needs for eye care. Further, there are significant differences among EU countries in terms of the prevalence of overall severe sight loss amongst the general population. This highlights the crucial need for countries to engage with their citizens to determine where problems lie, and ensure people have access to the right vision care.
Virus-mimicking Drug Helps Immune System Target Cunning Cancer Cells
Researchers have found that a drug that activates the body's natural defenses by behaving like a virus may also make certain stealthy melanoma tumors visible to the immune system, allowing them to be better targeted by immunotherapy. The findings open up the possibility of using drugs that mimic viruses to overcome immunotherapy resistance in tumors and help create more personalized therapies for people with hard-to-treat cancers.
No Need to Panic About COVID-19 Trial Halts, FDA Chief Says. They Show the System is Working
Hearing some COVID-19 vaccine and drug trials have been paused could cause concern among the millions of people following their progress, but according to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, the breaks in the action actually show the development process is working as intended. Built-in safeguards to protect subjects of trials are effectively identifying concerns and ultimately will help determine the safety and efficacy of a therapeutic or vaccine.