Today's Topline - 4/20/20

Monday, April 20, 2020

Source: MedTech Association

Good Monday morning.

This weekend’s news was dominated by discussion – often in raucous tones – about how and when the United States could begin the process of restarting its economy.  The message from public health experts was clear; coronavirus testing rates must double or triple before we can safely reopen.  Here in New York, Governor Cuomo said on Sunday that the state plans to roll out antibody testing this week to determine who has been infected with Covid-19, conducting the “largest survey of any state population that has been done.” Cuomo said the FDA approved the state’s antibody test, which is designed to detect whether a person has developed the antibodies to fight COVID-19 and indicates they may be immune against the disease. However, global health officials have recently questioned if some of the available antibody testing kits can accurately determine whether a person is immune to the disease.

Meanwhile, in promising news involving several MedTech members, the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center have launched a collaborative clinical trial that will make a new investigational treatment of Sarilumab available to Buffalo-area patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The trial will be part of an international clinical trial sponsored by MedTech member Regeneron and Sanofi. The drug, also known as Kevzara, is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the interleukin-6 (IL-6) pathway by binding and blocking the IL-6 receptor. While it has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, experts believe IL-6 inhibitors may help to prevent or control the overactive inflammatory response in the lungs of patients who are severely or critically ill with COVID-19.

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