Coronavirus Notebook: Drugs Old & New, Equitable Access To Vaccines, And Vial Supplies
In this edition of the Coronavirus Notebook, an EU consortium uses a supercomputing platform to identify the generic drug raloxifene as a potential COVID-19 treatment, and the World Health Organization proposes a set of principles for distributing a coronavirus vaccine at global level.
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The standout development in this latest Coronavirus Notebook is that the cheap and plentiful steroid dexamethasone has been shown to reduce deaths by a third in ventilated COVID-19 patients in the UK Recovery trial. In other news, there is fresh funding for smaller firms working on potential treatments and vaccines, and a number of organizations have decided to make their research tools and resources available free of charge in return for open publication of any coronavirus-related findings.
More rolling reviews, a reduction in review rounds, and a rise in applications through two international regulatory collaboration initiatives were among the factors behind a reduction in new drug authorization times in Switzerland last year. However, “submission gaps” versus other regulators remain a problem.
The UK government says that the UKHSA will be able to “harness the strengths” of the Vaccines Taskforce, including its “excellent relationships with industry” and “expertise in innovation.”