November 18th, 2022 | 11:25 CET
Pfizer, Cardiol Therapeutics, Morphosys - Heart disease and cancer are on the rise!
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"[...] Accum™ helps us target active ingredients precisely to the origin of infections or diseases. [...]" Sébastien Plouffe, CEO and Director, Defence Therapeutics
Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.
Pfizer launches PostVac heart inflammation study
The risk of developing heart inflammation is three times higher with Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine compared with Pfizer's, according to a new Canadian study. Although cases are comparatively rare, incidence is clustered up to 21 days after the second vaccination, especially in men younger than 40. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, while pericarditis affects the heart's outer lining.
The study looked at people 18 years and older who received a second dose of Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine between January 1, 2021, and September 9, 2021, in British Columbia, Canada. In total, about 2.2 million second Pfizer doses and 870,000 Moderna doses were administered there during that period.
According to NBC News, Pfizer and Moderna will soon launch studies to examine the long-term risk of myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, with their COVID-19 vaccines. The Pfizer study will enroll 500 adolescents and young adults under 21. It will start in the next few months.
In many countries, the pandemic state of emergency is changing to an endemic situation. The Coronavirus has come to stay. Pfizer continues to develop its corresponding product portfolio. Now NICE the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence is recommending Pfizer-developed nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir (paxlovid) for the treatment of coronavirus symptoms. Specifically for non-hospitalized infected patients, the Institute advises physicians to prescribe the drug. Medical guidelines are in the development phase and will be adjusted by peer review to reflect the current study situation.
Once the pandemic is over, Pfizer is also stepping up: together with BioNtech, the Company announced it had begun a Phase 1 trial of a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine designed to boost SARS-CoV-2 T-cell responses and potentially expand protection against COVID-19. For investors, this means the Company will remain a leader in the production of covid-related vaccines and drugs.Should the pandemic disappear altogether, physicians will be able to continue prescribing agents for coronavirus symptoms in the future. This study shows that both companies are working to develop a broad-based agent. Pfizer shares are currently trading at EUR 46.48.
Cardiol Therapeutics - First successes in the fight against heart inflammation
Canadian life science company Cardiol Therapeutics has seen initial success in using its compound to alleviate symptoms of external pericarditis. The results come from preclinical studies, leading the Company to prioritize its Phase II trial in humans. The recent stories surfacing in the media about myocarditis and pericarditis puts Cardiol well in the running for human heart health.
The Company plans to enroll 25 patients in the US at major clinical centers for the treatment of recurrent pericarditis. The protocol was developed with input from leading experts in the field of pericardial diseases. The study is led by Allan L. Klein, MD, director of the Center for Pericardial Disease and professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute.
The primary efficacy endpoint is the change from baseline in patient-reported pericarditis pain after 8 weeks of treatment on an 11-point numeric rating scale ("NRS"). NRS is a validated clinical tool used in various conditions involving acute and chronic pain, including previous studies of recurrent pericarditis. Secondary endpoints include pain score after 26 weeks of treatment and changes in C-reactive protein levels - a commonly used clinical marker of inflammatory processes.
The FDA-approved therapy for recurrent pericarditis, which will be launched in 2021, is extraordinarily costly and is primarily used as a third-line treatment. The number of patients treated for recurrent pericarditis annually in the US is 38,000. Hospitalization for recurrent pericarditis often involves a length of stay of 6-8 days, costing an average of USD 20,000 to USD 30,000. In this niche of heart disease, there is a great opportunity for Cardiol Therapeutics to be commercially successful with its compound. The share is currently trading at EUR 0.59.
Morphosys - Cancer drugs could make up for Alzheimer's setback
German biotech Morphosys suffered a major setback this week. With its Swiss pharma partner Roche, it is researching an Alzheimer's drug. But results so far have failed to show any significant alleviation of the disease. In the large-scale Phase III clinical trials, subjects experienced slight slowdowns in symptoms typical of Alzheimer's, such as orientation, memory, and performance. This alone is not enough to defeat the disease. Alzheimer's Disease International calculates that 139 million people worldwide could develop Alzheimer's by 2050. The number of people affected is already rising rapidly and stands at around 55 million.
A look at the Company's pipeline is promising, however. Moprhosys is particularly well positioned in terms of drugs to support cancer therapy. The new "Lancet Oncology Commission" brings together 47 experts who believe that around one million cases of cancer have gone undetected in Europe over the past two years. This is attributed primarily to the Corona pandemic." Late diagnoses and changing treatments will affect patient outcomes over the next decade. The geopolitical situation in Europe - with Brexit and the Russian invasion of Ukraine - is also changing the cancer research landscape. "Even before the coronavirus spread, cancer was a leading cause of death worldwide. Morphosys, with its full pipeline, has a commercialization opportunity in hand that can help the Company generate new profits as a consequence of the corona pandemic. The stock is currently trading at EUR 14.66.
Pfizer and Moderna claim that their vaccines outweigh the chances and benefits of containing the Coronavirus. Side effects such as heart muscle inflammation or pericarditis, especially for young men, result in some cases after the second vaccination. Reason enough to initiate long-term studies there. The accumulation of cases is further confirmation for Cardiol Therapeutics to take the next steps in its research to fight pericarditis. Their drug may provide a cost-effective alternative to treat pericarditis symptoms. Morphosys, on the other hand, continues to recover from its Alzheimer's slump and can look to the future with confidence, given its pipeline, the global increase in cancer cases and the status of its commercialization of cancer drugs.
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