Takeda Group Begins Manufacturing COVID-19 Plasma Treatment Ahead of Approval | Top News

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Takeda Pharmaceutical Co-led group that is developing a blood plasma treatment for COVID-19 has started manufacturing while the late-stage trial to determine whether it works is ongoing, Takeda Chief Executive Christophe Weber said on Monday.

The group, known as the CoVIg Plasma Alliance, enrolled its first patient in the Phase III trial on Friday after months of delays. It aims to enroll 500 adult patients from the United States, Mexico and 16 other countries and hope to have results by the end of the year.

“The likelihood it works is very high,” Weber said in an interview. “And that’s why we have launched a campaign in order to accelerate the donation of convalescent plasma to manufacture and produce this product.”

The alliance, which includes CSL Behring, Germany’s Biotest AG and other companies, is testing a hyperimmune globulin therapy, which is derived from blood plasma of

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Abbott Wins U.S. Emergency Use Authorization for New COVID-19 Antibody Test | Top News

(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories said on Monday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for its lab-based COVID-19 antibody blood test.

The test, AdviseDx, can be used to identify a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin M (IgM) in blood samples to determine if someone has been exposure to the novel coronavirus, potentially indicating a recent or prior infection.

Abbott has already received emergency use authorization for seven tests, including molecular tests, a rapid antigen test and another test which can detect a type of antibody called IgG.

The FDA’s emergency use authorization allows the use of unapproved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases with no adequate or approved alternatives.

IgG is longer lasting in the body after an infection, but IgM is more useful for determining a recent exposure to the coronavirus as these antibodies become undetectable

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As Globe Gallops Into Vaccine Trials, Insurers Remain Unfazed | Top News

By Noor Zainab Hussain, Carolyn Cohn and Ludwig Burger

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The world is racing towards a vaccine in record time, stirring public concerns about safety to the extent that nine leading developers have felt compelled to issue a pledge to uphold scientific standards and testing rigour.

Yet, while more than 40 experimental COVID-19 vaccines are being tested on humans, the insurance companies with decades of experience in assessing the risks of clinical trials don’t see anything to be unduly concerned about.

Executives at insurer Allianz and brokers Gallagher and Marsh, among the leading players in clinical trials insurance, told Reuters that premiums had only marginally increased so far in the current pandemic.

They argued there was little structural difference to trials carried out in the past, despite drugmakers around the world competing to shatter the fastest time in history for developing a vaccine, which stands at around four

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UK Study Tests if BCG Vaccine Protects Against COVID | Top News

LONDON (Reuters) – The widely used BCG tuberculosis vaccine will be tested on frontline care workers in Britain for its effectiveness against COVID-19, researchers running the UK arm of a global trial said.

Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine, used to protect against tuberculosis, induces a broad innate immune-system response and has been shown to protect against infection or severe illness with other respiratory pathogens.

“BCG has been shown to boost immunity in a generalised way, which may offer some protection against COVID-19,” Professor John Campbell, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said.

“We are seeking to establish whether the BCG vaccine could help protect people who are at risk of COVID-19. If it does, we could save lives by administering or topping up this readily available and cost-effective vaccination.”

The UK study is part of an existing Australian-led trial, which launched in April and also has arms in the Netherlands,

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U.S. COVID-19 cases top 50,000 for 3rd straight day

Oct. 10 (UPI) — For the third-straight day, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the United States topped 50,000, a level not seen since August, U.S. officials said Saturday.

Data the Johns Hopkins University global tracker showed there were 57,420 new cases and 990 deaths Friday in the United States. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has had 7.7 million confirmed cases and at least 214,000 deaths.

An updated model released Friday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine, projects 394,693 deaths in the United States by Feb. 1. The model predicts that U.S. daily deaths will peak at 2,300 in mid-January with 116,000 hospital beds needed by Jan. 22. Daily U.S. deaths are around 1,000 this month.

Expanding the use of masks from the United States’ current rate of 69% to about 95% — the rate

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U.S. COVID-19 deaths top 50,000 for 3rd straight day

Oct. 10 (UPI) — For the third-straight day, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the United States topped 50,000, a level not seen since August, U.S. officials said Saturday.

Data the Johns Hopkins University global tracker showed there were 57,420 new cases and 990 deaths Friday in the United States. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has had 7.7 million confirmed cases and at least 214,000 deaths.

An updated model released Friday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine, projects 394,693 deaths in the United States by Feb. 1. The model predicts that U.S. daily deaths will peak at 2,300 in mid-January with 116,000 hospital beds needed by Jan. 22. Daily U.S. deaths are around 1,000 this month.

Expanding the use of masks from the United States’ current rate of 69% to about 95% — the rate

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U.S. COVID-19 Cases Hit Two-Month High, 10 States Report Record Increases | Top News

(Reuters) – New cases of COVID-19 in the United States hit a two-month high on Friday with over 58,000 infections of the new coronavirus reported and hospitalizations in the Midwest at record levels for a fifth day in a row, according to a Reuters analysis.

Ten of the 50 states reported record one-day rises in cases on Friday, including the Midwestern states of Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Ohio. Wisconsin and Illinois recorded over 3,000 new cases for a second day in a row – a two-day trend not seen even during the height of the previous outbreak in the spring, according to Reuters data.

The Western states of Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming also reported their biggest one-day jumps in cases, as did Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Nineteen states have seen record increases in new cases so far in October. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2SFLb7o)

Amid the resurgence in cases across the nation,

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U.S. Signs Agreement With AstraZeneca to Develop, Supply COVID-19 Antibody Treatment | Top News

(Reuters) – The U.S. government on Friday signed an agreement with AstraZeneca Plc

worth $486 million to develop and secure supplies of up to 100,000 doses of COVID-19 antibody treatment, a similar class of drugs that was used to treat President Donald Trump.

The U.S. health agency will provide the funding to AstraZeneca for two Phase 3 clinical trials under operation Warp Speed, which is aimed at speeding up treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

One trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the experimental treatment to prevent infection for up to 12 months, in about 5,000 participants, while the second trial will evaluate post-exposure preventative and pre-emptive treatment in roughly 1,100 participants.

AstraZeneca said it plans to supply up to 100,000 doses starting towards the end of 2020 and the US Government can acquire up to an additional one million doses in 2021 under a separate agreement.

In a

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What We Know – and Don’t Know – About Trump’s COVID-19 Illness | Top News

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump revealed early on Oct. 2 that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, but several questions about the course of his illness remain unknown. The following is some of what is known and what is still unclear about the president’s bout with COVID-19.

Who infected President Trump when?

These are both questions that have not been answered as the White House has repeatedly refused to say when the president last tested negative for the coronavirus – information essential to tracing the timeline of when and where he was likely infected.

Health experts say the timing of his positive test results suggest he likely contracted the illness in late September. On Sept. 26, Trump hosted a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden to announce his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. The mostly outdoor event was attended by more than 100 people, most not

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Regeneron Antibodies in Demand After Trump Treatment, Doctors Seek More Data | Top News

(Reuters) – Patients are asking to join clinical trials of antibody-based COVID-19 drugs after U.S. President Donald Trump was treated last week with an experimental therapy from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc, and on Wednesday he promised to make it free to Americans while touting its benefits.

Medical experts said more data is needed to assess the treatment’s efficacy before wider use should be allowed.

Trump was discharged from the hospital late on Monday, just a few days after being diagnosed with COVID-19 that caused enough lung inflammation for blood oxygen levels to fall.

According to his doctor, blood tests on Monday detected infection-fighting antibodies, which a Regeneron spokesperson said were probably from the treatment.

In a video shot outside the White House, Trump credited the Regeneron therapy for his feeling much better than when he was first diagnosed and said he would push for emergency use authorizations (EUA) of that treatment

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