This week in drug discovery (10-14 April)

News round-up for 10-14 April by DDW Digital Content Editor Diana Spencer.

The headlines getting our attention this week all represent significant breakthroughs in the treatment of various diseases and could make a huge difference to the lives of these patients.

Perhaps most significantly, Ghana accepted the R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine for use in children, Moderna revealed that cancer vaccines could be ready by 2030, and a new treatment for long Covid fatigue could be available soon. There is also new hope for sepsis treatment and for preventing cardiovascular disease in people with HIV thanks to recent research.

The top stories:

Australian sepsis study to power new antibiotic discoveries

University of Queensland (UQ) researchers have led a national study on the four main bacteria that cause sepsis, providing new targets for developing antibiotics. The research team set out to find responses common to all four types of bacteria that cause sepsis and discover more about how bacteria survive in the body.

Vaccine for the ‘previously undruggable’ just a decade away

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Moderna said that cancer and heart disease vaccines would be ready by 2030. The pharmaceutical firm also provided promising updates on mRNA-4157/V940, which targets different tumour types, at Moderna’s Vaccines Day on 24 March 2023.

Ghana vaccine approval a ‘critical step’ in combatting malaria

The R21/Matrix-M malaria vaccine has received regulatory clearance for use in Ghana by the country’s Food and Drugs Authority, making it the first country to approve the vaccine. R21/Matrix-M was developed by the University of Oxford and manufactured and scaled up by the Serum Institute of India (SIIPL), leveraging Novavax’s adjuvant technology.

Daily statin reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in HIV

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial was stopped early because a daily statin medication was found to reduce the increased risk of cardiovascular disease among people living with HIV. This was the first large-scale clinical study to test a primary cardiovascular prevention strategy in this population.

Encouraging trial results for long Covid fatigue treatment

Researchers from the University of Oxford have reported findings from a Phase II clinical trial investigating the efficacy of an investigational treatment against long Covid fatigue. The study found that participants given the treatment, AXA1125, developed by US pharmaceutical company Axcella Therapeutics, felt less fatigued than those given a placebo.

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