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As pharma companies around the world race to develop a viable treatment for Covid-19, a number of therapeutic candidates have emerged as potential solutions. One of the most promising drugs currently being trialled is remdesivir, an antiviral medication originally developed by Gilead Sciences to treat Ebola. We take a look at the current state of remdesivir and other Covid-19 candidates to find out more about the race to find a cure.

Also in this issue, we investigate the ongoing backlash against Aspirin and ibuprofen, find out if a sophisticated laboratory model of the human body could help practitioners to detect harmful or adverse effects of drugs before they are prescribed to patients, and delve into the complex subject of drug pricing to see if crisis situations should change the way that regulators approach the issue.

Plus, we take a look at the next wave of anticoagulants, examine ViiV Healthcare and UNC-Chapel Hill’s “induce and reduce” approach to eliminating HIV, investigate what the Veeva vs IQVIA anti-competitive lawsuit means for pharma data issues and ownership, and find out if nano-particles are the solution to unlocking the pharma benefits of turmeric.


In this issue

No time to waste: repurposing drugs to tackle Covid-19
There is an urgent need for safe and effective drugs to combat the escalating Covid-19 pandemic. Novel vaccines and drugs are not going to be a short-term solution to this deadly viral disease. Instead, the answer could be reusing and repurposing existing innovative medicines. Allie Nawrat explores five promising examples.
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How safe are simple painkillers?
French regulator ANSM recently tightened rules on the sale of pain relief drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin, moving them behind the counter. Natalie Healey explores whether these common medications are more dangerous than we think.
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Modelling the human body: a game changer for drug testing? 
Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine say they have developed the world’s most sophisticated laboratory model of the human body. Can an incredibly complex system like this, and other projects like it, ever be modelled in enough detail for results to be considered accurate? Chloe Kent a closer look.
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Pandemic pricing: existing drugs and price gouging
Amid strained supplies and surging demand for effective Covid-19 therapies, consumer protection agencies are watching out for exploitative price gouging among retailers, and medical access campaigners are rallying against inflated prices for existing drugs that could be repurposed against the virus. Chris Lo reports.
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Pandemic pricing: novel treatments and vaccines
The threat of Covid-19 has brought new urgency to an age-old debate over drug access and pricing, especially for drugs developed with public support. In a crisis requiring large-scale public-private partnerships, who foots the bill for new drugs and vaccines, and under what terms? Chris Lo finds out.
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The dark side of anticoagulants: will a new approach shed light?
Anticoagulants are life-saving medicines, but they also raise the risk of patients haemorrhaging and bleeding to death. University of Leeds spin-out Lunac believes it has solved the puzzle after a decade of research. Allie Nawrat explores the promise of its novel target.
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Finding a cure for HIV with ViiV Healthcare and UNC-Chapel Hill
ViiV Healthcare has announced that it will renew its partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The partners have been collaborating on the search for an HIV cure since 2015, bringing together academic and pharma industry skills in their quest to eliminate the virus. Abi Millar spoke to ViiV Healthcare to find out more.
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Disputing the facts: is the legal battle between Veeva and IQVIA an antitrust issue?
Antitrust legislation aims to prevent companies from acting in a way that is detrimental to both the industry and the patients it serves. Veeva alleges its competitor IQVIA has breached antitrust regulations by not allowing its data to be used in newer Veeva platforms, while IQVIA responds that Veeva has stolen and misused its data to improve its own offerings. Allie Nawrat speaks to both sides about the legal dispute.
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Could nanoparticles unlock the pharmaceutical benefits of turmeric?
The failure of the body to easily absorb curcumin has thwarted trials to discover usable pharmaceutical properties, until now. Researchers from the University of South Australia, McMaster University in Canada and Texas A&M University have shown that curcumin can be delivered effectively into human cells via tiny nanoparticles. Abi Millar finds out more.
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Next issue preview

The World Health Organization (WHO) has come under fire from US President Donald Trump for its role in the Covid-19 epidemic. But, while its recent actions may be in dispute, the organisation has a long history as an influential part of tackling global health issues. To find out more, we break down some of the most significant moments in the history of the WHO. Plus, explore the potential of the RECOVERY trial in the UK, a colossal public undertaking that aims to assess the anti-coronavirus efficacy of existing treatments.

Also, we find out how companies are salvaging clinical trials that have been disrupted by Covid-19, take a look at how changes to intellectual property laws could impact pharma after the current pandemic subsides, and examine the challenges faced by drugs designed to target seasonal allergies.

Plus, we ask if fatty acids could hold the key to unlocking oral formulations of biologic drugs, learn why the blood-brain barrier is so difficult for drugs to penetrate, and examine a method of targeting cold tumours that is gaining serious heat.