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November 9, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Novartis’s canakinumab fails to meet endpoints in Covid-19 trial – Aspirin added to the UK’s RECOVERY trial

By Allie Nawrat

9 November 2020 

Novartis has announced new data from the CAN-COVID trial that evaluated safety and efficacy of antibody drug canakinumab in hospitalised Covid-19 patients suffering from pneumonia and cytokine release syndrome. The trial failed to meet its primary endpoint indicating that canakinumab plus standard of care (SoC) did not increase the chances of survival of Covid-19 patients who did not require invasive mechanical ventilation, compared with placebo plus SoC up to the 29th day.

Aspirin is being investigated as a possible treatment for Covid-19 in the UK-based randomised evaluation RECOVERY trial. The RECOVERY trial is investigating multiple promising drugs for Covid-19 and being overseen by researchers from the University of Oxford. Around 16,000 patients across 176 hospitals in the UK have been recruited in the trial to date. The researchers believe aspirin may be effective against Covid-19 it may prevent the risk of blood clots as a result of the viral disease.

China’s CanSino has launched a Phase III clinical trial of its recombinant Covid-19 vaccine, Ad5-nCoV, in Mexico. Approved by the Mexican authority in October, the vaccine trial is expected to recruit approximately 15,000 subjects.

Senhwa Biosciences and its clinical partner in Georgia, the Center for Advanced Research and Education, have received a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved to initiate a Phase II investigator-initiated trial to evaluate the use of Silmitasertib, an orally available casein kinase 2 inhibitor to treat moderate Covid-19 patients.

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