In June, a trial by researchers in the United Kingdom showed dexamethasone as the first drug to save lives of COVID-19 patients in what scientists said was a major breakthrough in the coronavirus pandemic.
Japan last month also approved the use of dexamethasone to treat COVID-19.
In patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the use of dexamethasone resulted in lower 28-day mortality among those who were receiving either invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen alone at randomization but not among those receiving no respiratory support.
An international panel has given a “weak recommendation” to use remdesivir in cases where patients have severe coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). “We suggest remdesivir rather than noremdesivir in patients with severe COVID-19,” the panel wrote. The panel wrote, “Remdesivir probably has no important effect on need for invasive mechanical ventilation. Remdesivir may have little or no effect on hospital length of stay.”
Despite the FDA’s emergency approval of drugs such as remdesivir, there are still no strong, highly effective treatments available, especially for the sickest patients.
Last week, The U.S. government announced a deal with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) to buy 100 million doses of the two partners’ lead coronavirus vaccine candidate for $1.95 billion. That translates to a price tag of $19.50 per dose.
Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is considering pricing its COVID-19 vaccine at more than 50% higher than Pfizer’s price tag for its vaccine, according to a report in the Financial Times. The Financial Times reported that anonymous sources said that Moderna intends to seek a price of between $50 and $60 per course for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. Each course includes two doses, so that range translates to a price per dose of $25 to $30.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he’s “cautiously optimistic” to have a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year or early next year.