Air pollution crisis, another life-saving Covid treatment and epidemic growth- this week’s Friday Fi


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Researchers find another life-saving Covid treatment



Researchers from the Recovery trial have found that an intravenous monoclonal antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron is life-saving for Covid treatment. The potent intravenous infusion of antibodies to neutralise the virus, rather than dampen the body’s inflammatory response to it. Results from the Recovery trial suggest it could help one in three of those in hospital with severe Covid. For every 100 patients treated, experts calculate, it would save six lives. But only those who have not already made any antibodies of their own to fight the virus should be given the treatment, which costs between £1,000 and £2,000.



 The monoclonal antibody treatment binds to the virus to stop it infecting cells and replicating. In the trial, which included nearly 10,000 UK hospital patients, it significantly reduced the risk of death, length of hospital stay, by four days on average and likelihood of needing a ventilator to breathe.

Read the full story in the BBC.

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Quarter of UK pupils attend schools where air pollution is over WHO limit

Millions of British children attend schools where air pollution is worse than the World Health Organization limit, campaigners have said. An analysis found that more than a quarter of schools, from nurseries to sixth-form colleges, were in locations with high levels of small particle pollution. This means an estimated 3.4 million children are learning in an unhealthy environment, said Global Action Plan (Gap), the charity behind the research that was released on Clean Air Day on Thursday.

Tiny pollution particles, called PM2.5, are particularly dangerous as they not only harm the lungs but can pass into the bloodstream and affect many other organs. Children are especially vulnerable, and dirty air has already been linked to increased asthma, obesity and mental disorders in children.

Read the full story in the Guardian.

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React-1 study finds epidemic growing across England



Scientists tracking the Covid-19 epidemic in England say Covid is growing – with much of it being driven by younger people who are not yet immunised. The analysis, carried out by researchers at Imperial College London as part of the React-1 study, looked at the period 20 May to 7 June. However, tentative signs in the latest daily data suggest growth may be beginning to slow. The rollout of vaccinations to younger people is key to reducing further spread, researchers from Imperial College London say.

Read the full story in the BBC.

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Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine shows 90% efficacy in Phase III

Novavax has announced that its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, demonstrated 90.4% overall efficacy in a Phase III trial conducted across sites in the US and Mexico. The study enrolled 29,960 participants and randomised them 2:1 to receive the jab or a placebo. Overall, 77 COVID-19 cases were observed in the study – 63 in the placebo group and 14 in the vaccine group.

According to Novavax, all cases observed in the vaccinated group were mild, with ten moderate cases and four severe cases observed in the placebo group. As such, Novavax determined that NVX-CoV2373 is 100% effective against moderate or severe COVID-19 disease.

Read the full story in the PharmaTimes.

 

Quote of the week

New recommendations published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on Thursday advise that shared decision making should become routine across all healthcare settings.

NICE defines shared decision making as the collaborative process involving an individual and their healthcare professional working together to reach a joint decision regarding their care. The new guideline offers advice on how to engage people who are accessing care in the shared decision-making process. It advises doing this through honest conversation and by providing information resources before, during and after appointments.

Gillian Leng, chief executive of NICE said: “These recommendations should help healthcare professionals to embed good practice in all their interactions with the people they are caring for and at an organisational level. We view these recommendations as underpinning the implementation of all NICE’s work, and it’s important that these recommendations are put into practice at all levels across the system to support patient care.”

Read the full story in the PharmaTimes.