The Readout Damian Garde & Meghana Keshavan

Was Biden’s vaccination proclamation legit? 

President Biden proclaimed last week that there would be enough supply of Covid-19 vaccine for every eligible American by the end of May. But these sorts of predictions have proven wrong time and again.

So STAT’s Matthew Herper dug into the issue a bit — and concluded that this one might actually come true. The emphasis, though, is on might.

At this point, about 2 million people in the U.S. are getting vaccinated each day. It’s a massive logistical undertaking — which is why STAT’s Alex Hogan crafted a video to outline what this critical supply chain looks like. 

Read more, and then watch here.  

A Q&A with the CEO of CEPI

Speaking of Covid-19 vaccines, nearly 300 million have been administered across the world now. But we’re still a long way from declaring the pandemic over. The iniquity in vaccine distribution remains stunning — with many low- and middle-income countries largely ignored. And better forms of these vaccines are still sorely needed: They need to be inexpensive, more thermally stable, and, ideally, just one dose. 

Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, spoke candidly with STAT’s Helen Branswell about the effort to distribute Covid-19 vaccines, and about new concerns about the production of all kinds of vaccines. 

Read more. 

CytoDyn’s clinical trial failure

CytoDyn’s antibody drug, leronlimab, did not improve the survival of people hospitalized with severe forms of Covid-19, the company announced late Friday.

But, STAT's Adam Feuerstein writes, instead of acknowledging the negative outcome of the Phase 3 clinical trial, CytoDyn issued two statements over the weekend claiming results spun from a small slice of patients were positive and warranted approval as a treatment for Covid-19.

Based on the data, there is no reason to expect the FDA or any other regulatory agency to authorize the drug’s use.

Read more.

How biopharma will change after Covid-19

What will the biopharmaceutical industry look like in a post-Covid world? Hopefully its antiquated sales models will be shed at last, and therapies will be developed faster than the standard 10-year slog, opine life sciences consultants Saul B. Helman and David Weiss.

They project that sales calls to doctors’ offices will be a thing of the past — with remote sales taking precedence. It’s hard to imagine, after all, that pharma reps will be granted easy access to hospitals and medical practices in the wake of the pandemic. And they believe that supply chains will be broken down into their simplest parts, so that drug manufacturing can be completed without the bits and pieces sourced from far-flung places across the globe. 

We do wonder, though: Do you agree that, in the wake of Operation Warp Speed, drug development timelines could be shortened substantially? 

Yes: We’ve seen a new model for rapid testing and deployment, and there’s no going back.  

No: Drug development will remain a time-consuming, years-long affair.

Read more.

More reads

  • Don’t let bureaucracy constrict the supply of Covid-19 vaccines. (STAT
  • The U.S. has a Covid ‘scariants’ problem. Here’s how to fix it. (Wired)

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow,


Monday, March 8, 2021


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