Industry Insight: Healthcare

Industry insights: Healthcare 1st of August

Industry insights: Healthcare 1st of August

  • Reading time:3 mins read

Obesity and rheumatological conditions are an area of Elion’s expertise. This week our industry news insights look at the correlation between obesity and psoriasis, findings from a trial of a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s, and the initiation of Phase III study involving Merck’s Keytruda.

It is well established that obesity is a risk factor for the development of psoriasis. Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, analysed regulatory T cells in mice. They found skin is enriched with a particular type of T-regulatory cell which suppresses cell mediated inflammation that leads to psoriasis. However, a high fat diet led to a reduction in T-regulatory cells and an increase in the cells that mediate psoriatic inflammation. This is an important development to help establish how obesity increases the risk of psoriasis, providing potential avenues for drug development.

The TRAILBLAZER-ALZ 2 randomised clinical trialfound those that had received treatment with donanemab, an immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibody, had less progression of their dementia symptoms than those who received placebo treatment. Donanemab is still awaiting regulatory approval by the US Food and Drug Administration and will be applying for UK regulatory approval in the coming weeks. This could mark a turning point in which we see increasing availability of medications to help treat dementia.

Merck & Co. and Moderna have initiated a Phase III trial in patients with resected high-risk melanomato compare safety and efficacy of mRNA cancer vaccine V940/mRNA-4157 in combination with PD-1 inhibitor Keytruda versus Keytruda monotherapy. This follows the recent release of findings of the Phase IIb study demonstrating combination therapy reduced the risk of distant metastasis or death by 65%, compared to Keytruda alone. These companies have also announced they plan to expand development of V940 with Keytruda into other cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer. We will be keeping close watch on both of these developments.

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