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9
Apr
2020

GSK Partners With Vir on Antibodies, Pfizer With BioNTech on Vaccines, & the Testing Fiasco Continues

Here we are heading into Easter Weekend. We’re the wealthiest country in the world, and the undisputed superpower of biomedicine. Yet we’re still playing a game of catch up against SARS-CoV-2, which apparently our intelligence community knew was emerging around Thanksgiving. Even after months to get our act together, we still don’t have a coordinated national strategy on exactly how...
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8
Apr
2020

Facing the Consequences of a Misinformation Pandemic

You know what it’s like, trying to keep up with information about SARS-CoV-2? It’s like being aboard the Battlestar Galactica. (H/T to @tvoti for surfacing this once again timely tweet) In that episode of the famous sci-fi series, the Cylons, an alien, robot race bent on humanity’s destruction, attack the Battlestar Galactica, the last human warship, every 33 minutes. For...
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7
Apr
2020

George Yancopoulos, That Rarest Of Species – A Physician-Scientist Still In Charge Of A Pharma

Growing up in an academic household (my parents are both professors at Yale Medical School, still engaged, as ever, in dyslexia research), it was perhaps inevitable that, outside of my parents, my first role model was the brilliant President of Yale University, the late Bart Giamatti (you know- Paul’s dad).  The elder Giamatti inspired me so much as a teenager...
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7
Apr
2020

Rationale for Testing Anticoagulants Against COVID19

We have seen and heard about the classic symptoms of COVID-19 at UCSF Medical Center, where I work as a cardiologist. Patients keep coming in with pulmonary distress, pneumonia, and ultimately, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) – the life-and-death situation that requires ventilators. However, I’m beginning to learn about other symptoms that some doctors are noticing. There are numerous reports...
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7
Apr
2020

COVID-19 Models: What Makes Them Tick?

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, questions about its likely course are much on our minds. How long will it last? How bad will it get? And are we doing enough to flatten the curve? These questions are not about the past, but about the future. Models are now frequently cited in public by elected leaders to inform expectations and justify...
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2
Apr
2020

COVID-19’s Unexpected Silver Lining: A Chance at Redemption for US Healthcare

The US healthcare system has taken a lot of heat the past few years. Stories about surprise out-of-network hospital bills, overpriced drugs and sky-high insurance premiums and deductibles have severely tarnished the reputations of hospitals, drugmakers and health insurers. The COVID-19 pandemic presents these industries with a chance for a fresh start. Everything that they do, and why they do...
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31
Mar
2020

Diagnostic Test Developer Points to Academic Blind Spot That Hampers Translation

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for reliable diagnostic tests for the new  SARS-CoV-2 virus, and treatments that can cure or mitigate its devastating effects.  To have an impact, these diagnostic tests can’t just work brilliantly in a single academic lab. They ultimately need to be rapidly deployable across this large country with 330 million people. Developing an approach...
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29
Mar
2020

As COVID19 Comes to India, Expect Drug Supplies to Run Short

Generic medicines aren’t glamorous. But they are a linchpin of healthcare in the United States, representing nearly 90% of all prescriptions filled. Where do these vital medicines come from? The vast majority of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for those drugs are manufactured in China and India. Indeed, about 90% of the manufacturing plants making API’s are outside the United...
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