- AstraZeneca starts late-stage testing of its diabetes drug as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
- The pharmaceutical company will also test its blood cancer drug as Coronavirus treatment.
- GlaxoSmithKline partners with Sanofi to develop an effective vaccine for the flu-like virus.
AstraZeneca (LON: AZN) is testing Farxiga as a potential cure for organ failure and other dire complications in Coronavirus patients with an existing kidney or heart condition. In its announcement on Thursday, the biopharmaceutical company said that its diabetes drug is now in late-stage testing.
The trial is the drug manufacturer’s 2nd attempt at investigating the potential of an existing therapy as a treatment option for COVID-19 patients.
According to AstraZeneca, the trial aims to evaluate if its diabetes drug can potentially minimize the risk of clinical complications, disease progression, or death in the patients of the novel flu-like virus.
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Heart Patients Are At A Greater Risk Of COVID-19 Complications
The company further added that COVID-19 patients with an existing heart condition are at a higher risk of developing complications as fatal as heart failure, as per some studies.
Farxiga is an approved treatment for type-2 diabetes. The SGLT-2 inhibitor helps kidneys excrete excess sugar from the blood via urine. The drug has shown promising results for multiple trials on heart and kidney problems.
In its announcement on Thursday, the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company also accentuated that it is collaborating with Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute for its late-stage Farxiga trial.
COVID-19 has so far infected more than 2.6 million people worldwide and has caused over 186,000 deaths. Pushing governments into lockdowns and businesses into shutdowns, the health emergency, as per economists, posts a greater threat to the global economy than the financial crisis of 2008.
AstraZeneca is working committedly towards finding an effective cure to the respiratory illness. The company had also expressed plans of testing Calquence (its blood cancer drug) last week as a potential treatment for an aggressive immune response that is usually attributed to the Coronavirus infection in critical patients.
GSK Partners With Sanofi To Develop COVID-19 Vaccine
The UK’s largest drugmakers are contributing actively to the global battle against COVID-19. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) also partnered with Sanofi recently to ramp-up its efforts to develop an effective vaccine for the fatal illness.
At the time of writing, AstraZeneca is exchanging hands at 8,178 pence per share in the stock market that translates to an around 7% increase in 2020 so far. Its performance in 2019 was also reported fairly upbeat with an annual gain of more than 25%.
AstraZeneca is currently valued at £107.30 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 98.28.