What We're Reading: Coronavirus Vaccine Cleared for Human Testing; FDA Approves Migraine Drug; Trump Abortion Rule Upheld

February 25, 2020

Drugmaker Moderna Inc. sent out its first batch of a experimental coronavirus vaccine to be tested in humans; eptinezumab, sold as Vyepti and developed by Lundbeck, was approved by the FDA as a migraine prevention therapy; a US appeals court upheld a Trump administration rule on abortion referrals.

Drugmaker Moderna Develops First Coronavirus Vaccine for Human Testing

Yesterday, drugmaker Moderna Inc. shipped the first batch of its developed coronavirus vaccine to US government researchers who will then test its efficacy for the first time in a human cohort trial, according to The Wall Street Journal. The vaccine was rapidly developed by the manufacturers in 3 months and will be tested on 20-25 healthy volunteers in April to determine whether 2 doses will be safe and generate an immune response to protect against infection. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that results will be available in July or August.

Lundbeck’s Migraine Preventive Therapy Approved by FDA

Eptinezumab, sold as Vyepti and developed by drugmaker Lundbeck, was approved by the FDA as a migraine prevention therapy, adding to the available class of biologic drugs that are laboratory-produced molecules engineered to serve as substitute disease-fighting antibodies. Reuters reports that the drug will be administered via intravenous infusion; it works to inhibit the calcitonin gene-related peptide, a known catalyst for migraine pain development.

US Court Upholds Trump Rule on Abortion Cases

The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday to uphold a 2019 Trump administration rule that denies family planning grants to clinics that make referrals for abortion, according to the Los Angeles Times. The decision additionally overturned injunctions issued by different judges in 3 Western states, including California. The split 7-4 party line ruling was an en banc review, which means all of the district court judges have a chance to weigh in on a previous decision rendered by a 3-judge panel. Since taking office, President Trump has been actively replacing federal judges with those with Republican backgrounds.