Pharma News for April 18, 2020

While the restart of elective procedures will follow regional timelines, and the pace at which consumers will feel comfortable returning to healthcare settings is uncertain, hospitals, nurses and the medical device industry are now laying the groundwork to prepare for the return of patients. (Medtechdive)

In response to the concern that many important drugs in the U.S. are not made here, Phlow, a Richmond, Virginia-based corporation that describes itself as a public benefit drug manufacturer, announced Tuesday the federal government will pay it hundreds of millions of dollars to make essential medicines that are at risk of shortage, including medicines used to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. (Biopharmadive)

CMS is adding a new element to controversial price transparency regulations, suggesting it will continue to collect data on hospital median payer-specific negotiated rates and consider how that information could be used to set relative Medicare payment rates. Hospitals immediately blasted the idea. Hospitals, in court, have claimed these new rules violate their First Amendment rights. (Healthcaredive)

Moderna has been getting a lot of positive press regarding it’s progress on a vaccine for Covid-19. It’s way too early to get excited about Moderna’s mRNA vaccine to prevent COVID-19, concluded Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat after analyzing the company’s data. He explained his reasoning in a 78-page slide deck he sent to clients. The biggest strength in the data that Moderna released Monday pertained to “binding” antibodies, which are antibodies that attach to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Raffat said. Problem is, what’s really important for an effective vaccine is its ability to generate “neutralizing” antibodies that actually prevent the virus from infecting healthy cells. And there Moderna’s data is lacking so far, Raffat concluded. (Fiercebiotech)