COVID-19 Update | June 2, 2023

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | June 2, 2023

June 2, 2023

The California Biotechnology Foundation is committed to keeping you up to date about COVID-19 testing, treatment and prevention advancements. The following resources track what progress has been made as of June 2, 2023. Notable advancements include:

  • Pfizer announced their antiviral medication, Paxlovid, has received full FDA approval for treating mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults.
  • A antiviral therapy developed by Atea Pharmaceuticals is currently in phase 3 trial for treating COVID-19 and Hepatitis C.

Recent News

  • Antiviral in Development for COVID-19 and HCV Treatment
    Contagion Live – June 1, 2023
    Antiviral therapies will continue to play a significant role in infectious disease. A new investigational antiviral, bemnifosbuvir, is currently in phase 3 development for COVID-19 and phase 2 development for hepatitis C in combination with ruzasvir. Bemnifosbuvir was developed by Boston-based Atea Pharmaceuticals and has a novel approach with a dual-targeting mechanism of action designed to be less prone to develop resistance.
  • Mitochondrial DNA Predicts COVID-19 Severity
    Physicians Weekly – June 1, 2023
    “Mitochondrial DNA is an inflammatory mediator that is released during end-organ damage,” said Marlene Cano, MD,PhD, who presented these findings at the 2023 American Thoracic Society International Conference, held from May 19-24, in Washington, DC. In a prospective study that included 78 patients, researchers assessed whether mitochondrial DNA could predict COVID-19 severity in a relatively early stage of the disease. Mitochondrial DNA measures were performed on days 3, 7, 14, 21, and 84 after admission to the hospital. Mortality was the primary outcome of the study.
  • Risk for retinal vascular occlusion low after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination
    Healio – June 1, 2023
    The risk for developing retinal vascular occlusion after the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination was low. The relative risk was not significantly different from the risk after influenza or Tdap vaccination. A study using a sample size of more than 3 million individuals found no evidence of an association between the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination and new-encounter diagnoses of retinal vascular occlusion.
  • While COVID-19 and RSV rates were decreasing this spring, a lesser-known virus was on the rise
    ABC News – May 31, 2023
    While cases of COVID-19 and RSV were decreasing across the United States this spring, infections linked to another lesser-known respiratory virus were increasing. The percent of tests positive for human metapneumovirus (hMPV) surged to 19.6% for antigen tests and 10.9% percent for PCR tests at the beginning of March, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Kidney transplants from COVID-19-positive donors appear safe
    CIDRAP – May 31, 2023
    JAMA Network Open published a study yesterday on the safety of donors with COVID-19 donating a kidney, showing that the use of kidneys from donors with either active or resolved COVID-19 infections yields excellent outcomes. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has entered a phase wherein many Americans have experienced infections, questions about the medium-term prognosis of organ donation remain to be answered. The study was based on national US transplant registry data from 35,851 deceased donors (71,334 kidneys) and 45,912 adult patients who received kidney transplants from March 1, 2020, to March 30, 2023.
  • Needle-free COVID-19 vaccine enters clinical trials
    Research professional News – May 31, 2023
    “Breakthrough” powder vaccine tests in UK described as first step towards “universal COVID-19 vaccine”. Scientists in Cambridge and Southampton are testing a needle-free vaccine that they say could be a “breakthrough” in providing long-lasting and widespread protection against COVID-19. The DIOSynVax vaccine, which can be manufactured as a powder and delivered by air-jet technology, was developed by researchers at the National Institute for Health and Care Research’s clinical research facility in Cambridge. Unlike licensed COVID-19 vaccines, which are based on existing sequences of the virus, the new vaccine was developed using computers to predict changes in the virus.
  • One in 10 People Who Had Omicron Got Long COVID-19: Study
    Medscape – May 30, 2023  
    About 10% of people infected with Omicron reported having long COVID-19, a lower percentage than estimated for people infected with earlier strains of COVID-19, says a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The research team looked at data from 8,646 adults infected with COVID-19 at different times of the pandemic and 1,118 who did not have COVID-19.
  • Experts identify 12 defining symptoms of long COVID-19
    CIDRAP – May 25, 2023
    A Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-led team has developed a preliminary definition of long COVID-19 based on 12 symptoms that affect infected patients more often than uninfected people 6 months or more after a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. The researchers, who described their work today in JAMA, analyzed observational, prospective data from 9,764 adults surveyed about persistent symptoms and their severity at 85 sites in 33 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC, participating in the Researching COVID-19 to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) trial by April 10, 2023, arriving at 12 defining symptoms.
  • FDA approves Paxlovid to treat COVID-19
    CNN – May 25, 2023
    The US Food and Drug Administration has fully approved the antiviral medication Paxlovid to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults at risk of severe infections. Paxlovid had been available for adults and teens in the United States under an emergency use authorization, or EUA, which strictly limited how the medication could be prescribed. The FDA’s standards for full approval are stricter than those for an EUA.
  • Oral antivirals Molnupiravir and Nirmatrelvir-Ritonavir lower COVID-19 risks in type 2 diabetes patients
    News Medical & Life Sciences – May 24, 2023
    A recent study published in JAMA Network Open examined the efficacy of nirmatrelvir-ritonavir and molnupiravir in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is one of the common comorbid conditions in COVID-19 patients and has been established as a determinant of clinical prognosis. Although severe acute respiratory syndrome COVID-19 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines are effective against severe illness, diabetic patients may mount an inadequate response to vaccination. Therefore, effective antiviral therapeutics are necessary to mitigate adverse disease outcomes in type 2 diabetes patients with COVID-19

Rely on California Biotechnology Foundation to monitor breaking news and provide updates on the latest advancements in COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.

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If you have any questions about hosting informational briefings for your colleagues serving in the legislature, contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or [email protected].