Despite the rapid development and widespread usage of monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19, and then subsequently vaccines to inoculate against COVID-19, the pandemic remains a global threat, having started nearly two years ago. Filling an unmet need for anti-COVID-19 treatments for people in the earlier stages of disease, forthcoming new oral antivirals from Merck and Pfizer have the potential to further arrest the virus’ path of destruction.
Both agents, the result of the last Administration’s Operation Warp Speed initiative, are presently on the cusp of approval, giving hope of accelerating the world’s getting back to normalcy. The focus of this report on important new developments in the Infectious Diseases treatment category will be on the rapidly unfolding, real-time saga of two highly anticipated anti-viral candidates that are greatly needed, particularly now that COVID-19 cases are rising in the US and across the world, as scientists anticipate a fifth surge of the pandemic.
On the HIV/AIDS front, a major trend covered in this report is the transition from three to two drug antiretroviral (ARV) regimens, as well as from daily to long-acting ARV regimens. While ViiV Healthcare has pioneered the two-drug regimen (2DR) category, forthcoming entrants from Merck and Gilead Sciences have the potential to further accelerate the mainstream standard of care towards long acting 2DRs. Several companies that market today’s ARVs for HIV treatment also are striving to gain approval for their medications for HIV prevention, potentially adding more convenient alternatives to the pre-exposure prophylaxis or “PrEP” roster.
While there continue to be significant advancements in the field of anti-viral medications, industry experts still lament the dearth of development of new treatments against serious nosocomial infections. As this report will show, this often is a function of the way in which new antibiotics are adopted and utilized by physicians in hospitals. Nonetheless, there are several examples of companies who are striving to muster innovative treatments in the battle against serious infections, one of which we spotlight in this report: Entasis Therapeutics.