This week we’ve highlighted a medical battery that can be implemented without surgery and a new COVID-19 vaccine. We also look at enrollment challenges in clinical trials as well as a report on diversity in trial populations. Finally, we highlight a major acquisition in the medtech sector.
Each week we highlight five things affecting the life sciences industry. Here’s the latest.
University of Connecticut researchers have designed a way to charge implant batteries without requiring surgery. The method relies on a small device that uses chest movement when breathing to store small amounts of electricity. The researchers have demonstrated success using a pig lung connected to an air pump within an artificial rib cage.
Enrollment challenges have consistently been cited as one of the biggest issues in clinical trials. Even so, most biotechs are not discontinuing clinical trials due to enrollment challenges. But now, Kronos is ceasing its Phase 3 clinical trial related to treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. The company has emphasized that adverse events and lack of efficacy did not play into its decision.
The IQVIA Institute released an updated report on diversity in clinical trials. The report highlights disparities across different patient groups and progress being made toward improving diversity. In one key finding, the report notes that both Black/African American and Hispanic participation in trials fall short of 2020 U.S. demographic levels of 13.6% and 18.9%, respectively.
This week, the European Commission approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sanofi and GSK for patients 18 years of age and older. This is a protein-based vaccine and can be used as a booster for individuals who have already received an mRNA vaccine. During clinical trials, patients saw “strong immune response” against several variants, including omicron.
Last week Johnson & Johnson announced that it reached an agreement to acquire Abiomed for $16.6 billion. Abiomed is a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of heart pumps. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter. Abiomed reported revenue of $1.03 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31. J&J hopes to use its global footprint to expand the market for Abiomed products.