The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 received an emergency use authorization from the FDA last Friday, and thousands of doses are being rolled out across the country this week. But the vaccine, which must be stored at between -80 and -60 degrees Celsius, necessitates the utilization of a “cold chain” to keep it within this temperature range from the moment it leaves the manufacturing site to just before it is administered to a patient.
The University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, developed in partnership with the biotech AstraZeneca, is the third vaccine this week to publicize promising data from its clinical trials. And, in a surprising twist, it appears that a lower dose of the vaccine does a better job at protecting participants from COVID than a higher dose.
In what could prove to be a turning point in the fight against COVID-19, U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech announced yesterday that one of their coronavirus vaccines is more than 90% effective at preventing the viral disease, according to new data from its Phase III trial. They are predicting that they will have the requisite safety data for an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA before the end of the month.
Mounting evidence suggests that good sleep is critical to many aspects of our health. Circadian rhythms regulate the sleep-wake cycle in everything from mammals to fruit flies to plants, and keeps them synced up to the 24-hour cycle of the Earth’s rotation. In humans, circadian rhythms can be disrupted by chronic jet lag and shift work. New research indicates that disrupting these rhythms has negative consequences for both tumor size and microenvironment in mice.
In the world of monoclonal antibodies, being small is a big deal. Smaller antibodies and antibody fragments can penetrate solid tumors that would be inaccessible to larger antibodies, and some can even make it across the blood-brain barrier. That’s why it’s exciting that researchers at the University of Bath and UCB (a Belgian biotech company) have designed extra-small antibody fragments from cows.