AstraZeneca’s, Johnson & Johnson/AbbVie’s and BeiGene’s oncology therapies repurposed for COVID-19 have class effect undermined by dissimilarities, says GlobalData

Although AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson/AbbVie and BeiGene all have oncology therapies, known as BTK inhibitors, repurposed for COVID-19 treatment, there are still important nuanced differences, according to reporting by Ayisha Sharma, Pharma Writer for the Investigative News team at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Sharma says: “In particular, AstraZeneca’s Calquence could have a slight safety edge over other BTK inhibitors in COVID-19 as the drug may be less likely to induce cardiac arrhythmias. That said, Johnson & Johnson and AbbVie’s Imbruvica has a broader impact on a wider range of kinases, which could spell an efficacy edge in easing COVID-19’s cytokine storm.”

BeiGene’s Phase II Brukinsa trial is enrolling patients on supplementary oxygen, as well as patients on mechanical ventilation for 24 hours or less. But Sharma added that: “This BTK inhibitor, as well as the other two mentioned, may be best suited for patients who are not intubated. This is due to their oral formulation, and the overall challenge in treating patients much later into the disease course.”

The Phase II trials investigating Brukinsa and Imbruvica are expected to have primary completion this month and in August, respectively. Calquence is under investigation in two Phase II trials, with both trials having a November primary completion date.

The respective drugs mentioned here are examples of the 1,709 drugs that have been repurposed for the COVID-19 pandemic. There are now 2,746 clinical trials for COVID-19 treatment and prevention, according to GlobalData.

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