Janssen Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday announced that it was ending a late-stage clinical trial after its HIV vaccine candidate was found to be ineffective, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Missouri, New Jersey, and New York.
- Missouri: During the last three months of 2022, prescriptions filled for antiviral medications were up 314% from the same period in 2021, according to new research from the Evernorth Research Institute (ERI)—a subsidiary of Cigna. For the study, researchers from ERI examined pharmacy claims data for more than 16 million individuals. During the twelfth week of the 2022-2023 flu season, the report found that for every 1 million members, 1,093 members filled prescriptions for antiviral medications. For the same period in 2021, just 264 members filled antiviral prescriptions per 1 million. So far, CDC data shows that fewer flu vaccines have been administered in the 2022-2023 season than in the 2021-2022 and 2020-2021 seasons. "Our research indicates that more people are getting sick with the flu earlier on this season, and that their symptoms are severe enough to warrant a doctor's visit and a prescription while flu vaccination rates are lower than previous years," said Urvashi Patel, VP of ERI. (Plescia, MedCity News, 1/18)
- New Jersey: Janssen Pharmaceuticals—a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson—on Wednesday announced it was ending a late-stage clinical trial after its HIV vaccine candidate was found to be ineffective. The Mosaico trial, which began in 2019, tested the HIV vaccine in 3,900 cisgender men and transgender individuals who have sex with cisgender men and transgender individuals, the New York Times reports. For the trial, the vaccine candidate was administered in over 50 sites across nine countries in North America, South America, and Europe. Following a review of early trial data, an independent data and safety monitoring board concluded that the vaccine did not prevent more infections than the placebo and recommended that the trial end. Notably, the vaccine was the only HIV vaccine still being tested in advanced trials. Still, there are other options in early-stage trials that could be effective against the disease. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the news about the Mosaico trial is "disappointing, but it isn't the end of the effort toward developing a vaccine," noting that "[t]here are other strategic approaches." (Mandavilli, New York Times, 1/18)
- New York: Teladoc Health CEO Jason Gorevic on Wednesday announced that the company is laying off 300 employees or 6% of its workforce. According to Gorevic, the company is terminating redundant non-clinical roles that came from its $18.5 billion acquisition of Livongo Health. "These actions put us on an even stronger financial footing at a time when many of our competitors are questioning their ability to keep their doors open," Gorevic said. (Perna, Modern Healthcare, 1/18)