AstraZeneca moved to bolster the company’s COVID-19 portfolio of antibodies on May 17 with a $157 million licensing deal for experimental therapies developed by newly launched biotech RQ Bio.

Shanghai set out plans on May 16 for the end of a painful COVID-19 lockdown that has lasted more than six weeks, heavily bruising China’s economy, and for the return of more normal life from June 1.

Bristol Myers Squibb shared the news that the company’s Phase III clinical trial investigating the safety and efficacy of Opdivo and Yervoy combination therapy (NCT03036098) in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma failed to meet the predetermined primary endpoint. A posthoc analysis was shared by Synairgen suggesting that, despite SNG001 failing to meet the primary endpoint of patient recovery and subsequent hospital discharge in a Phase III study for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who required supplemental oxygen treatment, they may benefit from receiving the treatment.

North Korea’s admission that it is battling an “explosive” COVID-19 outbreak raised concerns that the virus could devastate a country with an under-resourced health system, limited testing capabilities, and no vaccine program.

The United States will share technologies used to make COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization and is working to expand rapid testing and antiviral treatments for hard-to-reach populations, President Joe Biden said on May 12.

Several generic drugmakers that will produce versions of Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid agreed to sell the medicine in low-income and middle-income countries for $25 a course or less, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) said on May 12.

President Joe Biden on May 12 commemorated the death of 1 million people in the United States from COVID-19, marking what he called “a tragic milestone” and urging Americans to “remain vigilant” amid the ongoing pandemic.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval for the commercialization of Eli Lilly and Company and Incyte Corporation’s Olumiant (baricitinib), setting a precedent for COVID-19 treatments.

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review recommended two out of three outpatient treatments for COVID-19 in the market, singling out molnupiravir as having inadequate evidence to support claims that it is better than symptomatic care.

As Paxlovid has become more widely used, some patients have reported that COVID-19 symptoms recurred after completing treatment and experiencing improvement.