Innovent and Lilly Report Results of Tyvyt (sintilimab) in Seven Clinical Studies to be Presented at the ESMO ASIA Congress 2020


  • The 7 studies include one Proffered Paper Oral Presentation & 6 e-posters, covering indications including lung cancer, liver cancer, gastric cancer, & esophageal cancer
  • The 1st study involves assessing of sintilimab + bevacizumab biosimilar vs sorafenib as 1L treatment for aHCC while the 2nd study includes assessing of sintilimab + anlotinib as 1L therapy in patients with aHCC. The 3rd study evaluates sintilimab + docetaxel in patients with previously treated advanced NSCLC while the 4th study evaluates autologous CIK cell immunotherapy + sintilimab + CT in patients with advanced NSCLC
  • 5th study includes assessing of neoadjuvant sintilimab + triplet CT for resectable ESCC, 6th study assesses sintilimab + FLOT regimen for neoadjuvant treatment of GEJ adenocarcinoma while 7th study assesses perioperative sintilimab + concurrent CRT for LA gastric or GEJ adenocarcinoma

Click here to­ read the full press release/ article | Ref: PRNewswire | Image: Fortune

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How to make an impact at a virtual congress

More competition than ever before

The pharmaceutical industry has long relied on congresses to build relationships with customers and to showcase the latest data and information on new additions to the pipeline. However, COVID-19 has changed the congress experience significantly. Social distancing and travel restrictions have forced congress organizers to make a tough decision between canceling events or re-formatting for a remote audience.

As hard as congress organizers try, replicating the congress experience on a virtual platform is difficult. Rather than trying to replicate the in-person congress experience, the industry has a real opportunity to innovate, leverage the benefits of digital channels, and approach congresses in a completely different way.

More competition than ever before

Virtual congresses are different from physical congresses and bring with them a new set of challenges. Firstly, delegate behavior differs. When a healthcare professional attends a physical congress, they commit the entire day to the event. At a virtual congress, they can log on or off at a time that suits them, and they can become distracted by work or by their home life. So, you are competing with more than just your competitors for attendees’ time.

During the ASCO 2020 Annual Meeting, just 16% of respondents visited virtual booths or exhibits from pharmaceutical companies. Among those who did visit, more than half spent significantly less time visiting the stands than when attending an in-person congress. With no congress hall to walk around the delegates may not have felt inspired to visit the exhibits.

We have more patience in the physical world. Slow loading times, poor user experience, content that is too personalized and perceived as invasive, poorly written content, and content that is not personalized enough, all leads users to click away from a website without a second thought.

These challenges change the essence of the congress experience. However, virtual congresses also provide new ways of engaging customers and develop a captive digital audience. So, how can pharmaceutical companies create an impactful virtual congress experience?

Download the rest of the article here

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[Updated] Lawmakers Introduce New Bill Paving the Way for Home Health Telehealth Reimbursement

Home health providers are one step closer to getting the No. 1 thing they’ve been asking for since the COVID-19 pandemic began: reimbursement for telehealth-driven visits.

On Friday, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act, a bipartisan bill to provide Medicare reimbursement for audio and video telehealth services furnished by home health agencies during the COVID-19 emergency.

U.S. Representatives Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced similar legislation in the House.

“Home health serves a vital role in helping our nation’s seniors avoid more costly hospital visits and nursing home stays,” Sen. Collins, chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, said in a statement. “The COVID-19 emergency has further underscored the critical importance of home health services and highlighted how these agencies are able to use telehealth to provide skilled care to their patients.”

If finalized, the HEAT Act would pave the wave for home health telehealth reimbursement during the current pandemic as well as future public health emergencies, when appropriate. The newly introduced legislation outlines that services would not be reimbursed unless the beneficiary consents to receiving services via telehealth, however.

To ensure that the Medicare home health benefit does not become a telehealth-only benefit, Medicare reimbursement would only be provided if the telehealth services account for no more than half of the billable visits made during a 30-day payment period.

“I know firsthand the benefits of home health care,” Rep. Sewell said in a statement. “When my dad was left wheelchair-bound after a series of strokes, we were fortunate enough to find home health care from highly skilled and caring health care professionals right where he wanted to be — at home in Selma. As a passionate supporter of protecting home health services, I’m proud to introduce the bicameral and bipartisan [HEAT Act], which will ensure that home health providers have the resources necessary to protect patients in their homes and health care professionals during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Overall, the utilization of telehealth services has exploded since the middle of March.

In fact, more than 34.5 million telehealth services were delivered in Medicare and other government programs from March through June, according to recently released data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). That’s a more than 2,500% increased compared to the same period in 2019.

While home health providers have certainly been a part of that boom in Medicare, they’ve typically had to provide telehealth services out of their own pocket. As currently structured, the home health benefit does not include a pathway for paying for any types of visits not furnished directly in person.

Industry advocacy organizations LeadingAge, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH) and others have been working toward the HEAT Act for months, often pushing for telehealth payment during the discussions before each of the COVID-19 relief measures that have been passed.

“Many of our home health members have been providing critical services without reimbursement during the pandemic,” Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge, said in a statement. “The HEAT Act would resolve this inequity and put our home health members on par with all other providers with regards to flexibility during this and future public health emergencies.”

In addition to her role at LeadingAge, Smith Sloan also serves as acting president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America and ElevatingHOME.

William A. Dombi, president of NAHC, also applauded the newly introduced bill.

“From the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been well known that limiting person-to-person contact is key in reducing transmission and infection rates,” Dombi said in a statement. “Enabling home health agencies to incorporate telehealth visits into the plan of care, with reimbursement, will unlock new means of safe care delivery bringing peace of mind to Medicare beneficiaries.”

This is a developing story. Please check back later for additional updates.

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