Briefing

The Briefing provides an at-a-glance view of some important developments in the information universe surrounding COVID-19. The views presented here are solely those of ECRI Horizon Scanning and have not been vetted by other stakeholders.

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Vaccines are back in the news. An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Novavax vaccine against COVID-19 is probable after a recent (June 7) FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting. And an Advisory Committee meeting is upcoming (June 15) for Moderna’s EUA request for use of its vaccine in children 6 months through 5 years of age and Pfizer-BioNTech’s EUA request for children 6 months through 4 years of age.

The EUAs will position these vaccines to help lower COVID-19 infection rates. Novavax’s offering, a more traditional protein-based vaccine, is considered a viable alternative for people who choose not to receive an mRNA vaccine, while a vaccine for children younger than 5 years would protect a vulnerable population that currently has no vaccine options.

Many hoped that vaccination would offer not only protection from severe illness, but also reduce the risk of post-COVID conditions (or Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 [PASC]). More research is needed, but a recent study of more than 13 million people found that vaccination reduced the likelihood of PASC by only about 15%. See Topics to Watch for a potential new treatment for post-COVID conditions.

Increased Adoption of Intelligent Automation to Aid in Health Care Revenue Cycle Management in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

At a Glance

  • Intelligent automation (IA), an automation technology that combines artificial intelligence, business process management, and robotic process automation, is being increasingly adopted by the health care industry to aid in revenue cycle management.
  • Health care revenue cycle management presents complex issues, such as decentralized processes, inefficient systems, human error, and staffing shortages in revenue cycle management, which together result in losses of billions of dollars annually.
  • Utilizing IA in revenue cycle management might help streamline administrative operations to decrease administrative costs and increase revenue, as well as mitigate staffing shortages.
  • Health care technology companies are offering platforms designed to perform manual and redundant tasks such as medical coding, billing, revenue collections, and managing claim denials.

Sublingual Cyclobenzaprine (TNX-102 SL) to Treat Fibromyalgia-Like Symptoms in Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19

At a Glance

  • Sublingual cyclobenzaprine is under investigation as TNX-102 SL to treat patients with fibromyalgia-like symptoms in Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). Over 40% of patients with PASC have been found to have fibromyalgia-like symptoms.
  • FDA has not authorized or approved any treatments for PASC; thus, an unmet medical need exists for effective PASC treatments.
  • TNX-102 SL has demonstrated efficacy in clinical trials for treating fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome with common accompanying symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, and cognitive dysfunction.
  • The developer of TNX-102 SL, Tonix Pharmaceuticals, anticipates beginning a pivotal phase 2 trial to assess its drug as a treatment for fibromyalgia-like symptoms in PASC in the second half of 2022.

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Commentary in this COVID-19 Scan reflects preliminary views of ECRI Horizon Scanning and internal ECRI stakeholders.
The information contained in this document has not been vetted by other stakeholders.

We welcome your comments on this Scan. Send them by email to [email protected]
or by mail to: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20036.


Posted: June 16, 2022

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