R&D,Bioprocess,Weekly Roundups,Biology

Weekly News Round-up – 19/2/21

2 weeks ago By Josh Neil
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Proventa International Weekly News

PFIZER AND MODERNA VACCINES LESS POTENT AGAINST AGGRESSIVE COVID VARIANTS – Further evidence has arisen suggesting Pfizer and its partner BioNTech must update their current vaccines to defeat newer variants of COVID-19. In a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Pfizer said its vaccine appeared around two thirds less potent against the South African variant than against the initial virus. Against a full panel of mutations, including the Denmark and UK variants, they found a sixfold decrease in neutralising antibodies. Analysts examining the data predicted “significant numbers of breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals” to the South African variant. 

NOVAVAX STRIKES 1.1 BILLION DOSE VACCINE DEAL WITH VACCINE ALLIANCE – A memorandum of understanding has been signed between COVID-19 vaccine maker Novavax and Gavi the Vaccine Alliance for 1.1 billion doses of Novavax’s vaccine to be supplied to COVAX, the global collaboration ensuring equitable access to vaccines. Under the COVAX agreement, Novavax expects to provide doses for high-income markets, while the Serum Institute will manufacture doses for other countries.

PRESIDENT BIDEN TO PROVIDE $1.6 BILLION FOR IMPROVED COVID TESTING – The Biden administration is set to provide $1.6 billion in order to expand and improve COVID-19 testing and sequencing. The government announced regional co-ordinating centres will be set up to identify lab testing capacities and match them to specific areas of need. The government has pledged to invest $815 million to build US manufacturing of testing supplies. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also invest around $200 million to expand genomic sequencing for the virus and detect emerging variants. 

In other news: 

R&D
GSK expanding COVID antibody collaboration with VIR to include possible flu therapies

Clinical
UK gives approval to controversial COVID-19 vaccine trials

Manufacturing
AZ’s Mexico vaccine partner forced to overhaul factory, slowing production

EU orders further 200 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine

That’s all for now. See you next week!

Joshua Neil, Editor
Proventa International

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