R&D,Bioprocess,Clinical Development,Weekly Roundups

Weekly News Round-up – 22/5/20

7 days ago By Josh Neil
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Proventa International Weekly News

Big news this week, with AstraZeneca potentially ready to produce a Covid-19 vaccine by September this year, and Moderna receiving good news about its early-stage human trials for the same thing. In other news, the Trump administration’s new manufacturing partner has come under fire for past actions, and 40,000 health workers globally are about to trial hydroxychloroquine for its efficacy. 

ASTRAZENECA COULD HAVE COVID-19 VACCINE READY BY SEPTEMBER – AstraZeneca has announced that a vaccine for Covid-19 could be ready by September 2020, with a deal already signed to deliver at least 400 million doses of the vaccine - should it work. The company, partnered with Oxford University, said around a billion doses could be ready by next year. Should it succeed, the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority agreed to provide $1bn for delivery of the solution. 

WHITE HOUSE’S NEW COVID MANUFACTURING PARTNER FACES CRITICISM – The U.S. government, in a bid to increase production of vital coronavirus drugs and APIs, recently signed a deal with new pharma company Phlow Corp. Phlow’s CEO, Eric Edwards, has been criticised for past work. As co-founder of pharma Kaleo, from 2014 - 2017 Edwards was behind alleged 600% price hikes on opioid overdose drug Evzio. A Senate subcommittee concluded that the hike cost taxpayers over $142 million. Edwards has claimed no involvement in price decisions at Kaleo. 

MODERNA REPORTS POSITIVE DATA IN COVID VACCINE TRIAL – Moderna’s early-stage human trial for its coronavirus has yielded further good news, with antibodies produced in all 45 participants. By day 43, binding antibodies in the group receiving the lowest doses were at levels seen in recovered patients. Patients in the group dosed highest had antibodies ‘significantly exceeding’ those levels. The vaccine also produced neutralising antibodies against Covid-19 in eight participants. A phase 3 trial will begin in July. 

In other news: 

R&D

Scientists at Peking University claim a ‘potential cure’ for coronavirus

Clinical Trials

40,000 health workers to trial hydroxychloroquine in global trial

Vertex expert claims Covid could cause surge in virtual trial rollouts

Manufacturing

UK to fund £38 million centre for coronavirus vaccine production, and provides a £131 million grant to the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre

GSK and Samsung team up to increase biopharma manufacturing capabilities

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

Joshua Neil, Editor
Proventa International

To ensure you remain up-to-date on the latest in clinical development, sign up for Proventa International’s online Clinical Operations, Supply Chain & Pharmacovigilance Strategy Meeting 2020.

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