R&D,Bioprocess,Clinical Development,Weekly Roundups

Weekly News Round-up – 5/6/20

8 months ago By Josh Neil
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Proventa International Weekly News

The race for a COVID-19 vaccine continues, with AstraZeneca set to double potential capacity after a new deal struck with two companies supported by Bill and Melinda Gates. In other news, the WHO is set to restart trials for hydroxychloroquine, Russia claims it has found the ‘most promising’ Covid treatment, and UK prescriptions have reached a record level since the lockdown began. 

ASTRAZENECA TO DOUBLE COVID-19 VACCINE PRODUCTION CAPACITY TO 2 BILLION – AstraZeneca has struck a new deal worth £595m with two Gates Foundation-backed companies, potentially doubling the manufacturing capacity of its Covid-19 vaccine to two billion doses. The new deals should ensure early supply of the vaccine to lower-income countries, should they be proven to work. The vaccine, AZD1222, is currently in trials involving around 10,000 volunteers. The trials will end in August, with vaccine results expected then. 

VIRTUAL TRIAL ADOPTION RISING DURING EPIDEMIC – A survey of clinical experts has found virtual trial adoption has risen sharply during the coronavirus epidemic. Of 114 individuals surveyed, 82% said their companies were using virtual trial approaches to minimise contact, up from 33% pre-Covid-19. Only 7% of these, however, were adopting an entirely virtual plan, however, with most using hybrid systems of decentralised trials. 

UK PRESCRIPTIONS REACHED RECORD NUMBERS AT LOCKDOWN START – The highest number of prescriptions ever have been issued in Britain since the country entered lockdown.The increase has led to further worries that shortages of medication will appear as patients stockpile. The NHS said 93 million prescribed medicines were given to patients in March 2020, seven million more than during the same month in 2019. GPs have been ‘strongly recommended not to give patients longer-duration prescriptions, to prevent further strain. 

In other news: 

Clinical Trials
UK hospitals to trial five new Covid-19 drugs
W.H.O. to restart hydroxychloroquine trials
Russia claims it’s found ‘most promising’ Covid-19 treatment in world

Manufacturing
FDA expands AZ Brilinta approval

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

Joshua Neil, Editor
Proventa International

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