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Weekly News Round-up – 5/3/21

Proventa International Weekly News 3 years ago By Josh Neil
Proventa International Weekly News

In the news this week, Merck & J&J team up to boost COVID vaccine supply, while Novavax hopes to have its vaccine approved in May. In other news, Pfizer’s COVID vaccine may less effective in obese individuals, and Merck buys head & neck cancer drug xevinpant for $1 billion.

MERCK & J&J MAKE PARTNERSHIP TO BOOST COVID VACCINE SUPPLIES – President Biden is expected to announce a ’historic’ partnership between Merck & J&J as the two companies work to boost COVID vaccine supplies. Biden has previously promised to create enough vaccines for all Americans by July 2021. 

NOVAVAX COULD RECEIVE COVID VACCINE APPROVAL IN MAY – Novavax has released a statement that its COVID-19 vaccine could receive regulatory approval in May 2021. It is currently using data from a UK study. Should a US study be needed instead, the approval data would be moved to late summer. 

PFIZER VACCINE LESS EFFECTIVE IN THE OBESE – New data suggests the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine could have less effect in the obese. A currently non-peer reviewed study found those with obesity produced only half the amount of antibodies of healthy individuals in response to a second dose of the vaccine. This could mean the obese need an additional booster dose for full protection. 

In other news:

R&D
Merck buys head & neck cancer drug xevinpant for $1 billion
ISA Pharma completes pre-clinical work for novel COVID-19 immunotherapy product

Clinical
Takeda buys Ovid’s epilepsy inhibitor soticlestat for up to $856 million

Manufacturing
Merck axe Ketruda from metastatic small cell lung cancer niche over FDA requirements

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

Joshua Neil, Editor
Proventa International

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