BMGF

The Lancet Infectious Diseases published Phase 2 results on Tuesday comparing different durations and doses of benznidazole (a standard of care for Chagas disease) alone or in combination with the antifungal fosravuconazole. According to a press release from the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), which led the study, a two-week benznidazole Chagas treatment had “similar efficacy and significantly fewer adverse effects” than the current standard eight-week regimen of the…

CARB-X published compulsory guidance on Monday to ensure that new antibacterial products brought to market by its funded companies are used responsibly and made available to people in LMICs.

The Stewardship and Access Plan Development Guide—created by the Boston University-led nonprofit and its partners, including the Access to Medicine Foundation, the Gates Foundation, the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund, and…

Adjuvant Capital announced last week a $300 million Global Health Technology Fund focused on accelerating the development of medical innovations for “historically overlooked public health challenges.”

The New York-based social impact investor noted in its press release that it has already backed 14 companies, requiring each to make products broadly accessible to people in low- and middle-income countries. Adjuvant’s “young portfolio” includes investments in companies addressing…

Evolve BioSystems announced observational study results on Tuesday showing that preterm infants fed its activated B. infantis probiotic (EVC001) had a “significantly lower level of intestinal inflammation, 62% less diaper rash, and required 62% fewer antibiotics.” Frontiers in Pediatrics published the results.

Evolve also reported last week that it has raised $55 million in Series D financing, led by food products group Cargill and investment firm Manna Tree. The California microbiome…

Novartis announced Wednesday a collaboration with the Gates Foundation to develop an accessible in vivo gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD) that could potentially be administered once, directly to a patient, without the need to modify the cells in a lab. The collaboration aims to provide affordable and practical gene therapy for low-resource settings, the press release said.

In other SCD news, Massachusetts-based Bluebird Bio announced Tuesday that it has temporarily suspended…

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Scripps Research announced promising results last week from a Phase 1 trial of a novel vaccine approach for HIV.

The eOD-GT8 60mer vaccine compound elicited the targeted antibody response in 97% of participants who received the shot, according to the press release. The Gates Foundation-funded project seeks ultimately to develop a multistep vaccine regimen aimed at eliciting many different types of broadly neutralizing antibodies (…

The state of the hunt:

Novavax’s protein-based vaccine candidate demonstrated 89.3% efficacy in a UK Phase 3 trial.
  J&J/Janssen’s single-dose vaccine was 66% effective against moderate to severe disease in Phase 3.
  Vaccines from J&J, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer/BioNTech appear less effective against the SARS-CoV-2 variant first identified in South Africa.

 

Vaccines


Approved or authorized vaccines

AstraZeneca/Oxford’s…

Colorado-based diagnostics firm InDevR announced last week the commercial launch of its VaxArray measles and rubella (MR) antigen quantification kit. The MR vaccine potency test measures antigen content in five hours—a “fraction” of the 10-14 days needed for conventional tissue culture infectious dose measurement—potentially reducing the cost per dose of the final vaccine, according to the press release.

InDevR developed the Gates Foundation-funded product in collaboration with…

Affinivax announced last week that it has raised $226 million in Series C financing to advance its pipeline of MAPS (Multiple Antigen Presenting System) infectious disease vaccines—including its lead pneumococcal candidates and first-in-class shots targeting healthcare-acquired infections.

The Massachusetts-based company received an initial seed and Series A equity investment from the Gates Foundation in 2014 to launch its proprietary MAPS as a broad protection technology, and added…

Vir Biotechnology has dosed the first participant in a Phase 1 trial of an HIV T cell vaccine (VIR-1111) based on a human cytomegalovirus (CMV) vector, the company announced last week. The Gates Foundation supported the research, Vir’s press release said.

Trial collaborator Oregon Health & Science University announced its licensing of the CMV platform to San Francisco-based Vir in 2017.

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