Covid-19

The state of the hunt:

Pfizer/BioNTech asked the U.S. FDA to expand its authorization of their vaccine to adolescents.
  Numerous countries restricted the use of the AstraZeneca/Oxford shot to older people—or discontinued it altogether—even as regulators concluded the benefits outweighed the risks.
  COVAX affirmed that SII’s supply commitments to the initiative remain “legally binding” amid continued export restrictions from India.

 

Vaccines


Icosavax announced Wednesday the close of $100 million in Series B financing.

The funds will support the development of the biotech’s bivalent RSV and human metapneumovirus vaccine through initial clinical studies, continued evaluation of its virus-like particle (VLP) Covid-19 vaccine candidate, and expansion of its pipeline of other VLP vaccine candidates targeting respiratory diseases, the press release said.

The state of the hunt:

Pfizer and BioNTech plan to seek authorization of their vaccine for adolescents age 12-15 after promising Phase 3 results.
  J&J agreed to supply up to 400 million doses of Janssen’s jab to the African Union.
  Serum Institute of India launched clinical trials of its version of the Novavax vaccine candidate.

 

Vaccines


Approved or authorized vaccines
   
New data show lower efficacy for Pfizer/BioNTech: The…

Brii Biosciences announced $155 million last week in Series C financing.

The press release said the Sino-American biotech will use the proceeds to fund clinical studies and research for its therapies for hepatitis B, Covid-19, multi-drug resistant Gram-negative bacterial infection and HIV, as well as its central nervous system disease program.

Local media reported Monday that Indian companies have inked an agreement with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) to expand the use of mRNA as a vaccine development platform in the country.

The Hindu Business Line named vaccine supplier Bharat Biotech International Limited, animal health company Biovet, and biotech Sapigen Biologix as signatories.

Only Pune-headquartered Gennova Biopharma is currently using mRNA…

The state of the hunt:

The European Union and India made new moves to curtail vaccine exports.
  COVAX warned of delivery delays.
  Pfizer and BioNTech launched a pediatric trial of their vaccine in children as young as 6 months.

 

Vaccines


Approved or authorized vaccines
   
New data, new questions for AstraZeneca: If AstraZeneca thought higher-than-expected efficacy results this week from the U.S.-based Phase 3 trial of AZD1222 would…

Citing increased demand for its products, Merck KGaA announced last week that the company is investing $29.5 million to equip its Alsace, France facility as an assembly production unit for Covid-19 vaccines and other therapies.

The press release quoted CEO-in-waiting Belén Garijo as saying the expansion “speaks of the company’s global commitment during and beyond this pandemic.”

The state of the hunt:

Moderna began clinical trials of its vaccine in children.
  New vaccines from Iran and Vietnam entered human trials, and a Cuban shot reached Phase 3.
  France limited use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to people 55 or older.

 

Vaccines


Approved or authorized vaccines
  
AZ jab is safe, EMA reaffirms—but will uptake suffer? A European Medicines Agency (EMA) risk assessment committee concluded a preliminary review…

Roche announced Monday that it will buy California-based GenMark Diagnostics for $1.8 billion in cash.

The Swiss biotech will expand its portfolio with GenMark’s molecular diagnostic tests, including the ePlex Respiratory Pathogen Panel, which simultaneously screens for several bacteria and 21 viruses (including influenza A and B, RSV and SARS-CoV-2). The announcement came days after the U.S. FDA issued a warning about false positives from Roche’s own multivirus diagnostic.

The state of the hunt:

J&J’s vaccine became the first single-dose Covid-19 jab to receive EUL from the World Health Organization.
  A growing list of countries—including at least one COVAX AMC participant—suspended their rollouts of AstraZeneca’s vaccine over safety concerns.
  Monoclonal antibodies from Lilly and a separate mAb from GSK and Vir substantially cut the risk of hospitalization or death in people with mild or moderate Covid-19 at high risk of progression…