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.



Cidara Therapeutics announced Monday that J&J’s Janssen subsidiary will license the San Diego-based company’s universal influenza antiviral conjugate (AVC) technology—shelling out $27 million upfront (plus up to $753 million in milestone payments) for exclusive development and commercialization rights for Cidara’s CD388 and other influenza AVCs.

The novel immunotherapies have the potential to prevent and treat “all seasonal and pandemic” flu strains, according to Cidara’s press…


Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson announced on Tuesday the creation of a nonprofit unit, Sanofi Global Health, which will provide 40 lower-income countries with access to 30 of the company’s “most essential medicines,” including cardiovascular, diabetes, tuberculosis, malaria and cancer treatments.

An accompanying press release said Sanofi Global Health will be the cornerstone of the Paris-based company’s corporate social responsibility strategy for “access to medicines, support for vulnerable…

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…

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.



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.

Japan’s Global Health Innovative Technology Fund announced $21 million in product development investments on Wednesday.

More than two-thirds of the awards will help advance six ongoing projects, while the rest fund four new investments: a leishmaniasis drug from Takeda and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative; a malaria therapy from Eisai, the Medicines for Malaria Venture and the University of Dundee; a tuberculosis drug from Daiichi Sankyo RD Novare and the TB Alliance; and a…

The Access to Medicine (AtM) Foundation last week published a pediatric analysis of additional results from its 2021 AtM Index, finding just 7% of pharmaceutical companies’ R&D is for children under 12, despite significant gaps in treatment options for children.

The report praised GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi for being “the most active” in developing pediatric versions of products, and also named examples of drugs that “could each make a big difference” for LMICs: Eli…

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.



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…

South Korea’s Research Investment for Global Health Technology (RIGHT) Fund launched its sixth RFP on Monday: a new Technical Accelerator Award granting up to $440,000 (per project, for up to one year) for “original and innovative concepts” that tackle endemic and emerging infectious diseases in developing countries.

Applicants must include at least one Korean entity. Proposals for vaccines and therapeutics are due by April 9 and for diagnostics and digital health by April 30.