mRNA

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…

Rapidly rising Moderna used its most recent quarterly report to disclose that chief medical officer Tal Zaks will leave in September.

Credited with helping to build the vaccine manufacturer’s pipeline of mRNA jabs over the past six years (including its successful Covid-19 shot), Zaks made large, frequent sales of Moderna stock last year, behavior that STAT said in an October 2020 article would violate insider trading rules at most major companies.

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 (…

Gilead and California-based biotech Gritstone Oncology announced Monday a $60 million collaboration, option and license agreement to develop a vaccine-based immunotherapy for HIV that uses Gritstone’s proprietary self-amplifying mRNA and adenoviral vector-based vaccine platform.

Gritstone will receive $30 million in cash and $30 million in an equity investment from Gilead, along with up to $725 million in milestone payments and royalties on net sales of the drug. Gilead will conduct…

Covid-19 dominated the 39th J. P. Morgan Healthcare Conference (JPM), held virtually this week instead of at its customary haunt, San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis. Beyond much coronavirus chatter, the event also featured one major M&A announcement (Sanofi touting its $1 billion Kymab buy) and additional vaccine news from companies including GSK (for RSV), Moderna (for flu, HIV and Nipah) and Takeda (for dengue).

BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin announced the German company’s plans to…

Merck KGaA announced last week that it is buying German mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization AmpTec, expanding the Darmstadt-based company’s mRNA capabilities in vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for Covid-19 and other diseases.

The Merck KGaA press release said AmpTec’s differentiated polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based technology has “advantages over other technologies for mRNA manufacturing.” The press release did not disclose financial terms.

The state of the hunt:

Remdesivir showed “little or no effect” on 28-day mortality or the duration of hospital stay among hospitalized Covid-19 patients, according to data from a WHO study.
  J&J paused all dosing in trials involving its Janssen subsidiary’s vaccine candidate.
  Pfizer will not apply for U.S. FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine candidate before the third week of November.

 

Vaccines

Phase 3 candidates:…

The state of the hunt:

Phase 3 trials of AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 vaccine candidate resumed in Brazil, Britain, India and South Africa, while U.S. officials voiced safety concerns.
  The United Arab Emirates joined China in issuing emergency approval of a CNBG inactivated vaccine candidate.
  A trial of Lilly’s RA drug Olumiant in combination with remdesivir met its primary endpoint.

 

Vaccines

Phase 3 candidates:
 
Phase 3 trials resumed last…

The state of the hunt:

Serum Institute of India inked a billion-dose deal to commercialize Novavax’s vaccine candidate in LMICs.
  SII will also collaborate with the Gates Foundation and Gavi to provide 100 million doses of an eventual vaccine to LMICs at $3 per dose or less.
  J&J will supply 100 million doses of its investigational vaccine to the U.S. as part of a $1 billion contract.

 

Vaccines

Clinical trials:

BioNTech and Fosun Pharma…

The state of the hunt:

The EU is reportedly weighing abstention from the COVAX Facility due to vaccine pricing and timing concerns.
  An inhaled interferon drug produced extraordinary Phase 2 data in a study some critics have faulted.
  Vaccines from AstraZeneca-Oxford University, CanSino, and Pfizer-BioNTech had positive Phase 1/2 or Phase 2 news.

 

Vaccines

Clinical trials:

The Lancet published preliminary Phase 1/2 results Monday showing the…