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 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…

Sanofi announced Wednesday it will invest over $700 million to build a new vaccine facility in Toronto—increasing supply of its market-leading Fluzone high-dose quadrivalent influenza shot in Canada, the United States and Europe.

The press release quoted CEO Paul Hudson as saying that the new facility “will be a key resource to assist against future pandemics.” Sanofi expects the plant to be operational in 2026.

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…

Twelve leading pharma companies released fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results in February. (Figures exclude exchange rate and portfolio changes where applicable.)

Leading the round, Gilead’s fourth-quarter revenue soared 26% over last year to $7.4 billion, beating consensus estimates by 4%. Veklury (remdesivir) drove the surge with $1.9 billion in quarterly sales: the antiviral now treats one in two hospitalized Covid-19 patients in the United States, according to the…

The state of the hunt:

J&J’s single-dose vaccine scored unanimous endorsement from a U.S. FDA advisory committee, clearing the way for a likely EUA.
  The COVAX Facility made its first shipments, sending vaccine doses to Ghana and Ivory Coast.
  Moderna and Pfizer made progress toward clinical trials of modified, variant-specific vaccines.



Approved or authorized vaccines
Pfizer/BioNTech shot continues strong showing…

Evotec has dosed the first participant in a Phase 1 study of EVT894, its monoclonal antibody (mAb) to treat and potentially prevent chikungunya infections, the company announced last week.

Sanofi initially developed the mAb and licensed it to Evotec as part of the 2018 transfer of Sanofi’s Lyon-based infectious disease R&D unit to the German company, according to the press release.

The IMPAACT4TB consortium announced Wednesday that it will roll out a new, patient-friendly preventive tuberculosis therapy in five high-burden countries, beginning in February.

Led by African NGO the Aurum Institute (with funding from Unitaid), the program will provide a fixed-dose combination of “3HP”—a short-course TB treatment combining rifapentine and isoniazid—to Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. An agreement between manufacturer Macleods, Unitaid and the Clinton…

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.



Approved or authorized vaccines


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…