A month after stepping down as president of Takeda’s global vaccine business, Rajeev Venkayya has been named CEO of Aerium Therapeutics, an antibody specialist that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday. The Boston- and Lausanne-based biopharma’s pipeline includes two monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 aimed at “vulnerable populations for which vaccines do not provide adequate protection,” according to a press release.

Leaving Takeda after a decade, Venkayya told Reuters that with…

The state of the fight: 

WHO issued an Emergency Use Listing for Serum Institute of India’s version of Novavax’s vaccine.
  The U.S. CDC recommended mRNA-based vaccines over J&J’s.
  Data on the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody therapies against the Omicron variant began pouring in.


A U.S. CDC advisory panel recommended mRNA-based vaccines over the J&J jab, citing blood clot side effects stemming from the single-…

Three major pharmas have shared end-of-year environmental, social and governance announcements over the past weeks.

Merck invested a new round of $150 million in essential maternal and reproductive health services funding for 25 million women by 2025 through its Merck for Mothers program.

Meanwhile, Takeda launched a new U.S. corporate social responsibility program with a first-year commitment of $20 million for “health equity, climate resiliency, K-8 math literacy and food…

Japan’s Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund will invest $6.6 million in diagnostics, drugs and vaccines development, the nonprofit announced last week.

One award will advance an ongoing Chagas disease drug development project by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDI). The five other are new projects: a TB diagnostic, a placental malaria vaccine, a malaria drug, and two separate Chagas drugs (by DNDI/Takeda and DNDI/Daiichi Sankyo).

GHIT Fund’s portfolio…

Thirteen leading pharma companies released third-quarter 2021 financial results in October, while one Japanese firm reported first-half 2021 results for the fiscal year ending in March. (Figures exclude exchange rate and portfolio changes where applicable.)

South Korea’s LG Chem saw its third-quarter numbers soar 70.7% over the same period last year, delivering $9.1 billion in sales. However, operating profit tumbled 20%, mainly due to a one-off expense associated with its electric…

The state of the fight: 

Merck will allow Medicines Patent Pool to sublicense its oral antiviral to manufacturers in 105 LMICs.
  The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator released a new strategic plan and budget through September 2022.
  Antidepressant fluvoxamine reduced the risk of hospitalization for high-risk Covid-19 patients by about 32%. Approved or authorized vaccines

Two pediatric doses of Moderna’s mRNA-based vaccine given 28 days apart…

The state of the fight: 

COVAX will overhaul its vaccine allocation methodology.
  An investigational antiviral pill from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics cut the rate of hospitalizations or death some 50% in a Phase 3 trial.
  India plans to resume Covid-19 vaccine exports by the end of October.


Approved or authorized vaccines

The AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 shot demonstrated 74% efficacy against symptomatic disease 15 days or more after a…

Takeda announced Wednesday four new partnerships and nearly $38 million in investments for its annual Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program, which makes “long-term commitments to strengthen health systems and improve access to healthcare” in developing and emerging countries.

The new investments include $8.7 million to IntraHealth International for healthcare access, over $8.1 million to Jhpiego’s iWIN project for maternal and child health, $9.1 million to Pathfinder…


The state of the fight: 

AstraZeneca and the E.U. reached a settlement following a monthslong legal battle over vaccine delivery.
  COVAX released an updated vaccine supply forecast that reduced the number of doses it expects to receive in 2021 by 25%.
  Cuba began vaccinating children as young as age 2 with its homegrown Abdala and Soberana vaccines. Approved or authorized vaccines

J&J’s adenoviral-vectored jab cut the risk of Covid-19 infection by…

Moderna will license a therapeutic candidate for an ultra-rare disease to a newly launched nonprofit “with no upfront fees” and “without any downstream payments,” the Massachusetts-based mRNA specialist announced Tuesday.

In a joint press release, Moderna said seeking a high price for this drug “is not aligned with our values”—effectively contrasting itself with other pharmas that have held on to unused intellectual property or sought premium pricing for rare disease burdens.