Biopharma Update on the Novel Coronavirus: December 29

CV Update_December 29

News information is not all-inclusive and updates are published once a week on Tuesdays. 

Testing Therapies, Antivirals and Vaccines

The Nanovaccine Institute at Iowa State University (ISU) is using nanotechnology to develop a vaccine will be able to be administered without needles and in one dose. It also won’t require refrigeration.

Eurofins Genomics launched an optimized next-generation sequencing service providing full-length viral genome sequences for COVID-19. Whole genome SARS-CoV-2 sequencing identifies mutant strains and spots emerging risks, including potentially immune and vaccine evasive variants, at an early stage.

Organizational Actions/Announcements 

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) awarded Moderna a contract worth $1,966,598,000 for an additional 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. The manufacturing will be handled in Cambridge, Massachusetts and is expected to be fulfilled by June 30, 2021.

Health Canada granted authorization to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on December 23. The Canadian authorization came under Health Canada’s Interim Order Respecting the Importation, Sale and Advertising of Drugs for Use in Relation to COVID-19 and was based on a rolling review of data that started on October 12. It included data from the Phase III COVE trial of 30,000 volunteers.

The Russian government admitted that its COVID-19 death toll was more than three times higher than it had previously reported. This makes it the country with the third highest COVID-19 fatalities.

Health officials in Belarus have begun vaccinating residents with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Belarus was the first country to officially register Sputnik V after Russia. Belarus was also the first foreign country to begin clinical trials of Sputnik V.

A study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that almost 500,000 people in Wuhan, where the COVID-19 pandemic originated, may have been infected. This is approximately 10 times the officially-reported number of cases.

Other Industry News

In a December 8, 2020 meeting with U.K. scientists and public health experts, it was announced that there was a growing new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. 

BioSpace spoke with a couple of companies endeavoring to make 2021 a happier new year for survivors now suffering from the life-altering after-effects of COVID-19.

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