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April 9, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary

By Allie Nawrat

9 April 2020 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for Maryland-based OncoImmune to conduct a Phase III clinical trial of CD24Fc, its first-in-class biologic drug, to treat patients hospitalised with Covid-19. CD24Fc is believed to be effective in a range of conditions, such as cancer, autoimmune disease, metabolic syndromes and graft-versus-host disease, by regulating host inflammatory response.

The European Commission (EC) has called on European Union (EU) member states to lift drug export bans to avoid shortages and ensure access amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The agency also urged governments and citizens to not stockpile medicines, as well as calling on hospitals to make optimal use of medicines.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals has partnered with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to discover small molecule antivirals for treating Covid-19 infection. The partners will use a screening assay to detect molecules that could prevent cathepsin-L cleavage of the virus to the host cell, and subsequent viral processing. 

The Indian Government‘s Department of Science and Technology (DST) has approved funding to support the development of a nasal gel by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay to potentially prevent Covid-19. The gel, based on a technology that captures and inactivates the virus, is expected to protect health workers and also mitigate community transmission.

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