Coronavirus company news summary – a second Indian company launches Covid-19 vaccine trial – Brighton and Oxford hospitals initiate a study of hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid-19

Allie Nawrat 21 May 2020 (Last Updated May 21st, 2020 09:08)

21 May 2020

The Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in the UK have launched a global clinical trial to assess hydroxychloroquine for potentially preventing Covid-19. This trial is designed to investigate chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in more than 40,000 healthcare workers across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America, according to BBC. These sites in the UK are the first of a planned 25 across the country.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals has reported promising data from the preclinical studies of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, IN0-480, in mice and guinea pigs. The candidate was found to have generated 'robust' neutralising antibodies and T cell responses against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

India-based Strides Pharma Science has secured regulatory approval from the Drug Controller General of India to perform clinical trials of antiviral drug favipiravir as a potential Covid-19 treatment, according to Reuters. This makes Strides the second Indian company to trial the drug for Covid-19, following Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, which started Phase III trials of favipiravir earlier this month.

China-based CanSino Biologics has partnered with Precision NanoSystems in Canada to jointly develop a mRNA lipid nanoparticle vaccine against Covid-19. The collaboration will leverage PNI's RNA vaccine platform, which comprises lipid nanoparticle delivery system and the NanoAssemblr manufacturing technology.