Coronavirus company news summary – AstraZeneca says vaccine is performing well so far – GSK wins a vaccine contractor from the Pentagon

31 July 2020 (Last Updated July 31st, 2020 09:17)

31 July 202

Gilead Sciences aims to produce more than two million doses of its Covid-19 drug remdesivir by the end of the year, according to Bloomberg. In its earnings report, the company said that it has donated its existing stock of 1.5 million doses of the drug. Gilead expects to make several million more courses in 2021.

AstraZeneca has reported that it has obtained 'good data so far' on its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which was licensed from the University of Oxford and is currently in large-scale clinical studies. The potential vaccine has entered its final trial in Brazil, with studies ongoing in the UK and South Africa.

The Pentagon announced award of a contract worth $342m to UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for the delivery of huge quantities of Covid-19 vaccines to US troops. GSK was the only firm to make a bid for the contract. Under the terms of the deal, the company will support US military locations and personnel bout in and outside the continental US. This work, which will be performed in North Carolina, comes with an estimated completion date of 28 February 2021.

South Korea-based Celltrion Group has received approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to conduct a Phase I clinical trial of its antiviral antibody against Covid-19. The company is also planning to perform global Phase II/III studies in patients with mild and moderate Covid-19.

The European Union (EU) has warned its member states of the risk of shortages of syringes, wipes and protective gear that will be required for potential mass vaccinations against Covid-19. Reuters added that the EU has urged joint procurement, with Italy and the Netherlands representatives expressing interest.

Appili Therapeutics has started screening of long-term care (LTC) facilities in Ontario, Canada to conduct its Phase II clinical trial of favipiravir as a post-exposure outbreak control measure against Covid-19. The aim is to enrol around 760 volunteers at 16 LTC facilities.