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Coronavirus company news summary – AZ vaccine trial in under-18s paused as regulators investigate blood clot link – Catalent to provide new vial filling capacity for Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

07 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 7th, 2021 09:44)

The University of Oxford stated that it has stopped a small UK trial that involved the use of its Covid-19 vaccine developed with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in children and teenagers. The trial is awaiting more data on rare blood clotting problems experienced by adults after receiving the shot. According to the university, around 300 volunteers aged between six and 17 years are part of this study. Health authorities including the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are currently reviewing reports of a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in a small fraction of those vaccinated with the jab.

Moderna and Catalent have extended their strategic collaboration to include a new high-speed vial filling line to develop the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and carry out other investigational programmes at Catalent’s biologics facility in Bloomington, Indiana. Catalent has been providing aseptic vial filling and packaging, as well as additional staffing for the production of an initial 100 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine since June 2020. Catalent will also provide labelling, inspection, cartoning, and final packaging for the programmes.

Pharma firm AB Science and the University of Chicago have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement to conduct research on the prevention and treatment of humans infected with coronaviruses, nidoviruses, and picornaviruses. The collaboration comes after the university’s discovery of masitinib, which inhibits the main protease (3CLpro) necessary for the SARS-CoV-2 viral replication cycle. AB Science will supply masitinib and more than 130 other proprietary drugs through virtual screening and will also take advantage of the university’s research platform.