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September 2, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – CABEI to support Central American countries in acquiring Covid-19 vaccines – Novartis to provide Covid-19 medicines to the AU

By Allie Nawrat

2 September 2020 

Novartis has partnered with the African Union (AU) to supply Covid-19-related medicines from its Pandemic Response Portfolio through the Africa Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) to the AU member states and Caricom countries. The Novartis Pandemic Response Portfolio from Sandoz consists of 15 medicines and makes them accessible at no profit to governments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other institutional customers in up to 79 countries.

Starpharma has used its DEP drug delivery technology to develop a slow release, soluble nanoparticle formulation of Gilead Sciences‘ remdesivir, allowing long-term activity and less frequent dosing of the Covid-19 drug candidate. Current formulations of the drug require intravenous administration due to low solubility. The new soluble version could enable subcutaneous use in a non-hospital setting such as aged-care.

Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency, Anvisa, has granted approval to Dompé for conducting a clinical trial of Reparixin as a treatment for patients with severe Covid-19. Reparixin blocks the action of interleukin 8 (IL-8), which is thought to be involved in the lung injury in Covid-19 patients. The drug will be assessed by Dompé in 48 patients for Phase II and 111 patients for Phase III trials. At least ten Brazilian healthcare centres will be part of the trials.

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) has agreed to provide $400m loan to seven Central American countries and the Dominican Republic to support the acquisition and distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine, reported Reuters. The deal is meant to facilitate timely and efficient access for Central America, said CABEI president Dante Mossi.

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