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November 17, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Europe to donate over 70m doses of Moderna Covid-19 shot to COVAX – Bangladesh approves molnupiravir generic for Covid-19

By Darcy Jimenez

Moderna has entered an agreement with the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries to donate more than 70 million doses of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine to COVAX. The doses were procured by the EU and EEA countries under the European Union Vaccines Strategy. The vaccines will be delivered this year, with France and Germany donating 15 million and 40 million doses, respectively, in the initial stage. Under the deal, the donated vaccines will be distributed to 92 low- and middle-income countries.

Regulatory agencies in Bangladesh have granted approval for the manufacturing and supply of the generic version of Merck (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics’ oral drug, molnupiravir, to treat Covid-19. Last week, the Directorate General of Drug Administration in Bangladesh authorised eight pharmaceutical firms to produce and market the generic drug in the country, NHK WORLD-JAPAN reported. Merck has claimed that molnupiravir reduces the Covid-19-associated hospitalisation or mortality risk by nearly 50%. A Bangladeshi firm, Beximco, has already commenced production of the pill.

Revive Therapeutics has reported that potent thiol drugs, such as its Bucillamine, could potentially hinder Covid-19 infection in vitro, especially the Delta variant of the virus. The study found that such drugs could lower Covid-19-linked lung injury in vivo. The company noted that the latest data offers a robust rationale for clinical trials of systemically offered thiol drugs to treat Covid-19. The oral formulation of Bucillamine is being analysed in a Phase III trial for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Covid-19. Revive intends to create a reformulated version of the drug for the treatment of severe Covid-19 cases.

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