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July 14, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – FDA grants Pfizer, BioNTech’s Covid-19 fast track designation – Glenmark lowers the price of favipiravir

By Allie Nawrat

14 July 2020 

Pfizer and BioNTech have received fast track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for two of their four potential Covid-19 vaccines. The designation is based on preliminary results from ongoing Phase I/II studies in the US and Germany, and also data from animal immunogenicity studies.

Swiss contract drug manufacturer Lonza Group has licensed its technology to China-based Junshi Biosciences for the production of a neutralising antibody against Covid-19. Lonza noted that the neutralising antibody was developed using its gene expression system, GS Xceed. The antibody is currently in clinical trials in China.

India-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has lowered the price of its Covid-19 drug, FabiFlu, to INR 75 ($0.99) per tablet. The drug, a generic version of favipiravir, was earlier sold at INR 103 ($1.37) per tablet to treat patients with mild-to-moderate Covid-19 symptoms. The company expects the price reduction to enable better access to its drug for patients across India.

Tonix Pharmaceuticals has entered into a new preclinical research and option agreement with Kansas State University for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate using a live virus vaccine vector platform and the CD40-ligand. Under the partnership, the university will be responsible for preclinical development of a live replicating virus vaccine against Covid-19 based on bovine parainfluenza virus.

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