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April 23, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Imperial joins the Covid-19 vaccine race – MIT’s vaccine candidate enters pre-clinical development

By Allie Nawrat

23 April 2020 

Israeli venture investment platform OurCrowd is set to lead a $12m investment in vaccine company MigVax, which is working to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. The company, an affiliate of the Migal Galilee Research Institute, has previously created a vaccine against infectious bronchitis virus, a coronavirus strain that causes bronchial disease in poultry.

Imperial College London has secured £22.5m from the UK government to accelerate the development of a potential Covid-19 vaccine. The funding will be used to support Phase II clinical trials of the RNA vaccine candidate. Imperial has also joined a trial led by the University of Oxford, which is developing the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus.

German pharma giant Bayer’s Canadian arm has plans to team up with the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) for a global clinical research programme of potential Covid-19 treatments. The partners will conduct two studies to assess safety and efficacy of various combination therapies, including Bayer’s chloroquine and interferon beta-1b, in a total of 6,000 patients.

A research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US have advanced a Covid-19 vaccine candidate into preclinical tests in animal models. The candidate is said to be a subunit vaccine, which uses a small part of the virus’ protein to stimulate the immune system to detect the virus and prevent infection of host cells. The team is also working to create more vaccine candidates. Read the full story here

Professors at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in India are planning to conduct a clinical trial of anti-microbial drug fifatrol as potential Covid-19 treatment.The drug, which is produced from immunity-boosting herbs, is used to treat bacterial infections, flu and viral infections of upper respiratory tract.

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