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August 27, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Japan partly suspends Moderna vaccine rollout over batch contamination concerns – Pfizer/BioNTech find Brazilian partner to produce Covid-19 jab for Latin American markets

By Chris Lo

Japan’s health ministry has stopped the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine over contamination reports. Contaminants were observed in some unused vials and 1.63 million doses from the same manufacturing line have been suspended as a precaution, reported Kyodo News. Moderna and Takeda Pharmaceutical, which is responsible for the sale and distribution of the vaccine in Japan, have not received any reports on safety issues. Moderna stated it was working with Takeda and regulators to resolve the issue.

Pfizer and BioNTech have signed a letter of intent with Brazil’s Eurofarma Laboratórios for the production of their Covid-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, for supply in Latin America. Eurofarma will begin manufacturing finished doses in 2022. Eurofarma’s vaccine production work will join Pfizer and BioNTech’s worldwide Covid-19 vaccine supply chain and manufacturing network, which includes over 20 production facilities across four continents. At full capacity, Eurofarma expects to manufacture more than 100 million finished doses per year.

Inovio has obtained approval from the Brazilian regulatory agency, ANVISA, to start the international Phase III part of the Phase II/III INNOVATE clinical trial assessing its DNA vaccine candidate, INO-4800, for Covid-19. Inovio and its partner Advaccine Biopharmaceuticals Suzhou intend to carry out the Phase III segment of INNOVATE in various countries.

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