Coronavirus company news summary – Merck to support the manufacturing of J&J’s Covid-9 vaccine – AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine doses are starting to be supplied to the developing world through COVAX

3 March 2021 (Last Updated March 3rd, 2021 08:41)

3 March 2021

Bioengineering company CN Bio announced it has received a grant from Innovate UK, to develop human-relevant single and multi-organ models to advance research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. The funding will allow CN Bio to develop and test advanced cell culture models that represent different parts of the lung and subsequently link these models to other organs, such as the liver and gut, to guide the development of novel Covid-19 therapeutics.

The first doses of AstraZeneca/University of Oxford‘s Covid-19 vaccine have arrived in many low and middle-income countries across the world through the COVAX initiative. Reports suggests that supply to 142 countries is currently underway, with a majority of doses being manufactured by AstraZeneca and its licence partner the Serum Institute of India. The first COVAX shipments were dispatched to Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire last week, and doses are expected to arrive soon in the Philippines, Fiji, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Moldova.

The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will provide Merck with $268.8m in funding to enhance the existing manufacturing facilities for Covid-19 vaccines and medicines production. Merck will also support the manufacturing and supply of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine using its facilities in the US to formulate and fill vials of the vaccine.