Coronavirus company news summary – Moderna in talks with the EC about vaccine supply – Novavax launches Phase II of Covid-19 vaccine trials

25 August 2020 (Last Updated August 25th, 2020 09:17)

25 August 2020 

Moderna has completed advanced exploratory discussions with the European Commission (EC) for the supply of 80 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. The proposed agreement includes an option for European Union (EU) Member States to acquire an additional 80 million doses. The vaccine candidate is currently in a Phase III clinical trial.

Novavax has started enrolment for the second phase of a Phase I/II clinical trial assessing its Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The Phase II, which expands the age range of the Phase I portion by including older adults aged 60-84 years, is a randomised, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded study designed to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and immunogenicity when given with Matrix-M adjuvant.

Catalent has agreed to manufacture drug substance for AstraZeneca/Oxford University’s potential Covid-19 vaccine. Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy will produce the drug substance at the company’s commercial gene therapy manufacturing facility in Harmans, Maryland, US. Catalent plans to run multiple production trains simultaneously for the manufacturing, which is set to begin in the third quarter of this year. In June, the company committed to large-scale vial filling and packaging of the vaccine candidate at its facility in Anagni, Italy.

Innovation Pharmaceuticals has reported promising data from ongoing in-vitro testing of its Brilacidin at a US Regional Biocontainment Laboratory to potentially treat Covid-19. Data showed that the drug has a high selectivity index (SI), which is used to compare the antiviral efficacy between investigational drugs. In a human lung epithelial cell line, the drug's SI was observed to be greater than 300. This value is higher than the SIs of a majority of other antiviral drugs being tested against Covid-19, said the company.

NantKwest and ImmunityBio are to jointly develop, manufacture, market and commercialise Covid-19 therapeutics and vaccines. The partners will equally share the costs incurred after 21 August 2020 for the development, manufacturing, marketing and commercialisation of Covid-19 candidates being developed by each company. If a product is commercialised, net profits will be split on a 60-40 percentage basis, where the developing company will get the larger share.