Coronavirus company news summary – Novartis and Incyte to launch second Phase III trial of Jakafi – Gilead to ramp up manufacturing capacity for remdesivir

6 May 2020 (Last Updated May 6th, 2020 09:24)

6 May 2020 

Scientists at Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Italy have claimed that a vaccine candidate could neutralise coronavirus within human cells. According to findings from the tests conducted at Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, the vaccine had generated antibodies in mice that also work on human cells.

Gilead Sciences is in discussions with chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies for the production of its experiment antiviral drug remdesivir, which is being tested as a potential Covid-19 treatment, for global supply through at least 2022. The company aims to form a consortium of manufacturing partners in an effort to maximise supply worldwide.

Novartis’s partner Incyte is set to launch a second Phase III clinical trial in the US to assess Jakafi (ruxolitinib) to treat Covid-19 patients on mechanical ventilation with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The first Phase III trial of the drug, which is investigating if the drug can treat Covid-19-related cytokine storm, is sponsored by Incyte in the US and by Novartis outside of the US.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has said that its investigational antibody therapy for Covid-19 could be available for dosing by the end of August this year. The company advanced its lead neutralising antibodies into pre-clinical and clinical-scale cell production lines last month. The company is also working to rapidly scale-up manufacturing.