Coronavirus company news summary – Novartis launches Covid-19 non-profit medicines portfolio – Zydus launches clinical trials for its Covid-19 vaccines

16 July 2020 (Last Updated July 16th, 2020 09:02)

16 July 2020 

Novartis has launched a not-for-profit medicines portfolio to help treat Covid-19 symptoms in patients in 79 low-income and lower-middle-income countries. The portfolio includes 15 medicines from the company’s Sandoz unit for gastro-intestinal illness, acute respiratory symptoms, pneumonia and septic shock.

US-based BioAegis Therapeutics has received approval from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of recombinant human plasma gelsolin (rhu-pGSN) in hospitalised patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia. The company intends to begin enrolment soon and initiate the study at Hospital Universitari Sant Joan de Reus in Tarragona, Spain.

India-based Zydus has started dosing participants in the Phase I/II clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D, following the Drug Controller General of India's (DCGI) approval earlier this month. The trial will investigate the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate in more than 1,000 participants.

Gavi has said that 75 countries have expressed interest to join the COVAX access facility intended to ensure fast and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines globally. The 75 countries, which would fund the vaccines from their public budgets, will partner with up to 90 lower-income countries supported by voluntary donations to COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

Pharmaceutical company Lupin has closed one of its manufacturing plants in Ankleshwar, Gujarat, India after at least 17 workers tested positive for Covid-19. The company, which operates 11 manufacturing plants at the Ankleshwar site said that no cases have been reported from the other plants.