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September 15, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – RECOVERY trial starts studying Regeneron’s antibody cocktail – UK signs €900m supply deal with Valneva

By Allie Nawrat

15 September 2020 

A large-scale randomised clinical trial, RECOVERY, which is led by the University of Oxford in the UK, is set to test Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ anti-viral antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2, to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients. The trial will assess REGN-COV2 plus usual standard-of-care compared to standard-of-care alone in a total of about 4,000 patients. REGN-COV2 is said to be the first specifically designed Covid-19 treatment evaluated by RECOVERY.

The UAE has granted emergency approval for use of a Covid-19 inactivated vaccine developed by Chinese-based pharmaceutical company Sinopharm. A Phase III trial of the vaccine candidate was commenced in the UAE in July and is ongoing. UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said that the vaccine will be given to its ‘first line of defence heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus.’

The UK Government has signed an agreement, valued at nearly €900m, for the supply of French company Valneva’s inactivated Covid-19 vaccine, VLA2001. Valneva agreed to provide 60 million doses in the second half of next year. The UK holds options for more than 40 million doses in 2022 and an additional 30-90 million doses, in aggregate, across 2023 to 2025.

Eli Lilly has plans to seek emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies for its baricitinib to treat hospitalised patients. The decision is based on data from ACTT-2 clinical trial, where the combination of baricitinib with Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir reduced time to recovery when compared to remdesivir alone in hospitalised Covid-19 patients. If authorised, Lilly will make baricitinib available via commercial channels and will work with hospitals and governments to allow patient access.

Researchers at Imperial College London will conduct small clinical trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of inhaled versions of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate, as well as the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. Currently, clinical trials are testing intramuscular formulations of these vaccine candidates. The new trials will assess low, medium and high dose of the vaccines administered as an aerosol in a total of 30 participants.

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