Coronavirus company news summary – Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine reports positive early data – UNICEF to lead procurement for COVAX Facility

7 September 2020 (Last Updated September 7th, 2020 10:58)

The Australian Government has signed a supply and production agreement valued at A$1.7bn ($1.2bn) to potentially offer a free Covid-19 vaccine to its citizens next year. As part of the deal, the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca and the University of Queensland/CSL agreed to supply a total of more than 84.8 million doses of their respective vaccines.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology have reported positive data from Phase I/II trials of the country’s registered Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V. According to data published in The Lancet, no serious adverse events were reported in Phase I/II studies. The vaccine candidate also elicited a stable humoral and cellular immune response in all participants.

Germany-based CureVac has received a notification from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that the company will receive up to €252m to support its Covid-19 vaccine candidate’s development and manufacturing. The company expects to receive up to €103m this year and up to €149m next year. Payments will be based on predefined milestones.

AstraZeneca is set to initiate Phase I/II clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Japan, with an aim to enrol approximately 250 participants at various sites across the country. The company partnered with Daiichi Sankyo, JCR Pharma and other firms in Japan to manufacture and distribute the vaccine candidate.

UNICEF has agreed to work with the PAHO Revolving Fund to lead efforts to procure and supply Covid-19 vaccine doses on behalf of the COVAX Facility for 92 low- and lower middle-income countries. UNICEF will also act as procurement coordinator for 80 higher-income economies that agreed to be part of COVAX. These activities will be carried out in alliance with WHO, Gavi, CEPI, PAHO, World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners.