Coronavirus company news summary – UK signs agreements with two new Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers – Imperial College London advances its vaccine further into clinical trials

20 July 2020 (Last Updated July 20th, 2020 09:09)

20 July 2020 

The UK Government has signed an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech for the supply of 30 million doses of the companies’ mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162. In addition, the government has entered into similar deal with French company Valneva, which agreed to provide up to 100 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine to the UK. These two agreements are in addition to the UK's existing deal with AstraZeneca, meaning the UK will have access to three different types of Covid-19 vaccines.

Gilead Sciences' Hong Kong unit has received conditional approval from the country's Pharmacy and Poisons Committee for the use of Veklury (remdesivir) to treat Covid-19. The company has to submit additional data collected on the safety, efficacy and quality of remdesivir from ongoing clinical studies and post-marketing report to Hong Kong's Drug Office of Department of Health.

Imperial College London in the UK has advanced its Covid-19 vaccine candidate into next phase of the COVAC1 clinical trial, following the success in initial dose escalation phase involving 15 volunteers. The latest phase of the study will enrol 105 participants aged 18-75 years who will be given one of three doses of the vaccine candidate.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Ethics Committee has provided approval for clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech in alliance with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). The trial, which will be performed at 12 sites, will begin enrolment today.

Japan-based Fujifilm is set to conduct a human clinical trial of its antiviral drug Avigan in Kuwait, according to Japan Times. The trial will be performed in alliance with India-based Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and is designed to assess the drug’s effectiveness in up to 1,000 participants.