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April 3, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary

By Chris Lo

3 April 2020

Novartis, in alliance with Incyte, has announced plans to assess Jakavi (ruxolitinib) in a Phase III clinical trial to treat cytokine storm in patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia. The planned trial will compare a combination of Jakavi and standard-of-care (SoC) therapy against SoC alone. Read the full story here.

Amgen has partnered with Adaptive Biotechnologies to discover and develop fully human neutralising antibodies targeting the SARS-CoV-2 virus that could prevent or treat Covid-19. The alliance will combine Adaptive’s immune medicine platform with Amgen’s immunology and antibody development expertise. Read the full story here.

Vaccine development companies FluGen and Bharat Biotech have partnered with the University of Wisconsin–Madison to develop and evaluate a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, called CoroFlu. The vaccine is expected to complete laboratory testing in the next three to six months, and enter human clinical trials in the second half of 2020.

Vir Biotechnology and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals have expanded their multi-target infectious diseases alliance to include up to three targets for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. These targets include ACE2 and TMPRSS2, which are thought to be crucial for viral entry. The companies aim to develop and commercialise RNAi therapeutics for the new viral infection.

Apeiron Biologics has secured approvals from regulatory agencies in Austria, Germany and Denmark to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of its biologic candidate APN01 for the treatment of Covid-19. The randomised, double-blind Phase II trial will enroll up to 200 patients at ten sites across these three countries. Read the full story here.

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