8 April 2020 

Vaccine manufacturer Indian Immunologicals and Griffith University in Australia have partnered to develop a potential vaccine candidate against Covid-19. The partners intend to create a live attenuated vaccine using codon de-optimisation technology. This approach is expected to create a vaccine that could offer longer protection with a single dose. Read the full story here.

Queen’s University Belfast researchers in Northern Ireland are conducting a clinical trial of allogenic mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) related to Covid-19 coronavirus infection. The REALIST COVID 19 trial participants will receive purified MSCs obtained from umbilical cord tissue called ORBCEL-C, which is developed by Republic of Ireland-based Orbsen Therapeutics.

The University of Bristol in the UK and its spin-out company Imophoron are set to assess Covid-19 vaccine candidates in preclinical tests. The candidates are based on Imophoron’s ADDomer vaccine platform, which is a self-assembling, virus-like particle (VLP).

Wellcome has launched the COVID-Zero initiative, which aims to raise $8bn by the end of this month to help fund the development of vaccines, treatments and testing for Covid-19. The organisation said that the funding will be ‘the world’s best exit strategy’ for fighting the coronavirus.

Eli Lilly has reduced the out-of-pocket cost for insulin to $35 per month to help diabetes patients across the US in response to the Covid-19 crisis in the country. The new initiative, which is called the Lilly Insulin Value Program, will be available for people with and without insurance and covers the majority of the company’s insulins.

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