12 May 2020 

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has agreed to provide up to $384m, in addition to $4m offered in March, to support Novavax in the development and manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373. The fresh funds will be used to conduct a Phase I/II clinical trial and to scale-up production.

A new clinical trial, led by University of Oxford, has been launched in the UK to assess pre-existing drugs for the treatment of patients aged above 50 years with signs of Covid-19. Named PRINCIPLE, the trial is said to be the first to be conducted in primary care setting; more than 500 GP practices have started enrolment for the study.

Biopharmaceutical firm Themis has partnered with contract development and manufacturing organisation ABL Europe for the manufacture of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in France for clinical trials. The vaccine is based on measles virus vaccine platform technology licensed by Themis from Institut Pasteur. Themis is also working with  the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh and CEPI to develop the vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended expanding compassionate use of Gilead Sciences experimental drug remdesivir for Covid-19 to include patients other than those undergoing invasive mechanical ventilation. The drug can now be given to hospitalised patients requiring supplemental oxygen, non-invasive ventilation and high-flow oxygen devices.

The German government has agreed to provide €750m for a programme focused on the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, said Research Minister Anja Karliczek. The funds will be used to boost clinical trial capacities in the country, as well as expand production capacity.

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