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April 15, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Denmark becomes world’s first country to halt use of AZ Covid-19 vaccine entirely – Novavax candidate joins Oxford vaccine mixing study

By Chris Lo

Denmark has become the first country in the world to discontinue the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine altogether, following a potential link between the vaccine and an unusual but serious form of blood clots. The country’s health agency has reported “real and serious side effects” from the vaccine. The completion of Denmark’s vaccination has been pushed back from late July to August, although a third of the country’s contracted vaccine supply is for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the rollout of which is delayed in Europe over similar clotting concerns and the use of which Denmark has currently suspended.

Biotechnology company Novavax will participate in an expanded investigator-initiated Phase II clinical trial called the Comparing Covid-19 Vaccine Schedule Combinations – Stage 2 (Com-COV2), which is being conducted by the University of Oxford along with the UK Vaccines Taskforce. Novavax’s recombinant protein vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373, is among the four Covid-19 vaccines that will be studied to assess the benefits for combined regimens that will mix vaccines from various manufacturers to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Cyclica has collaborated with Canadian research institutions to identify a repurposed drug, capmatinib, that shows robust antiviral effects in experimental Covid-19 models. Capmatinib, a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved MET inhibitor, marketed by Novartis as Tabrecta, is clinically used to treat non-small cell lung cancer.

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