30 July 2020 

The European Commission (EC) has signed a contract with US-based Gilead Sciences for treatment doses of remdesivir (Veklury). From next month, batches of the drug will be supplied to EU Member States and the UK. The contract, which is valued at €63m, will provide treatment for around 30,000 patients with severe Covid-19.

India-based Hetero Labs has launched a generic version of antiviral drug favipiravir, under the brand name Favivir, to treat Covid-19 patients in the country. The Drug Controller General of India authorised the use of favipiravir for mild to moderate coronavirus symptoms. Priced at INR59 ($0.79) per tablet, the drug has been made available at all medical retail outlets and hospital pharmacies across India.

Denali Therapeutics has announced that its partner Sanofi has started dosing of a small molecule RIPK1 inhibitor, DNL758, in a Phase Ib clinical trial involving hospitalised adults with severe Covid-19 lung disease. The drug candidate is expected to reduce the exaggerated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and in turn limit potential tissue damage.

Intravacc has partnered with Celonic Group to design, develop and produce a Covid-19 vaccine using an immunogenic Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. The partners will leverage Intravacc’s Outer Membrane Vesicle technology along with S-proteins expressed by Celonic’s CHOvolution mammalian cell expression system.

Argentina has commenced human clinical trials to study the use of hyperimmune serum developed with antibodies from horses for the treatment of Covid-19. Produced by biotechnology company Inmunova, the serum is obtained by injecting a SARS-CoV-2 protein to the animals, noted Reuters.