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April 27, 2021updated 22 Nov 2021 7:22am

Coronavirus company news summary – EU sues AZ over vaccine supply issues – Natco applies for authorisation of Phase III molnupiravir trial in India

By Chris Lo

The European Commission has initiated legal action against AstraZeneca for breaching its Covid-19 vaccine supply contract and for lacking a clear-cut strategy for ensuring timely supply of doses. AstraZeneca promised to supply 180 million vaccine doses to the European Union during the second quarter of 2021 under the contract, out of a total 300 million doses were planned to be delivered between December and June. The company, however, announced in March that it would deliver only 100 million doses by the end of June.

Indian pharma company Natco Pharma has applied to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for authorising a Phase III clinical trial of molnupiravir capsules for the treatment of Covid-19. Molnupiravir (MK-4482) was developed by US-based pharma firm Merck in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and has strong anti-influenza activity, showing promise in limiting SARS-CoV-2 replication.

French pharma company Sanofi has signed an agreement with Moderna to manufacture around 200 million doses of latter’s Covid-19 vaccine in the US from September. The vaccine doses will be manufactured at Sanofi’s facility in Ridgefield, New Jersey. Other vaccine manufacturing commitments made by Sanofi in 2021 include supporting the production of 125 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for the EU, and manufacturing 12 million doses a month of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at one of its French plants.

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