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June 17, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – First Covid-19 drug aproved for NHS use – AstraZeneca signs a supply deal for its Covid-19 vaccine with Cobra

By Allie Nawrat

17 June 2020 

The UK Government has authorised the use of anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone for the treatment of Covid-19 on the National Health Service (NHS), immediately after the report of positive data from the RECOVERY trial. Preliminary data showed that the low-cost, commonly available drug reduced death by up to one third in hospitalised patients with severe respiratory complications caused by Covid-19.

The Russian Defence Ministry and the Gamalei National research center for epidemiology and microbiology are set to begin clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed in the country. Initially, one group of volunteers will receive the vaccine and based on the safety and tolerability data, the remaining participants will be successively vaccinated.

Cobra Biologics has entered a supply agreement with AstraZeneca to produce the Covid-19 vaccine, AZD1222, which was licensed from the University of Oxford. Cobra Biologics will manufacture the vaccine in line with the aim to begin first deliveries in the UK in September this year.

AGC Biologics and Swiss biotechnology company Saiba have agreed to work together for the development and manufacturing of a Covid-19 vaccine. Saiba will use its Cucumber Mosaic Virus VLP platform technology to develop the vaccine candidate.

China National Biotec Group (CNBG) has reported that its Covid-19 vaccine candidate was able to induce high-level antibodies in all participants vaccinated during a clinical trial launched in April this year, according to Reuters. The vaccine has been developed by the Wuhan Biological Products Research Institute affiliated to CNBG’s parent company Sinopharm.

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