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December 23, 2021updated 07 Jan 2022 6:17am

Coronavirus company news summary- France drops Merck’s anti-Covid-19 pill order- BiondVax signs deal for nanosized Covid-19 therapy

France has scrapped a previous order for 50,000 doses of Merck & Co’s anti-Covid-19 pill molnupiravir following disappointing trial data that was announced last month. The cancellation was announced by French health minister Olivier Veran. With the announcement, France became the first country to publicly cancel an order for the Merck treatment. According to a Reuters report, the European nation now plans to procure Pfizer’s similar drug before the end of January 2022.

BiondVax Pharmaceuticals entered into definitive agreements with Germany’s Max Planck Society (MPG) and the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) to develop and commercialise nanosized antibodies (NanoAbs) for Covid-19 and other diseases. The move comes after lead NanoAb candidates for the Covid-19 programme showed promise. They also have exhibited strong neutralisation at very low concentrations of major Covid-19 variants. The broader collaboration between the parties is expected to be signed next month.

Akston Biosciences has reported positive top-line data from the Phase II clinical trial of its protein sub-unit SARS-CoV2 vaccine candidate AKS-452. The data indicates strong seroconversion response after two 45μg doses or a single 90μg dose in healthy adults at 56 days. The study was conducted in the Netherlands. It was designed to assess safety, tolerability, reactogenicity and effectiveness of AKS-452. Additionally, Akston said that the candidate is shelf stable for at least 6 months at 25° C.

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