13 May 2020

India-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has started Phase III clinical trials of anti-flu drug favipiravir as a potential treatment for patients with Covid-19 in the country. Favipiravir is a generic version of Fujifilm Toyama Chemical’s influenza drug Avigan and Glenmark developed the product’s API and formulations internally. More than ten government and private hospitals in India are being recruited for the trial, which is expected to be completed by July or August.

Gilead Sciences has entered non-exclusive licensing agreements with Mylan, Cipla, Hetero Labs and Jubilant Life Sciences in India, as well as Ferozsons Laboratories in Pakistan, to expand the access to its investigational antiviral drug remdesivir for Covid-19. The agreements will enable the five partners to manufacture and distribute remdesivir in 127 countries.

Swiss biopharmaceutical company Neovii has signed a research and license agreement with Tel Aviv University (TAU) in Israel to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. The deal will provide Neovii with exclusive right to develop and commercialise a new platform technology developed by TAU’s professor Jonathan Gershoni to identify epitope-based vaccines.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has collaborated with China-based CanSino Biologics to advance bioprocessing and clinical development of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Ad5-nCoV, which secured Chinese regulatory approval to enter clinical trials. The alliance is intended to enable future trials of the vaccine candidate in Canada while NRC scales-up the production process.