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In association with Cytiva for Cell & Gene Therapy coverage
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May 24, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Japan grants emergency approval to AZ vaccine – Samsung Biologics to provide fill-finish manufacturing for Moderna jab

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine Vaxzevria, formerely AZD1222, has received emergency use approval in Japan for inoculating individuals aged 18 years and older. The approval was granted by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on the basis of positive Phase III efficacy and safety results from the Oxford University-led clinical trial programme in Brazil, South Africa and the UK, as well as a Phase I/II trial conducted in Japan.

Moderna and contract manufacturing organisation Samsung Biologics have entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement that will require the latter to carry out large-scale, commercial fill-finish manufacturing for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273. Immediate technology transfer is expected to commence at Samsung Biologics’ facilities in South Korea after the deal is executed. This will speed the production of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine to non-US markets in the third quarter of the year.

US-based biotechnology company Therapeutic Solutions International has announced new data and patent filing indicating that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug, lithium carbonate, substantially increased the scar inhibiting activity of its licensed JadiCell universal donor stem cell therapy. Data further revealed that the JadiCell was more effective than other stem cells at obstructing the development of lung scarring in pulmonary fibrosis. Therapeutic Solutions chief medical officer Dr James Veltmeyer said the data suggest JadiCell could treat post-Covid lung failure, with long-term lung scarring affecting around a third of those who have been hospitalised with Covid-19.

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