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Coronavirus company news summary – Lilly donates 400,000 baricitinib tablets to India – EMA starts real-time review of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine

By Chris Lo

Eli Lilly is boosting the availability of baricitinib in India through donations and royalty-free licensing agreements to accelerate the production of the drug in the country. The company is making an initial donation of 400,000 baricitinib tablets and is planning to increase the quantity of donated drug over the next few weeks. Baricitinib in combination with remdesivir has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration to treat Covid-19 in hospitalised adults and paediatric patients aged above two years.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started a real-time review of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine, called COVID-19 Vaccine (Vero Cell) Inactivated, based on data from animal and human trials. This is the first Chinese vaccine that the regulator is reviewing in real time and the fourth to undergo a review of this kind, after vaccines developed by CureVac (CVnCoV), Novavax (NVX-CoV2373) and Russia’s Gamaleya Institute (Sputnik V). In various studies, Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine has demonstrated efficacy rates of 50%-90% and has been approved in China, Indonesia, Brazil and Turkey.

Biotech company AbCellera has entered clinical trials with a new antibody developed by the company in collaboration with Eli Lilly, which has demonstrated efficacy in neutralising variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in pre-clinical studies. The antibody, LY-CoV1404, has now started clinical trials in patients suffering with mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19. Lilly will evaluate the antibody by expanding its ongoing BLAZE-4 trials along with other monoclonal antibodies.

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