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August 4, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Lilly/Incyte report positive efficacy data for baricitinib against severe Covid-19 – Alnylam discontinues development of RNAi therapy

By Chris Lo

Eli Lilly and Incyte have reported new data from an additional cohort of the Phase III COV-BARRIER clinical trial, demonstrating that baricitinib decreased mortality risk in Covid-19 patients on mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The sub-study data from 101 adults revealed that baricitinib plus standard of care (SoC) led to 46% and 44% reduced mortality risk by day 28 and day 60, respectively, versus placebo plus SoC.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals is discontinuing the development of ALN-COV, an RNAi therapeutic co-developed with Vir Biotechnology, for the treatment of Covid-19. The decision was announced as part of Alnylam’s second-quarter financial results, with the company noting the discontinuation of development is due to the availability of effective vaccines and other therapies for the disease.

Premas Biotech has entered a licensing agreement with Oravax Medical to develop and commercialise its virus-like-particle (VLP) Covid-19 vaccine technology in India. Premas will receive the rights to develop an injectable version of the VLP technology, which could offer protection against the delta SARS- CoV-2 variant. The company will produce, evaluate and potentially market the injectable VLP vaccine in India, which has recorded about 31 million cases and more than 400,000 deaths so far.

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