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June 22, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – NIH and Novartis halt hydroxychloroquine trials – Two companies to treat patients in India with Gilead’s remdesivir

By Allie Nawrat

22 June 2020

India-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has secured regulatory approval for the manufacturing and marketing of antiviral drug Favipiravir, under the brand name FabiFlu, to treat mild to moderate Covid-19. The approval, granted under an accelerated process, marks the first authorisation for oral Favipiravir in India for this indication.

Clover Biopharmaceuticals has started dosing participants in a Phase I clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate based on its Trimer-Tag vaccine technology platform, with preliminary data expected in August this year. The trial will assess GlaxoSmithKline’s pandemic adjuvant system as well as Dynavax Technology’s CpG 1018 adjuvant in combination with alum.

India-based pharmaceutical companies Hetero and Cipla have separately launched remdesivir, under the brand name COVIFOR and CIPREMI respectively, to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients in the country. Both companies secured regulatory authorisations for the drug originally developed by Gilead Sciences, which granted non-exclusive licence to expand access to the experimental antiviral medication.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has halted a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine to treat adults hospitalised with Covid-19, after a data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) found that the drug is not likely to be beneficial. Novartis has also decided to discontinue its hydroxychloroquine trial for Covid-19 over enrolment challenges, which made completion of the study infeasible.

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