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December 7, 2021updated 07 Jan 2022 5:31am

Coronavirus company news summary – Novartis working to develop coronavirus pill – Biovac to start Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine production in 2022

By Darcy Jimenez

Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis is reportedly working on a treatment that could be effective against most coronaviruses. Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan told Reuters that research is currently underway to develop a pill that can work against Covid-19 and other major coronaviruses. Last year, the company signed a deal with Molecular Partners to develop two DARPin-based therapies for Covid-19. Novartis expects to deliver a revenue growth of 4% or higher annually until 2026.

A Pfizer executive told Reuters that South Africa’s Biovac Institute will commence Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine production early next year. The production will commence after the African company obtains drug substance from European facilities. This follows Biovac ‘s ‘fill and finish’ deal with Pfizer in July. The move is expected to support inoculation in Africa where vaccination rate is relatively low compared to other regions.

Gb Sciences has reported positive results from a study that evaluated the efficacy of cannabinoid-containing complex mixtures (CCCM) for treating cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a complication of Covid-19. CCCM is designed to reduce the levels of specific cytokines and pro-inflammatory processes that are triggered by the novel coronavirus. The study found that specific CCCM formulations reduced cytokine release syndrome biomarkers, indicating that it may be effective for anti-inflammatory therapies for CRS and other conditions.

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