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Coronavirus company news summary – Novavax expands Covid-19 vaccine study to adolescents – Covaxin found effective against key viral variants

By Chris Lo

Novavax has begun a paediatric expansion of its Phase III clinical trial for NVX-CoV2373, a recombinant protein vaccine candidate against the novel coronavirus. The paediatric arm of the PREVENT-19 trial will assess the safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of NVX-CoV2373 in roughly 3,000 adolescents aged 12-17 years across 75 centres in the US. The participants will be randomly allocated either the vaccine candidate or placebo in two doses within a gap of three weeks.

Biopharma company Ocugen has announced that a study by scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology demonstrated Covaxin’s potential efficacy against the UK, Brazil and Indian double mutant variants of the coronavirus. The study shows that Covaxin-vaccinated sera successfully neutralised the three key variants in an in-vitro plaque reduction neutralisation test. Ocugen is developing Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for the US market.

Specialty life sciences company Revive Therapeutics has signed a research agreement with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to study bucillamine in treating severe cases of Covid-19. The agreement will support laboratory research to assess the efficacy of bucillamine in pre-clinical models of coronavirus and design procedures to test the drug’s effectiveness in human trials. Bucillamine has previously been investigated for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and acute gout.

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