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November 5, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Novavax signs a supply deal with Australia – Peru and Chile to start trials of AstraZeneca and J&J’s Covid-19 vaccines

By Allie Nawrat

5 November 2020 

Novavax has announced a non-binding Heads of Terms agreement with the Australian Government to deliver 40 million doses of NVX-CoV2373, its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, for the country. Stanley Erck, president and CEO of Novavax, stated that he was pleased with the vaccines’ progress in ongoing Phase III clinical trials in the UK; interim data is expected in the first quarter of 2021.

Researchers from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and Pere Virgili Institut in Spain revealed that people taking statins have a 22% to 25% better chance of survival from Covid-19. Statins are currently administered in one in four people to reduce cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Data further reported mortality rates to fall by 25% if treated with statins during hospitalisation, preventing one in four deaths.

BioNTech’s Chinese partner Fosun has finished early stage clinical trials of the German biotechnology company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate and is not planning to run further trials. Fosun, instead, is seeking Chinese approval for another of BioNTech’s experimental vaccines currently undergoing  final-stage human trials in the US. Developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, the new vaccine is under regulatory review in Europe and may receive emergency use authorisation in the US this month.

Sebastian Piñera, the President of Chile, has announced that the country’s regulator had approved AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials. This would follow trials by Johnson & Johnson (J&) and Sinovac in Chile, according to Reuters. Piñera further added that Chile was preparing to have a ready supply of Covid-19 vaccines for vulnerable populations by the start of 2021. Peru also confirmed that J&J and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trials would be starting in the country next week.

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