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June 18, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Roche’s Actemra not more effective than standard treatment – CureVac begins clinical trials of its vaccine

By Allie Nawrat

18 June 2020 

CureVac has secured approval from the German Health Authority Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI) and the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAMHP) for Phase I clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, named CVnCoV. The Phase I dose escalation trial will assess a dose range of 2µg to 8µg in 168 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 60 years.

Roche’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra has not reduced severe respiratory symptoms, intensive care visits or death in early-stage Covid-19 patients with pneumonia participating in an Italian study, according to Reuters. The study was stopped early following an interim analysis, which indicated that the drug was not likely to be effective, when compared to standard treatments.

PDS Biotechnology has signed an agreement with Farmacore Biotechnology to jointly develop a Versamune-based Covid-19 vaccine. The companies will advance the candidate into Phase I clinical trials in Brazil that will be initially funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication (MCTIC).

Gilead Sciences is set to assess its investigational antiviral drug remdesivir in paediatric patients with moderate-to-severe Covid-19. The company will enrol 50 paediatric participants, including newborns, in a Phase II/III clinical trial at more than 30 sites across the US and Europe.

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