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May 12, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Slovakia suspends use of AZ vaccine for first doses – FDA fast-tracks Cerecor’s CERC-002 for hospitalised Covid-19 patients

By Chris Lo

Slovakia’s Ministry of Health has suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for people receiving their first shots, after experts reviewed the death of a recipient. The State Institute for Drug Control (SUKL) confirmed that the death of a 47-year-old woman was likely caused by the company’s vaccine due to an existing condition she suffered from. Some European countries paused administering the AstraZeneca vaccine in March due to concerns over rare blood clots. Slovakia is currently using Covid-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, while those already vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab will continue with the second dose of the vaccine.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track status to biopharma company Cerecor’s CERC-002 treatment for hospitalised Covid-19 patients. CERC-002 is a first-in-class fully human monoclonal antibody targeting the LIGHT cytokine that is entitled to both rolling submission and priority review under the fast-track designation. The monoclonal antibody, which was licenced from Kyowa Kirin, is the only clinical-stage anti-LIGHT therapy and is expected to treat various LIGHT-associated immune diseases including cytokine storm-induced Covid-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Organicell Regenerative Medicine, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has announced that its Zofin therapy has been approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan for a Covid-19 patient on compassionate grounds. The treatment will take place at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and will adhere to all dosing protocols used by investigators in Organicell’s ongoing Phase I/II Covid-19 trial.

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