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May 18, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – UNICEF urges G7 nations to donate to COVAX scheme as India vaccine supply shortfall looms – Oracle partners with Oxford Uni on Covid-19 analysis

By Chris Lo

The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has urged G7 countries to donate supplies to the COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme, to address a severe shortfall of vaccines caused by disruption of Indian vaccine supplies to the facility. India stopped exporting its AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India (SII), as the country faces an emergency to tackle a massive second wave of infections. UNICEF, the UN agency responsible for supplying Covid-19 vaccines through COVAX, is expecting a supply deficit of 190 million doses by the end of June.

Oxford University and US-based computer software company Oracle have partnered to create a Global Pathogen Analysis System (GPAS) to enable scientists, public health agencies, diagnostic companies and healthcare services to analyse the Covid-19 disease, and other microbial dangers to public health. The new Scalable Pathogen Pipeline Platform (SP3) will compare sequence data of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, yielding genomic sequences and detecting new variants and those of concern.

Biopharmaceutical company Humanigen and Chime, a contract development and manufacturing organisation, have entered into a manufacturing services agreement to produce lenzilumab bulk drug substance and drug product for Humanigen for commercial use after receiving regulatory approvals in regions outside the US such as Brazil, Europe, India, and the UK. Chime will use the KuBio (Cytiva) biologics facility in China, the technical transfer work of which has already been initiated, and the commercial product will be available in 2022.

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