Global Markets

J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine: ‘Four production plants, one billion doses by end of 2021’

J&J says its Janssen Adeno vector and PER.C6 technologies provide the ability to rapidly develop and upscale production of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate Not unexpectedly, much of Johnson & Johnson’s Q1 2020 financial call was taken up with talk of coronavirus. “COVID-19 is one of the most severe global health challenges we have seen in our lifetimes, but at the same time, we have unprecedented science and technology available today to help us mount a false and effective response,” said…

No official cases but North Korea looks to up coronavirus testing

North Korea has asked for help to increase COVID-19 monitoring capacity and has received reagents needed for testing, according to the WHO. Officially no COVID-19 cases have been reported in North Korea (DPRK). However, only a few hundred people have been tested for SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes the disease, according to World Health Organization (WHO) representative to DPR Korea, Edwin Salvador. “The WHO has been receiving weekly updates from the [DPRK] Ministry of Health on COVID-19. As of 2…

Cytiva on board for University of Queensland COVID-19 vaccine project

Cytiva – formerly known as GE Healthcare Life Sciences – will develop a prototype affinity resin to support a COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by the University of Queensland A team from the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia is working on a fast-tracked vaccine for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, using its molecular clamp’ technology. The platform tech, invented by UQ scientists and patented by UniQuest, aims to provide stability to the viral protein that is the primary target for our…

BAT biotech using tobacco to make COVID-19 vaccine candidate

British American Tobacco (BAT) will use its tobacco-based expression technology to make a not-for-profit vaccine candidate targeting the novel coronavirus. The vaccine candidate has been developed by Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), the wholly owned subsidiary of the Big Tobacco firm BAT. “KBP recently cloned a portion of the genetic sequence encoding the selected coronavirus antigen – a substance which induces an immune response in the body and the production of antibodies,” a BAT spokesperson told this publication. “This sequence was then…

Supporting Small and Virtual Companies for Clinical Trials

SPONSORED   The virtual pharma business model has gradually become a popular alternative to traditional pharma. As an integrated service provider, Yourway offers the logistical support from study design to packaging needed by virtual and small companies entering into clinical trials. Yourway is a large organization that has flexible solutions embedded in our offering, and this nimbleness and agility help us to provide optimal solutions to virtual pharma companies. Virtual pharma companies are not bound to an organization’s internal, in-house service…

Novartis close to EU approval for Zolgensma at last

Novartis’s AveXis unit has received a CHMP nod for the spinal muscular atrophy gene therapy at its latest meeting, sending it on the final steps to market in the EU. After several delays plus a row over a controversial lottery-style managed access program in Europe, Novartis gene therapy Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec) has finally been granted a positive opinion by the EU’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). The committee has recommended a conditional marketing authorization of Zolgensma for the…

In brief: CDMO Cobra collaborates on coronavirus vaccine

Cobra Biologics and the Karolinska Institutet with EU Horizon 2020 emergency funding in hand have teamed to develop a DNA vaccine against COVID-19. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Cobra Biologics and Swedish medical university form part of a consortium called OPENCORONA aimed at developing and manufacturing a DNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) set to be delivered to patient muscle to generate  a viral antigen on which the immune system then reacts. The consortium, which also includes Karolinska…

J&J to expand vaccine capacity as part of $1bn BARDA coronavirus collaboration

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) says it will leverage and expand facilities in The Netherlands and Pennsylvania in efforts to reach one billion doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. In February, J&J teamed up with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At the time the company said it would work to upscale production and manufacturing capacities, leveraging its AdVac and PER.C6…

Vaccine production plant forms part of Canada’s COVID-19 response

The University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) has received funding from the Canadian government to construct a pilot manufacturing plant to support trials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Like many governments, Canada’s is ploughing funds into tackling the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the globe. A CAD 275 million ($195 million) fund for COVID-19 health research has been announced, and includes several investment in USask’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), which it says is one of the largest and most…

Rapid response vaccine capacity vital for pandemics, BIO-Europe

Experts fighting COVID-19 say governments and industry must invest in vaccine plants that can be brought online during future pandemics. The call came during the online conference BIO-Europe Spring plenary session. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel – whose RNA vaccine entered Phase I trials weeks after the SAR-COv2 sequence was published – told delegates rapid scale-up is vital during a pandemic. “The piece we are missing is infrastructure – Moderna is using a development plant to make vaccine for trials and…