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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:01 pm


(December 12, 1980) The Bayh–Dole Act
Sponsored by two senators, Birch Bayh(Democrat) of Indiana and Bob Dole(Republican) of Kansas the Act was adopted in 1980.
A key change made by Bayh–Dole was in the procedures by which federal contractors(global pharma companies) that acquired ownership of inventions
made with federal funding(taxpayers money) could retain that ownership. Before the Bayh–Dole Act, the Federal Procurement Regulation
required the use of a patent rights clause that in some cases required federal contractors or their inventors to assign
inventions made under contract to the federal government unless the funding agency determined that the public interest
was better served by allowing the contractor or inventor to retain principal or exclusive rights.


(1981) The Eyes of Darkness - a thriller novel written by American writer Dean Koontz.
The novel mentions a bioweapon that in earlier editions is called "Gorki-400"
and in later editions was called "Wuhan-400".
Gorki is a Russian city and named as the origin of that bioweapon in the 1981 edition.
Due to the end of the Cold War, the origin of the bioweapon was changed to the Chinese city of Wuhan
and the bioweapon was renamed "Wuhan-400"  for the 2008 edition onward.




(February  1995) right-wing  extremist,  Larry  Wayne  Harris  from  Ohio,
ordered three vials of plague pathogen from the American Type Culture Collection,
one of the largest collections  of  microorganisms  in  the  world. In  the  same  year,  
the  extreme  right-winger  Timothy McVeigh carried out a bomb attack against a government building in Oklahoma City,
killing more than 150 people.


(January 03, 1997) Donald H. Rumsfeld Named Chairman of Gilead Sciences

In 1997, Donald Rumsfeld was appointed Chairman of the Board of Gilead Sciences,
a company which a year earlier had developed ‘Tamiflu’(oseltamivir), originally a drug for AIDS
and later marketed as a vaccine for H5N1 avian flu. Upon becoming US Defence Secretary in 2001,
he ordered $1 billion worth of Tamiflu to be bought and injected into US soldiers as a ‘precaution’.
At the time, Rumsfeld was the principal stockholder of Gilead Sciences.
Worse still, it later emerged that Tamiflu was not even effective as a H5N1 vaccine.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:02 pm


(September 2000) PNAC(Project for the New American Century) released "Rebuilding America's Defenses"
a report that promotes "the belief that America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces." (Introduction part IV)
The report also states, "advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."(page 60)
"Further, the process of transformation,even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor."(page 51)


(June 22-23, 2001) Dark Winter Exercise
Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Studies, the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security,
and the Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention Terrorism, hosted a senior-level war game
examining the national security, intergovernmental, and information challenges of a biological attack on the American homeland.

(September 3, 2001)Top scientist warns Britain to be prepared for biological warfare
Sir William, president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, told fellow scientists:
"There are those who say the First World War was chemical, the Second World War was nuclear, and that the third world war ­ God forbid ­ will be biological.

(September 11, 2001) Dancing Israelis
A New York resident referred to by ABC only as "Maria" reports that on the morning of 9/11,
a neighbor called her shortly after the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
She watched the destruction unfolding in lower Manhattan through binoculars
and three young men kneeling on the roof of a white 2000 Chevrolet van
in the parking lot of her apartment building caught her attention since "they seemed to be taking a movie".
Particularly suspicious she found the expressions on the men's faces. "They were like happy, you know...

(September 18, 2001) One week afer the 9/11 attack
on the World Trade Center towers in New York City, letters containing
anthrax bacteria were mailed to several news media offices and two
U.S. Senators, ultimately killing five people and infecting 17 others.

During their investigation, the FBI concluded that Bruce Edward Ivins,
a microbiologist for the United States Army, had mailed the deadly letters.
The FBI obtained some of the anthrax spores and analyzed them.
After analyzing the spores, the FBI traced the spores to a military
lab located at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

(October 26, 2001)The USA PATRIOT Act - is an Act of the United States Congress that was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush.
Those opposing the law have criticized its authorization of indefinite detentions
of immigrants; the permission given to law enforcement to search a home or business without the owner's or the occupant's consent or knowledge;
the expanded use of National Security Letters, which allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search telephone, e-mail,
and financial records without a court order; and the expanded access of law enforcement agencies to business records, including library and financial records.
Since its passage, several legal challenges have been brought against the act, and federal courts have ruled that a number of provisions are unconstitutional.
Many of the act's provisions were to sunset beginning December 31, 2005, approximately four years after its passage. In the months preceding the sunset date, supporters of the act pushed to make its sun-setting provisions permanent, while critics sought to revise various sections to enhance civil liberty protections.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:12 pm


(January 25, 2002) NIH Budget Reaches Doubling Point
President George W. Bush will propose a National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget of $27.3 billion,
a rise of almost 16% that represents a doubling since 1998. The sum is gratifying to biomedical lobbying groups,
which have pushed hard to double the NIH budget over 5 years.
But the victory isn't entirely sweet: The bulk of the new money in 2003 would go for bioterrorism,
which means most of NIH's 27 institutes will likely get smaller increases.

(February 19, 2002) Bush Will Not Name AIDS Researcher Anthony Fauci as NIH Director, Unnamed Official Says; Abortion Politics Cited
The AP/Post-Dispatch reports that HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson (Republican politician) has been "pushing" for Fauci
who has been the director of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984

(May 4, 2002) Scientists' deaths are under the microscope
Eleven microbiologists mysteriously dead over the span of just five months.
Some of them world leaders in developing weapons-grade biological plagues.
Others the best in figuring out how to stop millions from dying because of biological weapons.
Still others, experts in the theory of bioterrorism.

Scientists reported yesterday that they had constructed a virus from scratch for the first time,
synthesizing a live polio virus from chemicals and publicly available genetic information.
The work, conducted by scientists at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, was financed by the Pentagon
as part of a program to develop biowarfare countermeasures. The scientists constructed the virus using its genome sequence,
which is available on the Internet, as their blueprint and genetic material from one of the many companies that sell made-to-order DNA.

(November 16, 2002) First known case of atypical pneumonia(SARS) occurs in Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China,
but is not identified until much later


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:15 pm


(October 2003) Ageless Bodies (The President's (George W. Bush) Council on Bioethics, Washington, D.C.)
It may at first seem strange to suggest that we yearn for an "ageless body,"
not a term commonly heard and certainly not the conscious and explicit longing of very many people.
Still, when properly examined, something like a desire for an "ageless body" seems in fact to be commonplace and deeply held;
and should our capacities to retard the senescence of our bodies increase,
that desire may well become more explicit and strong.
In this sense, it is fundamentally the aging of the body we wish to stop.
But it is more than the dread of decline that motivates us to seek ageless bodies.
Different human societies have had very different conceptions of the divine,
but one attribute has almost universally been attached to the gods: immortality.
Our subjection to death-and our awareness of this fact-is central to what makes us human ("mortals") rather than divine,
and it makes us fearful and weak and constrained.

(October 29, 2003) Two Species Join Club SARS
The virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in humans can also infect domestic cats and ferrets,
researchers have discovered. The study suggests that the virus may have a wide variety of natural hosts instead of just one,
the researchers say; it's also showing the way to new animal models for SARS.
Following up, Albert Osterhaus and his colleagues at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands,
inoculated six ferrets and six domestic cats in their tracheas with a SARS coronavirus strain derived from a deceased Hong Kong patient.

(November 27, 2003) Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is a functional receptor for the SARS coronavirus
Recently, a distinct coronavirus has been identified as the aetiological agent of SARS, an acute pulmonary syndrome characterized by an atypical pneumonia
that results in progressive respiratory failure and death in close to 10% of cases. Analysis of the SARS-CoV genome suggests that this virus does not belong
to any of the three defined coronavirus groups, and that the SARS-CoV S protein is similarly distinct. Similar to the analogous human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
and influenza proteins, the S proteins of some coronaviruses—including MHV and the group III coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus—are cleaved into two subunits
(S1 and S2) by a cellular protease in virus-producing cells.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:19 pm


(January 14, 2005) Atlantic Storm
Atlantic Storm one day exercise scenario that simulated a summit of U.S. and European leaders meeting in the first few hours after discovery of bioterrorist attacks in Europe.
Their input of the participants was not scripted, but the whole scenario was an obvious effort by the US Deep State (represented by Madeleine Albright)
to influence compatible (European) politicians to implement certain measures; and from big pharma to increase sales.
Recommendation 1 from the organizers was a militarization of the field, dominating through NATO:
"The U.S. should work with the international community to plan for coordinated responses to major bioattacks and epidemics.
Such plans should include strategic and operational detail commensurate with other major international security agreements and organizations."
The one day exercise was planned over a 3 year period, so from the just after the 2001 false flag anthrax psychological operation -
and the companies Gilead Sciences and Emergent BioSolutions were conspicuously absent.

(2005) An effort to recreate the 1918 flu strain
(a subtype of avian strain H1N1) was a collaboration among the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology,
the USDA ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
The effort resulted in the announcement (on 5 October 2005) that the group had successfully determined the virus's genetic sequence,
using historic tissue samples recovered by pathologist Johan Hultin
from a female flu victim buried in the Alaskan permafrost and samples preserved from American soldiers.

(December, 2005) The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREPA)
passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President of the United States George W. Bush in December 2005,
is a controversial tort liability shield intended to protect vaccine manufacturers from financial risk
in the event of a declared public health emergency. The act specifically affords to drug makers immunity
from potential financial liability for clinical trials of avian influenza vaccine
at the discretion of the Executive branch of government.
PREPA strengthens and consolidates the oversight of litigation against pharmaceutical companies
under the purview of the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:21 pm


(May 20, 2007) Difference in Receptor Usage between Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Coronavirus and SARS-Like Coronavirus of Bat Origin
In this study, we investigated the receptor usage of the SL-CoV S by combining a human immunodeficiency virus-based pseudovirus system
with cell lines expressing the ACE2 molecules of human, civet, or horseshoe bat. In addition to full-length S of SL-CoV and SARS-CoV,
a series of S chimeras was constructed by inserting different sequences of the SARS-CoV S into the SL-CoV S backbone.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:23 pm


(December 16, 2008) Synthetic recombinant bat SARS-like coronavirus is infectious in cultured cells and in mice
Here, we report the design, synthesis, and recovery of the largest synthetic replicating life form, a 29.7-kb
bat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus (Bat-SCoV), a likely progenitor to the SARS-CoV epidemic.
To test a possible route of emergence from the noncultivable Bat-SCoV to human SARS-CoV, we designed
a consensus Bat-SCoV genome and replaced the Bat-SCoV Spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) with the SARS-CoV RBD(Bat-SRBD).
Bat-SRBD was infectious in cell culture and in mice and was efficiently neutralized by antibodies specific for both bat and human CoV Spike proteins.

"It can be very hard to study where a virus originally came from," said Mark Denison. "If you start from where you think the virus was,
and let the virus tell you where it's going, then you learn a tremendous amount about viral evolution and movement."
Denison's team used the genetic sequence of bat SARS to build the virus. Bat SARS doesn't normally infect people,
but the researchers added a critical tweak: a gene present only in the human version of the virus. The new version
flourished in human cell cultures, suggesting that a mutation in the gene, known as
Bat-SRBD, was responsible for SARS' lethal spread.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:24 pm


(October, 2010) Lock Step
Lock Step is one of four scenarios in a Rockefeller Foundation-funded paper
with the bland title “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development.”
In the simulation in cooperation with the Global Business Network of futurologist Peter Schwartz,
"a world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership,
with limited innovation and growing citizen pushback" is described as Lock Step.
The scenario envisages what The Good Club's billionaire members long have pushed as an inevitable scenario,
and through their 'philanthropic funding' made national and international health planning centered around:
"In 2012, the pandemic that the world had been anticipating for years finally hit, killing 8 million in just seven months, the majority of them healthy young adults."
The game plays out 4 scenarios, but the Foundation does not state which outcome it prefers.
However, of the four scenarios, only Lock Step came to happen (in the government planning the Foundation has influence over,
not in the severity of the pandemic), and it has its advantages for RF: "Larger philanthropies" - like the Rockefeller Foundation - will retain an outsized share of influence",
where some foundations "might choose to align themselves more closely with.[...] "government objectives".


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:29 pm


(December 20, 2011) Seeing Terror Risk, U.S. Asks Journals to Cut Flu Study Facts
In the experiments, conducted in the United States(Yoshihiro Kawaoka) and the Netherlands(Ron Fouchier),
scientists created a highly transmissible form of a deadly flu virus
that does not normally spread from person to person.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:30 pm


(January 20, 2012) Fears of mutant virus escape halt bird flu study
Researchers studying a potentially more lethal, airborne version of the bird flu virus have suspended their studies
because of concerns the mutant virus they have created could be used as a devastating form of bioterrorism or accidentally escape the lab.

Nature reported last month that both experiments on mutant viruses were carried out in labs rated “biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) enhanced,
” which “require scientists to shower and change clothes when leaving the lab,
and include other safety features such as negative air pressure and passing
exhaust air through high-efficiency particulate air filters.”

But some virologists argue that the more stringent BSL-4 precautions are needed.
BSL-4, which is required for research on, among other microbes, the Ebola virus,
includes full-body positive air-pressure suits like astronauts use.
In the past, the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus has escaped from BSL-3, and possibly BSL-4, labs.

(May 2, 2012) Mutant-flu paper published (by Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin–Madison)
Controversial study shows how dangerous forms of avian influenza could evolve in the wild.

(June 21, 2012) Second mutant-flu paper published (by Ron Fouchier from the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam)
Just five mutations allow H5N1 to spread between ferrets.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:32 pm


(January 23, 2013) H5N1 Researchers Announce End of Research Moratorium


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:33 pm


(April 15, 2014) Vials of deadly SARS virus 'go missing' in France

(June 2014) Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has genetically manipulated the 2009 strain of pandemic flu
in order for it to “escape” the control of the immune system’s neutralising antibodies.
Lord May said he suspected the NIH supported the work because officials there were "incompetent"
and believed the justifications that scientists told them. "This is work that shouldn't be done. It's as simple as that," he said.

Institute for Influenza Virus Research in Madison which was built specifically to house Professor Kawaoka’s laboratory,
which has a level-3-agriculture category of biosafety: one below the top safety level for the most dangerous pathogens, such as Ebola virus.
However, this study was done at the lower level-2 biosafety.

Marc Lipsitch, Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said:
‘I am worried that this signals a growing trend to make “transmissible” novel viruses willy-nilly.
This is a risky activity, even in the safest labs.
‘Scientists should not take such risks without strong evidence that the work could save lives, which this paper does not provide.’

Other scientists used stronger language.
‘If society understood what was going on,’ thundered Professor Simon Wain-Hobson,
of the Virology Department at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, ‘they would say “What the F are you doing?”

(October 17, 2014) U.S. halts funding for new risky virus studies, calls for voluntary moratorium


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:38 pm


(June 2, 2015) Obama signs NSA bill, renewing Patriot Act powers
President Obama signed legislation into law on Tuesday evening reinstating key counterterrorism laws and reforming the government’s surveillance powers.
The announcement from the White House that Obama had signed the USA Freedom Act came a few hours after the bill sailed through the Senate 67-32,
following a protracted debate that lasted for weeks and forced some of the provisions to expire for nearly two days.
With Obama’s signature, three parts of the Patriot Act — including the controversial Section 215 — came back into force after expiring Monday morning.
The bill also enacts the most sweeping surveillance reforms in a generation, for the first time in years putting new restrictions on federal intelligence powers.

(November 16, 2015) Ralph S. Baric, an infectious-disease researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
last week (November 9) published a study on his team’s efforts to engineer a virus with the surface protein of the SHC014 coronavirus,

found in horseshoe bats in China, and the backbone of one that causes human-like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in mice.
The hybrid virus could infect human airway cells and caused disease in mice, according to the team’s results, which were published in Nature Medicine.

Baric’s study on the SHC014-chimeric coronavirus began before the (2014) moratorium was announced,
and the NIH allowed it to proceed during a review process, which eventually led to the conclusion
that the work did not fall under the new restrictions, Baric told Nature.
But some researchers, like Wain-Hobson, disagree with that decision.

“I don’t think it’s wise or appropriate for us to create large risks that don’t already exist,” says David Relman,
a microbiologist at Stanford University. He thinks the government was right to include SARS and MERS in this moratorium,
because they are so close to being pandemic viruses. “I’m quite delighted that great scientists like Ralph Baric are working on SARS
and doing the work they are doing,” says Relman. “But there still are specific experiments that I think should cause everyone pause
and potentially cause concern if conducted.” For SARS and MERS, he says, “the one thing that I would feel most concerned about doing
is to give them that one missing trait, their means of transmitting easily between humans.”

Baric says that kind of experiment is not happening in his lab. He’s not trying to change the way SARS or MERS gets transmitted.
In fact, he doesn’t know of any lab trying to do that.
Still, his group has recently been tweaking the genes of the MERS virus. So is he making it more dangerous?
“If you’re a mouse, the answer is probably yes, or at least I was trying to,” says Baric.

(May 28, 2015) Since 2003, the CDC has referred 79 labs
for potential enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services'
Office of Inspector General. It has levied fines against 19 of them totaling more than $2.4 million, the CDC said in response to questions.
Some are repeat offenders. Five labs have had "multiple referrals" for enforcement actions, the CDC said.
Two labs have been kicked out of the program, and five labs have been suspended from doing any select agent research, the agency said.
Which labs repeatedly failed to address safety problems? The CDC won't name names — not even for the two labs kicked out of the select agent program.
The CDC and its regulatory partners at the USDA say the 2002 bioterrorism law requires keeping this information secret.

(October 9, 2015) Antiviral compound effectively treated Ebola in monkeys (GS-5374 - later named Remdesivir)
A clinical trial of the compound, GS-5374, is currently being conducted by the company Gilead Sciences,
which worked with the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, to develop it.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:41 pm


(March 15, 2016) UNC Epidemiology Study: New SARS-Like Virus May Be Nearly Ready to Infect Humans
A study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that a SARS-like virus
known as WIV1-CoV, which is found in horseshoe bats, could bind to the same receptors as SARS-CoV and replicate in human cells without the need for adaptation.
Thought to be a critical barrier, the results indicate that bat populations maintain SARS-like viruses poised to reemerge in humans.
The research team worked with both full length and chimeric versions of WIV1-CoV. The virus readily and efficiently replicated in cultured human airway tissues,
suggesting and ability to potentially jump directly to humans.
While other adaptations may be required to produce an epidemic,
several viral strains circulating in bat populations have already overcome
the barrier of replication in human cells and suggest reemergence as a distinct possibility.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:43 pm

(May 2016) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the inaugural ID2020 summit brought together over 400 people to discuss how to provide digital identity to all,
a defined Sustainable Development Goal including to 1.5bn people living without any form of recognized identification.
Experts in blockchain and other cryptographic technology joined with representatives of technical standards bodies
to identify how technology and other private sector expertise could achieve the goal.
In 2019, ID2020 started a new digital identity program in collaboration with the government of Bangladesh and vaccine alliance Gavi.
Participants: Accenture, Microsoft, Avanade Inc, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Cisco Systems Inc have contributed their expertise to ID2020.

(August 2016) A Blueprint for Digital Identity
The Role of Financial Institutions in Building Digital Identity
An Industry Project of the Financial Services Community Prepared in collaboration with Deloitte
Members of the Steering Committee:
- Bob Contri, Vice Chairman - Deloitte & Touche LLP
- David Craig, President, Risk and Financial - Thomson Reuters
- John Flint, Chief Executive Officer, Retail Banking and Wealth Management - HSBC
- Kim Hammond, Chief Operating Officer - Deutsche Bank
- Jason Harris, Chief Executive Officer, International Property and Casualty - XL Group
- Michael Harte, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operations Officer - Barclays
- Axel Lehmann, Chief Operating Officer - UBS
- Anju Patwardhan, Chief Innovation Officer - Standard Chartered Bank
- David Puth, Chief Executive Officer - CLS Group
- William Sheedy, Global Executive, Corporate Strategy, M&A, Government Relations - Visa
- Dietter Wemmer, Chief Financial Officer - Allianz
Members of the Working Group:
- Tom Brown, Partner - Paul Hastings
- Lena Mass-Cresnik, PhD, Head of Innovation, Strategic Product Management - BlackRock
- Christof Edel, Global Head of Trading Strategy & Business Development - Thomson Reuters
- Rob Galaski, (Project Advisor) Head of Financial Services - Deloitte
- Dorothy Hillenius, Director of Corporate Strategy - ING
- Marc Lien, Director of Innovation and Digital Development - Lloyds Banking Group
- Matthew Levin, EVP and Head of Global Strategy - Aon
- Victor Matarranz, Director of Strategy & Chief of Staff to the CEO - Santander
- Neil Mumm, VP Corporate Strategy - Visa
- Max Neukirchen, Group Head of Strategy - JP Morgan Chase
- Christine O’Connell, Global Head of Strategy & Business Development - Thomson Reuters
- Robert Palatnick, Managing Director and Chief Technology Architect - DTCC
- Kosta Peric, Deputy Director Financial Services for the Poor - Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Justin Pinkham, SVP and Group Head, Payments Innovation - MasterCard
- Bob Reany, SVP and Group Head, Identity Solutions - MasterCard
- Peter Rutland, Senior Managing Director - CVC Capital Partners
- Nicolas de Skowronski, Chief of Staff - Bank Julius Baer
- Huw Van Steenis, Managing Director and Head of Financial Services Research - Morgan Stanley
- Colin Teichholtz, Partner & Co-Head of Fixed Income Trading - Pine River Capital
- Fabien Vandenreydt, Head of Markets Management, Innotribe & the SWIFT Institute - SWIFT

There is no one-size-fits-all for identity.
A global system for identity therefore initially requires the construction of discrete identity networks,
and then the creation of rails between them. Creating a global solution for identity is a two-step process: the key to building a global system for digital identity
is first building successful natural identity networks that address the unique needs and preferences of their user group and situation,
and then building connective tissue that creates interoperability between these systems.
1. Implementation: Configuring natural identity networks
- The configuration of natural identity networks will be guided by the decisions made against the primary and secondary dimensions of choice.
2. Interconnection: Building the rails for global identity
- Building the rails between natural identity systems will create global interconnection and interoperability.

Building identity as a two-step process enables identity systems to be built by narrowing the required stakeholders to groups that have
similar needs and concerns, and therefore have relatively aligned incentives. It also ensures that these systems are tailored to the specific needs
and wants of their user and stakeholder groups and will therefore gain the uptake that a top-down, one-size-fits-all systam would not attain.
However, these solutions should also be built following a common framework that will ensure interoperability by defining the features,
attributes and requirements of the identities that are exchanged in the system. This reinforces the need for individual identity systems to be built by entities
such as financial institutions that have experience working together to define standards, and then building individual systems within these standards.
Implementing discrete digital identity systems that suit the unique needs and cultural factors of users in their own jurisdictions,
and designing these systems around resilience, interoperability and interconnection, will allow a global blueprint for digital identity to emerge.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:45 pm

(November 17, 2016) The UN and big tech are harnessing blockchain technology to give refugees identification
ID2020 was started by a pioneer of financial technology, John Edge,
who told Apolitical, 'If you create a new derivative contract, it's like a human being born.
At a summit ID2020 organised at the UN headquarters in New York earlier this year, Marley Gray, who runs Microsoft's work on blockchain,
said, 'We have a sort of technological perfect storm.
First is the cloud, then very inexpensive mobile devices,
and then this notion of establishing secure identity not just for individuals, but for everything,
to be able to track and transact securely. The challenge is not necessarily the technology or the organisation, it's bringing it all together.'
ID2020 is not trying to put forward one particular solution. Rather, it has convened a group including development agencies, think tanks
and companies such Microsoft, PWC, Cisco, Accenture and Deloitte
to spend the years to 2020 figuring out what a solution might look like.


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Post by Abacus Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:51 pm


(January 25, 2017) Trump’s executive order on immigration addresses biometric entry-exit tracking system
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday which includes a series of initiatives to address immigration, including a proposal to establish a national biometric ID program
for non-citizens entering and leaving the U.S., according to a report by Payments Source.
The biometric ID system could potentially have a huge effect on the security industry,
along with financial services risk strategies, according to payments experts.
A national biometric ID program would see large amounts of money paid to biometric solution vendors,
and ultimately place biometrics as a security method over existing authentication methods like passwords and PINs.
“This could lead to an enactment and requirement of multi-factor authentication with the mobile phone
being the new hardware,” Richard Crone, a payments consultant said. “The government would not have to pay for any new hardware in that case.”

(Jannuary 4, 2017) CDC scientists apparently lost a box of deadly and highly-regulated influenza specimens
and experienced multiple potential exposures involving viruses and bacteria,
according to heavily-redacted laboratory incident reports obtained by USA TODAY

(June 28, 2017) New drug holds potential to defeat coronaviruses
Scientists at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health have confirmed that an experimental antiviral treatment
prevents the development of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) disease in mice. The drug, GS-5734(Remdesivir), also inhibits MERS-CoV
and multiple other coronaviruses (CoV), suggesting that the treatment may inhibit all CoV.

To date, there are no approved therapies to treat any kind of CoV infection.
GS-5734(Remdesivir) is being developed through a unique public-private partnership between
investigators at the University of North Carolina, Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine and Gilead Sciences, Inc.

(July 10, 2017) The Pentagon Ponders the Threat of Synthetic Bioweapons
They point to 2014, when the federal government halted 18 studies on so-called “gain of function”
research that tinkered with viruses like MERS, SARS, and the flu to make them more likely to transmit in humans.
The White House is taking another look at that moratorium to determine whether it still makes sense.
Many scientists hope the ban is lifted—they argue understanding how viruses mutate is critical to stop them.

(August 31, 2017) Gillings School researchers receive $6M+ grant to fight infectious diseases
The partnership grant awarded to Baric and Sheahan establishes a collaboration between the Gillings School and
Gilead Sciences Inc., Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Texas Medical Branch.
The collaboration builds upon an earlier partnership between the Gillings School and Gilead Sciences Inc.,
and will focus specifically on GS-5734(Remdesivir), an experimental antiviral treatment.

(September 14, 2017) Mark of the Beast: Digital Identity and the Cashless Cartel
On June 19th, 2017, approximately 300 people gathered at the United Nations for the second annual ID2020 Summit.
The ID2020 Alliance, a consortium of public and private organisations, was launched there.
The summit was attended by representatives of UN organisations such as UNDP (United Nations Development Programme);
UNECLAC (United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean);
UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees),
and UN OICT (United Nations Office of Information and Communication Technologies).
Participating organsiations included: Accenture; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Biometrics Institute; Gavi (the vaccine alliance);
General Electric; IBM; IrisGuard; MasterCard; Microsoft; One World Identity; Open Society Foundation (George Soros); PwC; Rockefeller Foundation; Standard Chartered Bank; Unique Identity Authority of India; Verizon; the World Economic Forum, and HSBC bank.

(October 4, 2017) Broad-spectrum Investigational Agent GS-5734(remdesivir) for the Treatment of Ebola,
MERS Coronavirus and Other Pathogenic Viral Infections with High Outbreak Potential

Antiviral activity of GS-5734 has been established in vitro against a wide range of pathogenic RNA virus families,
including filoviruses, coronaviruses, and paramyxoviruses

(December 19, 2017) The US government is lifting a ban on engineering deadly viruses to make them more dangerous

(December 6, 2017) This New Blockchain Project Gives Homeless New Yorkers A Digital Identity
Three thousand homeless people in New York
are about to receive a special holiday gift: a free smartphone
that allows them to manage their digital identity,
access shelters and food pantries,
and make use of financial services.
The initiative, which uses blockchain technology,
may be the first time a distributed computer ledger
has been employed to help a homeless population.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:00 am


(January 2018) Google’s parent firm invests in UK company developing first ever universal flu vaccine
A private UK company developing a vaccine that would be the first in the world to fight all types of flu
has raised £20m from investors including GV, the venture capital arm of Google parent Alphabet.
Vaccitech, a spin-out founded by scientists at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute,
said on Monday the cash would help fund its vaccine through a two-year clinical trial involving more than 2,000 patients,
as well as expand other projects. The group is also running clinical studies on an experimental shot to prevent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers)
and a therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine for use with an immunotherapy drug.
Vaccitech’s new vaccine works by using proteins found in the core of the virus rather than those on its surface.
Surface proteins stick out like pins from the virus and change all the time, while those in the core are stable.
The vaccine also stimulates T-cells rather than antibodies – an approach that has yet to convince existing flu vaccine manufacturers such as Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline and CSL’s Seqirus.
Vaccitech’s latest financing round was also supported by Sequoia China and Oxford Sciences Innovation.

(January 24, 2018) US-China biotech startup XtalPi lands $15M from Google, Tencent and Sequoia
Google continues to increase its presence in China after it joined Sequoia China and Tencent in a $15 million investment for XtalPi,
a U.S.-China biotech firm that uses artificial intelligence and computing to accelerate the development of new drugs.
The search giant remains blocked in China, but that hasn’t stopped it from making a series of moves in recent months.
It is opening an AI lab in the country and now it has made a second significant investment in recent months by backing XtalPi,
which was founded in 2014 by three Chinese MIT graduates.
The company has 60 staff across offices in Cambridge, Beijing and Shenzhen.
It uses a combination of AI, quantum physics algorithms and cloud computing to predict the structure
of drug molecules once they are crystalized, which it turn affects a drug’s stability and other characteristics
that determine its chances of making it to market.
Beyond its design focus — which makes the drug development process more efficient and accurate for pharma companies — XtalPi also works on drug discovery.

(January 24, 2018) Woman Working at NIH Killed in Parking Lot Crash

(February 12, 2018) Timothy Jerrell Cunningham (C.D.C. Employee) was last seen leaving work
(December 21, 1982 - 2018) was a Harvard-educated (African American) doctor with the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As an epidemiologist, he was a team leader in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and was named in 2017 as part of the Atlanta Business Chronicle's 40 Under 40 list. He also was the co-author of 28 publications on topics about sleep deprivation, pulmonary disease and more. Cunningham graduated from Morehouse and earned his S.M and ScD. from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The doctor, who went to Harvard as well as Morehouse, had worked on a study about the disparities in death rates among Blacks that was published last May.
The study was connected to a 1996 ban by the NRA against the CDC examining gun violence as a crisis, according to social media users who pointed out that
Cunningham’s bizarre disappearance happened after this controversial publication.

In addition, Internet rumors about Cunningham being a whistle-blower who had cautioned the public about the flu shot
being responsible for this year’s deadly flu season have been touted as a possible reason for his disappearance,
a claim that his father, Terrell Cunningham disputed as false to CNN.

(March 6, 2018) What if billionaires could live forever?
Several billionaires, most of them Californians, have been funding firms involved in developing life-extension technologies.
What if they succeed? What if billionaires alive today live indefinitely and get ever richer?
Diamandis and Hariri's new venture is the latest example of a well-established phenomenon in Silicon Valley:
Extremely wealthy techno-optimists have for years been funding biomedical R&D companies meant to achieve immortality for their funders.
Some of the more recognizable names who have been putting money into such efforts: Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle),
Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google), Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon), and Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies.
Palantir, by the way, is a "big-data" company that uses algorithms to scan huge datasets for patterns.
It does a lot of work for US government intelligence agencies. Thiel is a radical corporate libertarian, and Silicon Valley's best-known Donald Trump supporter.
In late February, Diamandis wrote to subscribers of his email bulletin: "I asked the smartest people I know for their tech predictions for the next 20 years (2018 – 2038).
What are the breakthroughs we can expect on our countdown to the Singularity?" One of the predictions he listed was that by 2030, "humanity will have achieved Longevity Escape Velocity for the wealthiest."

(April 10, 2018) HHS sponsors its largest exercise for moving patients with highly infectious diseases
The largest patient movement exercise in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ history began today to test
the nationwide ability to move patients with highly infectious diseases safely and securely to regional treatment centers.

(April 13, 2018) Sanofi to Build $431M Vaccine Plant in Toronto
Sanofi plans to double its vaccine output by 2023 by building a €350 million ($431.5 million) vaccine manufacturing plant in Toronto.
The project underscores the company’s reliance on vaccines as an engine for future growth
despite more than $300 million in fourth-quarter charges tied to setbacks with two vaccines.

(May 10, 2018) Top White House official in charge of pandemic response exits abruptly
The top White House official responsible for leading the U.S. response in the event
of a deadly pandemic has left the administration, and the global health security
team he oversaw has been disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton.
White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert, who had called for a comprehensive biodefense strategy against pandemics and biological attacks,
is out completely.

(June 1, 2018) The Terrifying Lessons of a Pandemic Simulation (Clade X pandemic simulation, May 15, 2018, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Washington, DC)
“Clade X” was a daylong pandemic simulation held by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security,
in May(2018). The C.D.C. director was being played by a former holder of that job, the Secretary of Defense was the former Republican senator Jim Talent,
and the Secretary of Homeland Security was played by Tara O’Toole, a former Under-Secretary in that department.
Clade X turned out to be an engineered bioweapon, combining the virulence of Nipah virus with parainfluenza’s ease of transmission.
It had been intentionally released by A Brighter Dawn, a fictitious group modelled on the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo,
which carried out the sarin-gas attacks in the Tokyo subway system, in 1995. A Brighter Dawn’s
stated goal was to reduce the world’s population to pre-industrial levels.

(June 11, 2018) Sanofi Pasteur, Translate Bio Launch mRNA Vaccine Partnership
Sanofi’s global vaccines unit Sanofi Pasteur will partner with Translate Bio to develop mRNA vaccines
for up to five undisclosed infectious disease pathogens, through a collaboration
that the mRNA therapeutics developer said today could generate for it up to $805 million-plus.

(July 8, 2018) Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution by U.S. Stuns World Health Officials
A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates
who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.
Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.
Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.
The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures
and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

(August 3, 2018) China culls 900 pigs after reports of first African swine fever outbreak in country
China has reported its first case of African swine fever (ASF), a highly contagious disease of pigs,
in the northeastern city of Shenyang avnd culled more than 900 hogs to prevent the epidemic from spreading,
local media reported. This is also the first reported case in East Asia.

(September 29, 2018) Vaccitech licenses MERS rights to Oxford University
CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) today announced a collaboration with The Jenner Institute
at the University of Oxford and Janssen Vaccines & Prevention B.V.—part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
—through which they will receive funding to advance the development and manufacture of a vaccine against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
Oxford has already initiated clinical development of the MERS-CoV vaccine,
with funding from the UK Department of Health and Social Care, and a phase 1 clinical trial of the vaccine is underway in the UK.
Under the terms of the Framework Partnering Agreement for the collaboration, Oxford and Janssen will receive $14.6 million from CEPI
to support manufacturing of a phase 2 batch and preparation for stockpiling of a MERS-CoV vaccine candidate.
Oxford will undertake phase 2 testing of the vaccine, in partnership with the King Abdullah International Medical Research Centre (KAIMRC) in Riyadh,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)-Wellcome Trust Research Programme at Kilifi, Kenya.

(October 30, 2018) J&J unveils new vaccines facility in Leiden, Netherlands
Johnson & Johnson has unveiled a new vaccines facility in Leiden, the Netherlands,
to support the development and roll out of new vaccines on a mass scale for public use globally.
Built by Janssen Vaccines & Prevention, the centre contains new technological and manufacturing platforms
to aid large-scale manufacturing of Janssen vaccines for use in late-stage clinical trials.
Janssen is currently developing investigational vaccines for multiple infectious diseases
such as HIV, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, Ebola and Zika.
The vaccines launch facility can also support the company’s efforts for global pandemic preparedness,
including the development of a new Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) vaccine in alliance with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

(December 6, 2018) Mastercard and Microsoft have a frightening plan to create universal “digital identities”
The companies are building a solution that would create a “universally-recognized digital identity.”
To the corporations, this is a brilliant solution! To everyone else, it may feel more than a bit dystopian.
What this announcement seems to be describing is a streamlined identification system: a not-too-far-off world where people are identified under a universal protocol
that checks in on them at various points during their lives–when they vote, when they get married, etc. It’s the kind of a citizen-check system a totalitarian regime could only dream of.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:07 am

(December 10, 2018) Global coalition backs Imperial College London’s RNA vaccine platform to fight ‘Disease X’
In a new deal, the outbreak-focused group CEPI is putting down $8.4 million for Imperial College London to work on a self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) vaccine platform
that can be used to rapidly develop vaccines against pathogens—even unknown ones.
And the British institution will partner with BioNTech
in the manufacturing of such vaccines to assess their potential.
Imperial will first develop the platform, called RapidVac,
to produce vaccines against H1N1, rabies, and Marburg as proof of concept for the project,
a CEPI spokesman told FiercePharma. Once the platform is validated, CEPI hopes
it can be used to develop vaccines rapidly against new and unknown pathogens, known as “Disease X.”


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 12:18 am


(January - August 2019) Crimson Contagion simulation
Crimson Contagion simulation was a simulation administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from January to August 2019
that tested the capacity of the U.S. federal government and twelve U.S. states to respond to a severe influenza pandemic originating in China.
The exercise involves a scenario in which tourists returning from China spread a respiratory virus in the United States, beginning in Chicago.
In less than two months the virus had infected 110 million Americans, killing more than half a million.
The report issued at the conclusion of the exercise outlines the government's limited capacity to respond to a pandemic,
with federal agencies lacking the funds, coordination, and resources to facilitate an effective response to the virus.

(February 27, 2019) CEPI, CureVac team up in $34M deal to advance RNA vaccine 'printer'
Since it formed two years ago, the global outbreak preparedness group CEPI has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in vaccine
candidates against infectious diseases. Now, it’s back at it with CureVac in a deal to help the biotech advance its mRNA vaccine "printer."
After preclinical work, the partners aim to advance two vaccine candidates against named diseases into phase 1 testing.
Along the way, CureVac will continue collaborating with its existing partners, including the University of Wisconsin.
CEPI’s grant to CureVac is one in a series of investments the global preparedness group has made.
Formed in 2017, the group initially focused on Lassa, MERS and Nipah viruses, but more recently
has sought partners to work on vaccine platforms against unknown pathogens,
plus Rift Valley fever virus and Chikungunya.

(March 1, 2019) Studies of Deadly Flu Virus, Once Banned, Are Set to Resume

(May 22, 2019) AstraZeneca joins with BenevolentAI for drug discovery
Strategic partnership between AstraZeneca and BenevolentAI to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify new kidney and lung drugs.
Pharma giant AstraZeneca has announced a new long-term collaboration with artificial intelligence experts BenevolentAI.
The collaboration aims to combine AstraZeneca’s world-leading clinical data with BenevolentAI’s machine learning capabilities
and artificial intelligence to discover new drugs for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
As a recent study in Respiration shows, CKD and IPF are two of the most fatal and prevalent age-associated diseases.

(May 23, 2019) How did six migrant children die on the US border?
Six children have died since September while in US custody.
Just this week, US authorities said a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant
had died on Monday and revealed that a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador died back in September.
Previously no migrant children had died in federal custody since 2010, according to US government officials.

(June 11, 2019) Tweets from Turkish psychic-insider close to authorities
"The U.S. sent an aircraft of biological weapons to China.
Epidemics may begin in China soon.
They should not forget that if there is a Turk on earth, there is hope."

(June 19, 2019) Sanofi, Google Launch “Innovation Lab” Aimed at Drug Discovery
Sanofi will apply Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing capabilities toward developing new drugs,
through a collaboration whose value was not disclosed. The companies said they have agreed to create a virtual
Innovation Lab to “radically” transform how future medicines and health services are developed and delivered.

(July 17, 2019) Cause of Respiratory Illness Still Unknown After Dozens Sickened at Virginia Retirement Community
Fairfax County health officials said they don't yet have a cause of the respiratory illness that sicked more than 60 residents
at a Northern Virginia senior living community.
The outbreak at Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield began June 30.
Sick residents had symptoms such as coughs, fevers and pneumonia.

(July 17, 2019) Second Fairfax County retirement community suffers respiratory illness outbreak
The Fairfax County Health Department in a press conference included information regarding Greenspring Retirement
Community and another long-term care facility, Heatherwood, in Burke.
“Of the outbreaks that are not flu, there are somewhere we never identify [them],” Schwartz said.
“It’s just difficult to do the testing and to identify the cause in older adults.”

(July 17, 2019) Third person has died after respiratory illness outbreak at Greenspring Village, Fairfax officials say
A third person has died following an outbreak of respiratory illness at a Fairfax County assisted-living
facility that began more than two weeks ago, county health officials said Wednesday.
The outbreak at Greenspring Village in Springfield also spread to the unit’s staff, affecting 19 employees,
Fairfax County Health Department officials said.
At a news conference Wednesday at the agency’s headquarters, Benjamin Schwartz, director of epidemiology
and population health at the Fairfax County Health Department, said tests,
including those conducted on 17 samples by the federal Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, have failed to identify a likely cause. Tests for Legionnaires’ disease
have also come up negative. Officials tested for a range of common virus- or bacteria-borne respiratory illnesses.

(July 2019) Fort Detrick lab shut down after failed safety inspection; all research halted indefinitely

Hon Lik (or Han Li) a Chinese native, born in Shenyang, China registered a patent for the modern e-cigarette design in 2003. The e-cigarette was first introduced to the Chinese domestic market in 2004., entered the European market and the US market in 2006 and 2007. In the UK, users have increased from 700,000 in 2012 to 2.6 million in 2015, and in 2015 around 10% of American adults were users. About 60% of UK users are smokers and about 40% are ex-smokers, while use among never-smokers in the UK is negligible.

(Jul 29, 2019) Eight Milwaukee-area teens hospitalized with severe lung damage that may have been caused by vaping
The teens were brought to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin with extreme cough, significant shortness of breath and fatigue.
Some had lost weight from vomiting and diarrhea, hospital officials said Thursday.

(August 13, 2019) CureVac and Yale Team Up for mRNA-Based Lung Therapies
Tubingen, Germany-based CureVac has entered a Collaboration Research Agreement with Yale University to focus on lung therapies.
Under the terms of the deal with Yale University, Yale researchers led by Geoff Chupp
will conduct discovery research on targets associated with pulmonary diseases,
then turn over the candidates to CureVac for preclinical and clinical development.
CureVac will fund all the discovery research and hold the acquisition options to rights for the targets.
So far, CureVac has raised about $420 million in equity investments,
including backing from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
which has a significant interest in vaccine development.

(August 17, 2019) Mystery lung illness linked to vaping. Health officials investigating nearly 100 possible cases.
In the past month, the teenagers presented symptoms that appeared manageable and consistent with viral-type infections or bacterial pneumonia —
shortness of breath, coughing, fever and abdominal discomfort, Chapman said. But they continued to deteriorate despite appropriate treatment,
including with antibiotics and oxygen support. Some suffered respiratory failure and had to be put on ventilators, she said.

(August 22, 2019) Merck teams up with Themis to develop vaccines
Merck has struck a deal to work with Themis Bioscience on vaccine R&D.
The agreement sees Merck invest in Themis and commit up to $200 million (€180 million) in milestones to secure vaccines against an undisclosed target.
Using research funding from Merck, Themis will develop vaccine candidates against the target using its measles virus vector-based platform.
Themis licensed the measles vector from the Pasteur Institute
and has since worked to industrialize the production process,
giving it a platform it thinks can support an upcoming phase 3 trial
of its internal lead asset. The result is a setup Themis CEO Erich Tauber describes as a “true plug-and-play platform.”
The progress of Themis’ internal programs and its work with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
have provided evidence of the company’s success in building on the licensed vector.

(September 9, 2019) Respiratory Disease Outbreak Summary
The initial findings from the investigation revealed that the respiratory illness cases were clustered in an Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing facility.
Cases diagnosed as pneumonia generally required hospitalization. Affected residents were very elderly with underlying medical conditions.
All testing at Inova Central Lab was negative for etiology, and no severe illness in Independent Living or among staff occurred.
Dr. Schwartz reviewed each step in the investigation, which included maps and floor plans of confirmed cases.
At the conclusion of the outbreak, there were 63 cases and 7 deaths. Among the fatalities, it is not clear how pneumonia
may have contributed to infection as most residents had other health conditions.

(September 12, 2019) Europe’s missing ‘vaping sickness’
Europe does not appear to be experiencing an outbreak of the “vaping sickness” gripping the U.S.
It’s not clear anyone would know if it was. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday moved to finalize a ban
on flavored e-cigarettes in light of the country’s outbreak of a vaping-related illness that’s made 450 people sick and resulted in at least six deaths.

“We have not seen anything like what we’ve seen in the U.S. recently in Europe, to my knowledge as a scientist,
and I’m pretty aware of the field,” said Constantine Vardavas, the European Respiratory Society’s scientific relations director with the EU.

(September 27, 2019) Flu season threatens to complicate diagnoses of vaping-related illness
The issue, experts say, is that flu and other respiratory viruses can, in many ways, look strikingly similar
to a case of vaping-related illness: Symptoms include shortness of breath, night sweats, low oxygen levels,
and hazy spots on a lung X-ray.

“It’s going to be difficult to tease apart a bad flu case and a vaping case,” said Dr. Sean Callahan,
a University of Utah Health pulmonologist who has treated several cases of vaping-related illness.
The CDC, when asked, didn’t respond directly to the question of whether its definition might need to be revised.

(September 2019) Trump administration cut pandemic early warning program
The Trump administration decided to end a $200m early warning program designed to alert
it to potential pandemics just three months before it is believed Covid-19 began infecting people in China.

The project, called Predict, had been run by the US Agency for International Development since 2009.
It had identified more than 160 different coronaviruses that had the potential to develop into pandemics,
including a virus that is considered the closest known relative to Covid-19.

(September 2019) Bill Gates made a Netflix video
which made an eerie imaginary scenario. The video, part of the “Explained” series, imagined a wet market in China
where live and dead animals are stacked and a highly deadly virus erupts that spreads globally.
Gates appears as an expert in the video to warn “If you think of anything that could come along
that would kill millions of people, a pandemic is our greatest risk” threatening if nothing was done
to better prepare for pandemics, the time would come when the world would look back and wish it had invested more into potential vaccines.

(October 4, 2019) US vaping illness deaths rise to 18 with 1,000 cases reported
At least 18 deaths and more than 1,000 cases of a mysterious lung illness
have been linked with vaping by US health authorities.
Doctors have been unable to establish what is causing the illness,
whose symptoms include chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath.

(October 3, 2019) Conservative groups urge Trump to back off ban on flavored vaping products
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to issued guidance on the prohibition soon,
arguing the flavors are appealing to children and leading to rising youth vaping rates.
But conservatives say the ban, which doesn't apply to tobacco flavors,
would hurt small vape businesses and adults trying to quit cigarettes.

(October 18, 2019) Event 201 - global pandemic exercise
Event 201 was a large scale simulation of a global coronavirus pandemic.
The final presentation was held in front of an audience on 18 October 2019.
The "exercise players" were prominent individuals from global business, government,
and public health, including Avril Haines, who was Deputy Director of the CIA under Obama.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum
and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201.

(October 25, 2019) Scientists Were Hunting for the Next Ebola. Now the U.S. Has Cut Off Their Funding
In a move that worries many public health experts, the federal government is quietly shutting down a surveillance program
for dangerous animal viruses that someday may infect humans.

Five foreign athletes from military world games in Wuhan infected with malaria, not COVID-19 in October 2019: hospital head

(November 15, 2019) CDC begin hiring Quarantine Public Health Advisors
Location: Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles, California, San Diego, California, San Francisco, California,
Miami, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, Honolulu, Hawaii, Chicago, Illinois, Boston, Massachusetts, Detroit, Michigan,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, Newark, New Jersey, New York, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dallas, Texas, El Paso, Texas, Houston, Texas, Seattle, Washington, San Juan

(November 17, 2019) U.S. and South Korea postpone military drills in bid to save North Korea dialogue
The United States and South Korea have postponed joint air drills that were scheduled this month in an attempt
to save a faltering dialogue process with North Korea, officials announced Sunday.

(November 23, 2019) CDC Approves Partial Resumption of USAMRIID Select Agent Research

(November 23, 2019) ‘Not enough pork in the world’ to deal with China’s demand for meat
With hundreds of millions of pigs dead from swine fever, exporters are scrambling to fill the gap. But prices are soaring.
The cost of living in China has outstripped the 3% government target for the first time in a decade,
and a big part of the problem is the soaring price of pork, which is being driven up by a widespread outbreak of African swine fever.

(December 19, 2019) Quantum Dots Deliver Vaccines and Invisibly Encode Vaccination History in Skin
Researchers headed by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a microneedle platform
using fluorescent microparticles called quantum dots (QD), which can deliver vaccines and at the same time invisibly encode vaccination
history directly in the skin. The quantum dots are composed of nanocrystals, which emit near-infrared (NIR) light that can be detected
by a specially equipped smartphone.

(December 12, 2019) Australia, Canada look to digital identity solutions to get rid of physical ID cards
Mastercard has rolled out a new digital identity pilot in Australia this week that can identify a person in both digital and physical environments,
the company announced. Mastercard is testing different ways of proving identity without having to rely on multiple physical documents or centralized identity databases.
The project is based on a distributed model that, when activated, uses information from the mobile device
which has been checked through additional reference points, such as the person’s bank or government agencies taking part in the pilot.
The pilot program is carried out in partnership with Australia Post which will use the existing digital ID solution to enable Australians
to identify themselves when using the services, and with Deakin University where student volunteers
will test an identity verification process for student registration and digital exams.
Canadian province Quebec is also looking into biometrics to confirm online identity and get rid of traditional physical government IDs by 2021, writes CBC.
The government is waiting to see if any companies in the private sector would be interested in taking over the project. Details about cost have not been revealed.

Exclusive: U.S. Axed CDC Expert Job in China Months Before Virus Outbreak


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Post by KneelB4Zod! Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:15 am


"This is not a new world, it is simply an extension of what began in the old one. It has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted the ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of time. It has refinements, technological advances, and a more sophisticated approach to the destruction of human freedom. But like every one of the super-states that preceded it, it has one iron rule: logic is an enemy and truth is a menace." - "The Obsolete Man" - The Twilight Zone, 1961

"I assure you, ladies and gentlemen that, very soon history will show that we and our allies have fought a war on behalf of the whole world against terrorism supported by governments that will be held accountable by its own people..."
Quoting Dostoyevsky:
"Rest assured, hell is big enough for all. It doesn't deserve this fierce competition over who will be the worst." - Dr. Bashar Jaafari, UNSC session, 22nd of February, 2018

Posts : 73069
Reputation : 254
Join date : 2018-05-17
Age : 44
Location : Krypton


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:46 pm

(December 11, 2019) Sanofi and Regeneron to simplify antibody partnership
Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have said the companies may transform their antibody partnership, which involves Kevzara (sarilumab)
and Praluent (alirocumab) drugs, into a royalty-based agreement.
The restructured alliance will potentially provide Sanofi with exclusive rights to Kevzara worldwide
and exclusive rights to Praluent in markets outside of the US.

(December 14, 2019) Palantir Wins New Pentagon Deal With $111 Million From the Army
The Silicon Valley company will provide software to connect human resources, supply chains and other Army operations systems
into a single dashboard. The Army considered earlier proposals for related work from Accenture Plc, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and Microsoft Corp.
The Defense deal solidifies a relationship between the U.S. government and the Palo Alto, California-based company,
which was co-founded and partly bankrolled by Thiel. The billionaire venture capitalist and adviser to President Donald Trump has chastised
other technology companies, in particular Alphabet Inc.’s Google,
for their reluctance to work with the Defense Department.
In recent years, Palantir has sought to work more with companies and be less reliant on government contracts. Airbus SE and Merck KGaA
are among its customers, but government clients still make up a significant portion of revenue.

(December 16, 2019) Accenture acquires AI consultancy Clarity Insights
Accenture will acquire Clarity Insights, a Chicago-based company that provides AI
and machine learning services to companies in the healthcare, financial services and insurance industries.
The two companies struck a merger agreement on December 13. They did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
Accenture’s Applied Intelligence business employs more than 20,000 people,
including 6,000 data scientists, data engineers and AI professionals worldwide.
The company has grown the business with a string of recent acquisitions,
including data intelligence and AI services companies Knowledgent and Kogentix.
In 2019, Accenture spent a total of nearly $1.2 billion on 33 acquisitions.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:48 pm

January 2020

(January 21, 2020) Exscientia appoints Dr. David Hallett as Chief Operating Officer as company positions for further growth
Exscientia, the leading AI drug discovery company, has appointed Dr. David Hallett as its Chief Operating Officer
and Head of Drug Discovery. Dr. Hallett will be responsible for Exscientia’s full drug discovery portfolio,
reporting into the CEO, Prof. Andrew Hopkins.
This appointment comes following a year of high growth for Exscientia, who signed multi-project partnerships with Celgene,
Rallybio and GT Apeiron, achieved new milestones in their collaborations with Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline,
and kicked off 2020 with a new multi-project partnership with Bayer.

(January 30, 2020) Accenture, Google hope to lure Big Pharma clients GSK, Pfizer and more to new data platform
Google Cloud President Tariq Shaukat heard "an overriding sentiment" when he spoke with pharma and life science executives
recently at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference: The pharma industry is behind in modernizing and using digital technology.
To that end, his company is partnering with Accenture
on an open architecture platform to accelerate discovery,
research and delivery for pharma and life sciences companies. Accenture’s platform, called Intient,
strikes an exclusive partnership with Google Cloud to migrate all parts of the now seven-year-old technology onto a single end-to-end architecture with Google.
The intent is to combine Accenture’s industry experience and connections with Google's data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities.
Intient clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Bayer and many other top 25 pharma companies,
said Simon Eaves, group chief executive of products at Accenture.

(January 30, 2020) Johnson & Johnson to develop coronavirus vaccine
Johnson & Johnson announced that it has begun development of a vaccine
for the novel Coronavirus outbreak through its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies.
“This latest outbreak of a novel pathogen once again reinforces the importance of investing in preparedness, surveillance
and response to ensure the world remains ahead of potential pandemic threats,” said Paul Stoffels,
M.D., Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson.
The vaccine program will leverage Janssen’s AdVac and PER.C6 technologies
that provide the ability to rapidly upscale production of the optimal vaccine candidate.
These are the same technologies that were used in the development and manufacturing of Janssen’s investigational Ebola vaccine,
which is currently deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.
They were also used to construct the Company’s Zika, RSV and HIV vaccine candidates.

The PER.C6 cell line is derived from human embryonic retinal cells, originally from the retinal tissue of an 18 week old fetus aborted in 1985
and further developed and prepared as cell line by transfection with defined E1 region of the adenovirus type 5 followed by selection for transfectants with an immortal phenotype.

Human cell Line: PER C6
Developed in 1985, PER C6 is the growth medium
for a wide variety of human disease-causing viruses
that can be processed into inactivated whole virus,
live-attenuated, live-vector, split, subunit and recombinant vaccines.

President Bush’s Cell-Culture Technology
In April 2002, another supplier Sanofi Pasteur was awarded a $97 million
contract from the US Health and Human Services Department (HHS)
to speed the production process for new cell-culture influenza vaccines.
Sanofi Pasteur will be using PER.C6 cell-culture. The PER.C6-based pandemic flu vaccine
will be the first influenza vaccine developed using human cell production technology.
Herein lies the problem. The PER.C6 human cell-culture comes from an aborted fetus.

(January 31, 2020) Mastercard invests in online and offline identity startup Trust Stamp
Mastercard has made a strategic investment in AI-generated identity authentication company Trust Stamp.
Trust Stamp is a graduate of the 2018 Mastercard Start Path accelerator programme.
The two companies introduced their first collaboration with a secure non-PII authentication network
for both online and offline environments at the June 2019 ID4Africa conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Shashi Raghunandan, Mastercard's senior vice president for humanitarian and development programmer says:
"This is part of our commitment to make the digital economy work for everyone, everywhere.
The size of the investment was undisclosed.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:49 pm

February 2020

(February 5, 2020) China Applies for Patent for Drug That Could Fight Coronavirus
While Gilead’s experimental drug isn’t licensed or approved anywhere in the world,
it is being rushed into human trials in China on coronavirus patients after showing early signs of being highly effective.
The patent application was made on Jan. 21, according to a statement posted on the website of the virology institute in Wuhan,
the central Chinese city at the epicenter of the epidemic. Scientists there have found Gilead’s remdesivir, and chloroquine,
an 80-year-old malaria drug, “highly effective” in laboratory studies at thwarting the novel coronavirus,

(February 11, 2020) Trump Proposes a Cut in Research Spending, but a Boost for AI
The budget goes all-in on AI and quantum, proposing to double funding across the departments including the National Science Foundation,
the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, Darpa, and the DoD’s Joint AI Center.
At the same time, the president proposed cutting research spending in nearly every arm of the government,
including by $424 million at the National Science Foundation, $4.7 billion at the Defense Department, and $3.2 billion at the Department of Energy.

(February 12, 2020) Chinese Firm Makes Gilead Drug in Virus Fight, Raising IP Fears
Suzhou-based BrightGene Bio-Medical Technology Co. said it has developed technology to synthesize
the active pharmaceutical ingredients of Gilead’s remdesivir. A leading candidate to treat the virus
that’s killed more than 1,000 people, the drug isn’t licensed or approved anywhere in the world.
Despite the steps by BrightGene and Wuhan researchers, the central government has so far stopped short
of seeking a “compulsory license,” which lets nations override drug patents in national emergencies.
The hesitation to invoke that clause may be part of its continued efforts to demonstrate greater respect for companies’ rights.

(February 12, 2020) J&J allies with BARDA to accelerate coronavirus vaccine program
Johnson & Johnson has teamed up with the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)
to develop a vaccine against coronavirus. J&J is pooling money and resources
with BARDA in an attempt to accelerate the progress of a vaccine candidate
into phase 1 development.Late last month J&J joined the list of biopharma companies
working to stop the coronavirus now radiating out from Wuhan, China.
Reflecting its broad capabilities, J&J sketched out a multipronged approach
against the virus that positioned it to provide antivirals for use in China
while applying its AdVac and PER.C6 technologies to the development of a vaccine.

(February 19, 2020) Sanofi joins forces with U.S. to advance a novel coronavirus vaccine
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines global business unit of Sanofi, will leverage previous development work for a SARS vaccine
which may unlock a fast path forward for developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
Sanofi will collaborate with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA),
part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, expanding the company’s long-standing partnership with BARDA.

(February 21, 2020) S-CELL collaborates with Chronomics for preventive healthcare
Hong Kong based S-CELL, in partnership with Chronomics, is the first company in Asia to introduce Healthspan,
the most advanced epigenetic testing service in the world. Chronomics was established in 2017 and later officially launched the epigenetics testing kit
in hopes to lead a revolution on preventive healthcare.
Chronomics stated the need for a paradigm shift in medicine - switching the focus from the treatment of one disease into the prevention of multiple diseases.
S-CELL and Chronomics push biological wellness to a new level through this cutting edge technology.

(February 25, 2020) Gilead’s Drug Leads Global Race for Coronavirus Treatment
China will release results at the end of April from clinical trials of a Gilead Sciences Inc.
drug that is emerging as a frontrunner in the race to find an effective treatment for the novel coronavirus.
The outcome of trials of the experimental medication remdesivir on 761 patients in Wuhan,
the city where the virus originated, will be made public on April 27,
China’s National Intellectual Property Administration said Tuesday.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:49 pm

March 2020

(March 10, 2020) Emergent BioSolutions Signs Development and Manufacturing Agreement With Novavax for Experimental Vaccine Candidate for Coronavirus Disease
GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ:NVAX)
whereby Emergent will collaborate with Novavax, utilizing its molecule-to-market contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services
to support bringing into the clinic Novavax’s novel experimental vaccine candidate
to protect against coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the terms of the agreement,
Emergent will produce the COVID-19 experimental vaccine candidate, which is based on the proprietary recombinant protein nanoparticle technology platform of Novavax
and utilizing their proprietary Matrix-M™ adjuvant to enhance immune responses.
Emergent has initiated work for this program anticipating that the COVID-19 experimental vaccine candidate
will be used in a Phase 1 clinical study within the next four months.

(March 10, 2020) Inovio snags $5M Gates Foundation grant for COVID-19 vaccine delivery device
Inovio’s Cellectra 3PSP is a small, portable, battery-powered intradermal device
intended for use in administering the company’s vaccines and therapies.
Development of the device began last summer with $8.1 million in funding
from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Medical CBRN Defense Consortium.
The award was also earmarked for the evaluation of DNA vaccines
developed by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases using the Cellectra 3PSP device.
With the new funds from the Gates Foundation, Inovio plans to accelerate testing and scale up
of Cellectra 3PSP for the intradermal dosing of its DNA vaccine for COVID-19.

(March 10, 2020) Ology Bioservices, Inovio Partner To Manufacture COVID-19 DNA Vaccine With $11.9 Million Department of Defense Grant
Ology Bioservices Inc., a biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., (NASDAQ: INO)
developing DNA medicines for infectious diseases and cancer, announced today that the Department of Defense (DOD)
has awarded Ology Bioservices with a contract valued at $11.9 million to work with Inovio on DNA technology transfer to rapidly manufacture DNA vaccines.
This work is supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs with funding from the Defense Health Agency.
Under this program, Ology Bioservices will work with Inovio Pharmaceuticals to manufacture Inovio’s DNA vaccine (INO-4800)
for prevention of infection with the COVID-19 virus. The aim of the program is to rapidly and efficiently deliver
the vaccine to the Department of Defense for upcoming clinical trials.

(March 14, 2020) Sanofi Expands COVID-19 Pipeline with Translate Bio Partnership
Sanofi Pasteur will partner with Translate Bio to develop an mRNA vaccine
for preventing COVID-19, the companies said today, through a partnership
that builds on a nearly two-year-old collaboration to create mRNA vaccines.
Through the proprietary MRT™ platform it acquired from Shire in 2017, Translate Bio creates mRNA
that encodes functional proteins, and encapsulates the mRNA in a lipid nanoparticle (LNP).
When that mRNA is delivered to the target cell, the cell’s own machinery recognizes it and translates it,
restoring or augmenting protein function to treat or prevent disease.

(March 16, 2020) Call to Action to the Tech Community on New Machine Readable COVID-19 Dataset
researchers and leaders from the Allen Institute for AI, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI),
Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET),
Microsoft, and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health
released the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) of scholarly literature about COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and the Coronavirus group.
Requested by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,
the dataset represents the most extensive machine-readable Coronavirus literature collection
available for data and text mining to date, with over 29,000 articles, more than 13,000 of which have full text.

(March 16, 2020) Sanofi and Regeneron trial Kevzara to treat severe Covid-19
Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have initiated a clinical programme of rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara (sarilumab)
to treat hospitalised patients with severe Covid-19 coronavirus infection. Kevzara is a fully-human monoclonal antibody,
which inhibits the interleukin-6 (IL-6) pathway. The drug is being co-developed by Sanofi and Regeneron.
To launch the trial quickly, the companies worked with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

(March 16, 2020) BioNTech and Fosun Pharma form COVID-19 vaccine strategic alliance in China
MAINZ, Germany, and SHANGHAI, China, March 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX, “BioNTech”)
and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd (“Fosun Pharma” or “Group”; Stock Symbol: 600196.SH, 02196.HK)
announced today a strategic development and commercialization collaboration to advance BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine candidate BNT162 in China
for the prevention of COVID-19 infections. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will work jointly on the development
of BNT162 in China. The companies will collaborate to conduct clinical trials in China leveraging Fosun Pharma’s extensive clinical development,
regulatory, and commercial capabilities in the country. If approved, Fosun Pharma will commercialize the vaccine in China.
BioNTech will supply the mRNA vaccine for clinical trials from GMP manufacturing facilities in Europe along with its partner Polymun.
BioNTech will retain full rights to develop and commercialize the vaccine in the rest of the world.

(March 18, 2020) U.S. government, tech industry discussing ways to use smartphone location data to combat coronavirus
The U.S. government is in active talks with Facebook, Google and a wide array of tech companies
and health experts about how they can use location data gleaned from Americans’ phones
to combat the novel coronavirus, including tracking whether people are keeping
one another at safe distances to stem the outbreak.

(March 19, 2020) Trump administration ran pandemic simulation months before coronavirus hit
Former Air Force physician Robert Kadlec, who has studied biodefense issues for decades, led the exercise,
which imagined a contagious disease that originated in China and spread globally after nearly three dozen tourists
were infected and returned home. The hypothetical outbreak spread quickly through the U.S. after an infected person
attended a concert packed with thousands of others. The exercise, which took place from January to August of last
year, highlighted some of the problems that the federal government is struggling to handle now, such as insufficient
hospital space and medical supplies, as well as confusion between federal agencies and between states and the federal government.

(March 19, 2020) Medicago develops a plant-based vaccine for Coronavirus
Medicago has made significant progress toward producing an experimental plant-based vaccine for COVID-19.
The Canada-headquartered biopharmaceutical company is using a virus-like particle (VLP) grown in Nicotiana Benthamiana,
a close relative of the tobacco plant, to develop a potential vaccine against the coronavirus disease that has now reached a global pandemic level.
Following its announcement, Medicago, which is part-funded by Philip Morris International (PMI),
said it’s ready to start preclinical testing for safety and efficacy, anticipating the beginning of human trials later this summer.
Medicago is a leader in proprietary plant-based technology that uses virus-like particles (VLP) to develop protein-based vaccines,
instead of relying on animal products or live viruses.
Using a plant-based approach is relatively new, but it has advanced rapidly in the past decade.
It inserts a genetic sequence into agrobacterium, a soil-based bacterium, which is taken up by plants – in this case,
a close relative of a tobacco plant. The plant begins to produce the protein, that can then be used as a vaccine.

(March 23, 2020) Trump's favorite Fox News hosts are pushing him to prioritize the economy over social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic
"Our ruling class and their TV mouthpieces whipping up fear over this virus — they can afford an indefinite shutdown.
Working Americans can't, they'll be crushed by it," Hilton said. "You know that famous phrase, 'the cure is worse than the disease?'
That is exactly the territory we're hurtling towards."

(March 23, 2020) New York to test COVID-19 treatment with mystery pharma partner: report
The clinical trial, slated to start Tuesday, will test transfusions of blood plasma with antibodies
against the novel coronavirus taken from patients who have survived COVID-19 infection.
It is one of two medical interventions announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday.
The other involves testing the blood of recovered patients for coronavirus antibodies in an effort to clear them to go back to work.
New York has not disclosed its pharma partner yet, Forbes reported.
Takeda is working on a plasma-based treatment
that has been shown to help those with severe acute viral respiratory infections
and could be used as a COVID-19 treatment. And Regeneron has isolated hundreds of neutralizing antibodies
against the SARS-CoV-2 virus from a humanized mouse model as well as from humans who have recovered from COVID-19.

(March 23, 2020) Gilead Outrageously Seeks Super-Monopoly Protections for Covid-19 Drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today granted experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir
a special orphan status intended for drugs that treat rare diseases. The status sets up
remdesivir’s manufacturer Gilead Sciences to receive additional federal tax credits
in the United States and a bonus lucrative seven-year market exclusivity, allowing Gilead
to exclude generic and more affordable competition while charging high monopoly prices, if the drug is approved.

(March 24, 2020) Gilead’s potential coronavirus treatment gets FDA’s orphan drug label
Gilead Sciences’ experimental drug remdesivir, seen as one of the more promising potential treatments for the coronavirus,
on Monday received the orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The orphan drug status provides a seven-year market exclusivity period, as well as tax and other incentives
for drug companies developing treatments for rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:50 pm

April 2020

(April 1, 2020) Exscientia forms UK-US partnership to screen possible Covid-19 drugs
Artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery company Exscientia has expanded its ongoing anti-viral drugs partnership
with the UK’s national synchrotron facility Diamond Light Source and University of Oxford across the Atlantic Ocean
to include California-based Scripps Research’s Calibr and focus on Covid-19 research.
The UK-US partners will collaborate to screen most approved and investigational drugs against Covid-19 targets
involved in viral replication and entry into human cells.
The prioritised targets include 3CL protease, the NSP12-NSP7-NSP8 RNA polymerase complex and the novel coronavirus’ SPIKE protein,
which interacts with the human cell receptor ACE2 to gain entry into human cells.
They will leverage Calibr’s Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded collection of 15,000 clinically-ready molecules.
After being shipped from California to Oxford, the collection will be rapidly screened for the targets using Exscientia’s advanced biosensor platforms.

(April 6, 2020) Coronavirus seems to mutate much slower than seasonal flu
Based on current data, it seems as though SARS-CoV-2 mutates much more slowly than the seasonal flu.
Specifically, SARS-CoV-2 seems to have a mutation rate of less than 25 mutations per year,
whereas the seasonal flu has a mutation rate of almost 50 mutations per year.
Given that the SARS-CoV-2 genome is almost twice as large as the seasonal flu genome,
it seems as though the seasonal flu mutates roughly four times as fast as SARS-CoV-2.

(April 7, 2020) Computational Biologist James Taylor Dies
James Taylor, a computational biologist at Johns Hopkins University who developed a popular open-source bioinformatics platform, died April 2 at the age of 40.
Taylor is known for his work with the Galaxy Project, an open-source tool originally designed to help process data for genomicists.
“His life’s pursuit was to understand how genomic information is used in normal development and how changes in the genome
can dysregulate this process in disease. Further, through co-leading the Galaxy project and the Anvil project,
a major thrust of James’ career has been to support the work of other scientists, especially to empower those with limited resources,”
Michael Schatz, an associate professor of computer science and biology at Hopkins, recounts in Taylor’s memoriam.
Hopkins did not have information available about Taylor’s cause of death.
He is survived by his wife Meredith Greif, a sociologist who is also a professor at Johns Hopkins.

(April 7, 2020) The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate
In Milwaukee County, home to Wisconsin’s largest city, African Americans account for about 70 percent of the dead
but just 26 percent of the population. The disparity is similar in Louisiana, where 70 percent of the people
who have died were black, although African Americans make up just 32 percent of the state’s population.

(April 8, 2020) Anthony Fauci sets stage for mandatory -- lucrative! -- vaccine
“When we get back to normal, we will go back to the point where we can function as a society.
But … [i]f you want to get back to pre-coronavirus, that might not ever happen in the sense that
the threat is there. But I believe that with the therapies that will be coming online,
and the fact that I feel confident that over a period of time we will get a good vaccine,
that we will never have to get back to where we are right now.”

(April 9, 2020) Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources
"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," a source says.

(April 10, 2020) RdRp, also named nsp12 is the central component of coronaviral replication/transcription machinery
The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp, also named nsp12) is the central component of coronaviral replication/transcription machinery
and appears to be a primary target for the antiviral drug, remdesivir.

(April 10, 2020) Coronavirus is disproportionately killing African Americans
Earlier this week, officials in Chicago, Illinois were among the first to release a racial breakdown
of the city's 6,100 cases. More than half were African American, despite only the group only accounting
for 30 percent of the city's 2.7 million residents. Seven in 10 patients who died from COVID-19
in the city were African American, officials said.

(April 10, 2020) Apple, Google Bring Covid-19 Contact-Tracing to 3 Billion People
Apple Inc. and Google unveiled a rare partnership to add technology to their smartphone platforms that will alert users
if they have come into contact with a person with Covid-19. People must opt in to the system, but it has the potential to monitor
about a third of the world’s population.

(April 14, 2020) GSK and Sanofi join forces to work on coronavirus vaccine
Two of the world’s biggest vaccine companies have joined forces in an “unprecedented” collaboration to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.
GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, which combined have the largest vaccine manufacturing capability in the world,
are working together on a hi-tech vaccine they say could be in human trials within months.
Two companies joining forces, rather than competing, in a vaccine effort is extremely unusual,
but the urgent need for a Covid-19 vaccine and the potential scale of the market is also not a typical situation.
The vaccine is based on an existing DNA-based technology that Sanofi uses to make its flu vaccine.
GSK is contributing an add-on, known as an adjuvant, that can be mixed in with a vaccine to trigger a stronger immune reaction.
Richard Hatchett, the chief executive of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI),
which is funding the development of eight vaccine candidates, said: “The combination of Sanofi’s recombinant technology,
which will allow the rapid generation and production of vaccine, with GSK’s proven adjuvant technology,
which will allow more doses to be generated from a given production volume, will speed the delivery of vaccines to the world.”
Charlie Weller, the head of vaccines at the WELLCOME TRUST, said the collaboration was unprecedented,
adding: “Never before have we needed to produce a vaccine at this speed and scale, so exploring multiple approaches is essential.”

(April 16, 2020) US alerted Israel, NATO to disease outbreak in China in November — TV report
US intelligence agencies alerted Israel to the coronavirus outbreak in China already in November,
Israeli television reported Thursday.

(April 16, 2020) The Gates Foundation's Vaccination Activism
- ID 2020 – the digital identity
The "Digital Identity Alliance", or "ID 2020", says it is concerned with the creation of a digital identity
that will enable people to identify themselves across borders while retaining control over their personal data.
The founding partners of the project are Gates' company Microsoft, the Gates-sponsored vaccination
alliance GAVI, the management consultancy Accenture and the Rockefeller Foundation,
one of the oldest and wealthiest foundations in the USA. Since September 2019, the "Digital Identity Alliance"
has been cooperating with the government of Bangladesh to introduce digital identities.
This involves combining vaccinations with the recording of biometric data, such as fingerprints,
to enable digital identification of the respective person. By February 2020, 100 million digital identities had been created,
as the responsible minister reported in an article for the World Economic Forum.
This collection is marketed as "digital inclusion", supposedly to include disadvantaged people
in the benefits of the modern world.

(April 17, 2020) Philip Morris Money Is Funding Pro-Vaping Virus Spin
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed a finger at the vaping industry
last month as he discussed a 22-year-old New Yorker who’d been hospitalized with Covid-19.
The suggestion that vaping and cigarettes can worsen the risks from the new coronavirus
has put nicotine purveyors in the spotlight. Groups indirectly funded by Philip Morris International,
maker of Marlboros and electronic nicotine devices, and vape firm Juul Labs Inc. are pushing back.

(April 17, 2020) Coronavirus Drug Results Send Gilead Sciences Stock Flying; JPMorgan Weighs In
New data from a University of Chicago Hospital Phase 3 clinical trial of Gilead's remdesivir antiviral drug, also known as "GS-5734"
shows promising results for the drug's efficacy in treating the novel coronavirus. And no sooner had the data come out, than Gilead's
stock price began marching higher again, rising 12% in pre-market trading on Friday.

(April 18, 2020) New CDC data shows Covid-19 is affecting African Americans at exceptionally high rates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new, preliminary nationwide data on Friday,
that revealed 30 percent of Covid-19 patients are African American, even though African Americans make up around 13 percent of the population of the United States.

(April 18, 2020) New CDC data shows Covid-19 is affecting African Americans at exceptionally high rates
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new, preliminary nationwide data on Friday,
that revealed 30 percent of Covid-19 patients are African American, even though African Americans make up around 13 percent of the population of the United States.

(April 18, 2020) CDC to investigate coronavirus spike in Brown County, Wisconsin's largest rate of increase
GREEN BAY - Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are expected to arrive in Brown County
this weekend to look into a recent explosion in COVID-19 cases in the Green Bay area.
The number of cases has increased more than fourfold in just 10 days.

(April 22, 2020) Gov. Cuomo says Bloomberg will fund a $10 million tri-state area contact tracing network with Johns Hopkins
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Michael Bloomberg will be stepping in
to spend $10 million of his own money to form a COVID-19 testing
and contact tracing network in conjunction with his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University.
The network will focus on the tri-state area — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — surrounding New York City, Cuomo said.

(April 23, 2020) WHO mistakenly posted study results that appeared to show that a leading potential coronavirus treatment(remdesivir) failed to help patients
A leading coronavirus treatment candidate did not help patients with severe coronavirus cases in a trial survive better than a placebo group,
according to a summary of preliminary study results reported by STAT News and the Financial Times.
The World Health Organization accidentally posted a summary of the study results on its website on Thursday,
a representative confirmed. That post was removed, but not before several news outlets noticed it.
Gilead's stock fell more than 6% on Thursday afternoon.

(April 23, 2020) A preliminary study on the reproductive toxicity of GS-5734 on male mice
The results indicated that after treated with GS-5734, the total sperm count and motile sperm rate showed downward trends,
the abnormal sperm rate showed an increasing trend. As compared with the control group, GS-5734 at a daily dose of 150 μg/mouse caused
a significant decrease in sperm concentration and motility, and a significant increased of abnormal sperm rate; the 50 μg/mouse drug treatment
lead to a significant decrease in sperm motility and an increase in abnormal sperm rate. The HE staining of testicular and epididymal tissues
showed that the spermatogenesis of mice was significantly deteriorated with the increasing dosage of GS-5734, especially in the 150 μg/mouse group.

(April 23, 2020) Emergent BioSolutions Signs Agreement to be U.S. Manufacturing Partner for Johnson & Johnson’s Lead Vaccine Candidate for COVID-19
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE:EBS) today announced an agreement whereby Emergent will deploy its contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services
to support the manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson’s lead vaccine candidate for COVID-19
that leverages the AdVac® and PER.C6® technologies from the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
Under the agreement, valued at approximately $135 million, Emergent will provide drug substance manufacturing services with its molecule-to-market
CDMO offering, supported by investments from Johnson & Johnson beginning in 2020, and will reserve certain large-scale manufacturing capacity
to pave the way for commercial manufacturing of Janssen’s adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine beginning in 2021.
Large-scale manufacturing of drug substance for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine candidate will be done at Emergent’s Baltimore Bayview facility,
a Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) designed for rapid manufacturing of vaccines
and treatments in large quantities during public health emergencies. Emergent’s CIADM is a result of a public-private partnership
with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“Eight years ago, HHS invested in novel public-private partnerships to create three Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing or CIADMs
to help strengthen the nation’s biotech infrastructure to prepare and respond to emergencies,”
said Gary Disbrow, Ph.D., acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

(April 23, 2020) Brown County outbreak pushes Wisconsin coronavirus cases above 5,000 while extension of stay-home order begins with golf, protests
The new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday, a spike attributed to an outbreak in Brown County, pushed the state's total above 5,000
and public health officials said those numbers will continue to rise as testing capacity increases.
Brown County now has more than 500 confirmed cases, and more than half — 267 — stem from three meat-processing businesses.

(April 23, 2020) No plan to close Green Bay meat-processing plants as Brown County cases exceed 500, over half from three sites
GREEN BAY - Brown County now has over 500 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, continuing the rapid spread that began to show up in numbers last week.
It trails only Milwaukee County in the number of cases statewide. Over half the cases, 267, stem from three meat-processing businesses in the county.

(April 23, 2020) WHO mistakenly posted study results that appeared to show that a leading potential coronavirus treatment failed to help patients
A leading coronavirus treatment candidate did not help patients with severe coronavirus cases in a trial survive better than a placebo group,
according to a summary of preliminary study results reported by STAT News and the Financial Times.
The World Health Organization accidentally posted a summary of the study results on its website on Thursday,
a representative confirmed. That post was removed, but not before several news outlets noticed it.
Gilead's stock fell more than 6% on Thursday afternoon.

(April 23, 2020) COVID-19 Infection and Treatment With Hydroxychloroquine Cause Severe Haemolysis Crisis in a Patient With glucose-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an inherited genetic disorder caused by red cell enzymatic defects and is associated with haemolytic crisis
when patients are exposed to oxidative agents (fava beans, drugs, infections). Hydroxychloroquine is suspected to trigger haemolytic crisis in G6PD-deficient patients,
and off-label administration of this drug to patients infected with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) could cause concern. We report here the first case of severe
haemolytic crisis in a patient with G6PD deficiency, initiated by severe COVID-19 infection and hydroxychloroquine use. With worldwide spread of COVID-19,
especially in regions with a high prevalence of G6PD deficiency, our case should alert physicians to this possible correlation.

(April 23, 2020) A preliminary study on the reproductive toxicity of GS-5734(remdesivir) on male mice
The results indicated that after treated with GS-5734, the total sperm count and motile sperm rate showed downward trends,
the abnormal sperm rate showed an increasing trend. As compared with the control group, GS-5734 at a daily dose of 150 μg/mouse caused
a significant decrease in sperm concentration and motility, and a significant increased of abnormal sperm rate; the 50 μg/mouse drug treatment
lead to a significant decrease in sperm motility and an increase in abnormal sperm rate. The HE staining of testicular and epididymal tissues
showed that the spermatogenesis of mice was significantly deteriorated with the increasing dosage of GS-5734, especially in the 150 μg/mouse group.22:08 5.5.2020.

(April 24, 2020) Sanofi, GSK tie up for COVID-19 vaccine work with eyes on possible 2021 rollout
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, two of the world’s biggest vaccine players, may be competitors, but the COVID-19 pandemic
has now made them partners. Because of GSK and Sanofi’s “combined scale," the partners could deliver hundreds of millions of doses annually,
starting next year, Walmsley said. That heft is one of the big advantages for the partnership, she added.
The companies have already signed a letter of intent and will share each other's technology for the potential shot.
Sanofi its chipping in an S-protein COVID-19 antigen based on recombinant DNA tech, while GSK is contributing its “proven pandemic adjuvant technology," according to a release.
Before the collaboration announcement, Sanofi was already in two COVID-19 vaccine partnerships—one with the federal government
and another with Translate Bio focusing on mRNA vaccines. GlaxoSmithKline was allowing its adjuvant tech to be utilized by various researchers.
To get their work started, the two companies have created a joint task force co-chaired by Sanofi’s vaccine chief David Loew and GSK’s vaccine head Roger Connor.

(April 26, 2020) Mink found infected with Covid-19 at two Dutch fur farms; Areas now closed to public
A coronavirus infection among mink being raised on two fur farms in the Netherlands
has forced the closure of several roads with people warned not to come within 400 meters of the farms.
The two locations are in Gemert-Bakel and Laarbeek, about ten kilometers apart in the province of Noord-Brabant.
The virus was believed to be spread from humans at the farms to the mink, and not the other way around.
Mink were found to be carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the variant of coronavirus responsible for respiratory illness Covid-19.
"The minks showed various symptoms including respiratory problems," the ministry said. "Investigations have been launched to determine the source of the infections."

(April 29, 2020) Trump, Fauci tout 'good news' from remdesivir drug trial in treating COVID-19
"What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus," Fauci said, calling the development "very optimistic."
It had not yet been peer-reviewed but was being submitted to a journal for review, Fauci said as he previewed the results.
Experts interviewed by ABC News urged caution until the full data was released.

(April 29, 2020) Trump’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ Aims to Rush Coronavirus Vaccine
The Trump administration is organizing a Manhattan Project-style
effort to drastically cut the time needed to develop a coronavirus vaccine,
with a goal of making enough doses for most Americans by year’s end. Called “Operation Warp Speed,”
the program will pull together private pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and the military
to try to cut the development time for a vaccine by as much as eight months, according to two people familiar with the matter.

(April 29, 2020) J&J inks 2nd manufacturing deal to boost capacity for COVID-19 vaccine
J&J signed an agreement Wednesday to ramp up capacity at Catalent's 875,000-square-foot Bloomington, Indiana facility,
the partners said Wednesday. Catalent will hire an additional 300 workers
at the plant starting in July with the goal of reaching 24/7 manufacturing schedules by January.
Leveraging its "deep expertise" in sterile formulation at the Bloomington facility, Catalent brings experience
in drug substance development and manufacturing, and drug product fill/finish to the deal,
the company said. Catalent will also lean on its network of sterile drug facilities in Brussels and Anagni, Italy.

(April 30, 2020) AstraZeneca Joins U. of Oxford and Spinout to Develop COVID-19 Vaccine
AstraZeneca will oversee global development, manufacturing, and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine
candidate that was created by researchers at University of Oxford, and is now being studied in a human clinical trial
launched last week, the partners said today. AstraZeneca, the University, and its spinout company Vaccitech
which has joint rights to the platform technology behind the vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19—said
they will start work immediately while hammering out final terms of their collaboration agreement.
According to AstraZeneca, vaccines made from the ChAdOx1 virus
have been given to more than 320 people to date and have been shown
to be safe and well tolerated—although they can cause temporary side effects
such as a temperature, flu-like symptoms, headache or sore arm, the company acknowledged.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:54 pm

May 2020

(May 1, 2020) UK government invited Google DeepMind exec to critical coronavirus meeting
The U.K. government invited DeepMind co-founder and CEO Demis Hassabis to attend a meeting of the scientific advisory group
for emergencies (Sage) on March 18, around the time officials were considering a lockdown.
His attendance, reported by The Guardian, has got people asking questions.
Namely, what was the leader of an American-owned AI firm doing at a top-secret government meeting on the coronavirus?

(May 1, 2020) FDA authorizes emergency use of coronavirus drug remdesivir
The authorization comes days after data suggested the experimental drug
can help patients recover faster. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued
an emergency-use authorization for remdesivir in a bid to help patients
get quicker access to the first antiviral to show promise against Covid-19 infection.

(May 2 2020) Why is Gates denying Event 201?
In October, 2019 Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who, together with his wife,
runs the richest and most powerful foundation in the world, co-organised a simulation
exercise on a worldwide corona epidemic. Videos were posted documenting the exercise.
But intriguingly Gates now denies such an exercise ever took place.

(May 1, 2020) UK government invited Google DeepMind exec to critical coronavirus meeting
The U.K. government invited DeepMind co-founder and CEO Demis Hassabis to attend a meeting of the scientific advisory group
for emergencies (Sage) on March 18, around the time officials were considering a lockdown.
His attendance, reported by The Guardian, has got people asking questions.
Namely, what was the leader of an American-owned AI firm doing at a top-secret government meeting on the coronavirus?

(May 1, 2020) Vaccine Leader Signs Deal for 1 Billion Covid-19 Doses a Year
Moderna Inc., one of the leaders among U.S. companies developing experimental vaccines
against the coronavirus, entered a pact with Lonza Group AG aimed at manufacturing 1 billion doses a year.
The companies announced a global agreement under which the Swiss chemical and pharmaceutical company
will ramp up output of the proposed vaccine, which is based on a novel technology that relies on genetic material
called mRNA. They expect the first batches to be produced in the U.S. in July.

(May 5, 2020) 15 Children Are Hospitalized With Mysterious Illness Possibly Tied to Covid-19
Fifteen children, many of whom had the coronavirus, have recently been hospitalized in New York City
with a mysterious syndrome that doctors do not yet fully understand but that has also been reported
in several European countries, health officials announced on Monday night.
Many of the children, ages 2 to 15, have shown symptoms associated with toxic shock or Kawasaki disease,
a rare illness in children that involves inflammation of the blood vessels, including coronary arteries,
the city’s health department said.

(May 5, 2020) Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, Governor Cuomo Announces Collaboration with Gates Foundation
to Develop a Blueprint to Reimagine Education in the New Normal

"One of the areas we can really learn from is education because the old model of our education system
where everyone sits in a classroom is not going to work in the new normal. When we do reopen our schools
let's reimagine them for the future, and to do that we are collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
and exploring smart, innovative education alternatives using all the new technology we have at our disposal."

(May 5, 2020) An emerging antiviral takes aim at COVID-19
In late 2019, Painter got a contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
to move EIDD-2801 into Phase I clinical trials for influenza.
The plan was to file an investigational new drug application and find a partner to help with the clinical work.
Just as the team was contemplating its next move, word of a virus spreading in Wuhan, China, was starting to make news.
One of Painter’s collaborators, UNC coronavirus expert Ralph Baric,
immediately alerted him that the new pathogen was probably a coronavirus—one
that EIDD-2801 could potentially combat.

(May 6, 2020) New York Gov. Cuomo just tapped former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to help invent a more tech-focused future for the state post-pandemic
"The first priorities of what we're trying to do are focused on telehealth, remote learning and broadband,"
said Schmidt, who dialed in by video conference. "We can take this terrible disaster and accelerate
all of those in ways that will make things much, much better." Schmidt said the pandemic
has provided the state with an opportunity to update old and neglected systems and develop
new ways to do things, and stressed that the commission's "intent is to be very inclusive" in its approach.
Schmidt is the third billionaire Cuomo has tapped in recent weeks to advise New York on post-pandemic changes.

(May 6, 2020) Gilead Outlines Efforts to Expand Global Supply of Remdesivir for COVID-19
Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir is, to date, the only approved drug treatment for COVID-19.
Shortly after announcing positive results in two clinical trials on April 30, one a small trial run by the company,
the other a larger trial conducted by the National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID),
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19.
Gilead is in talks with chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies around the world to work out voluntary licenses
to produce remdesivir for Europe, Asia and the developing world through at least 2022.

(May 6, 2020) COVID RIDDLE Fears coronavirus arrived in Europe in OCTOBER ‘when French athletes at World Military Games in Wuhan brought it home’
Elodie Clouvel, a world champion modern pentathlete, was asked on local TV station Television Loire 7 on March 25
if she was worried about the prospect of potentially having to spend the summer in Japan for the Olympics.
She replied: "No because I think that with Velentin [Belaud, her partner, also a pentathlete] we have already had
the coronavirus, well the Covid-19."

(May 7, 2020) Computational Biologist Bing Liu Dies in Suspected Murder
Bing Liu, a computational systems biologist at the University of Pittsburgh who was studying the virus that causes COVID-19,
was shot to death in his home on May 2. He was 37 years old.
Liu had been studying the infection mechanism of SARS-CoV-2. According to the department’s statement,
“Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection
and the cellular basis of the following complications.

(May 7, 2020) Gilead Announces Approval of Veklury® (remdesivir) in Japan for Patients With Severe COVID-19
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has granted
regulatory approval of Veklury® (remdesivir) as a treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19,
under an exceptional approval pathway. The exceptional approval was granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic
and references the Emergency Use Authorization of remdesivir in the United States.

(May 7, 2020) "In October in Wuhan we all got sick": the swordsman Tagliarol was in China at the military World Cup
At the Wuhan military world championship "we all got sick, 6 out of 6 in the apartment and a lot of other delegations.
So much so that the medical center had almost run out of medicine".
"I had a fever and cough for 3 weeks - says the blue swordsman - and the antibiotics did nothing;
then it was my son and my partner's turn. I'm not a doctor, but the symptoms seem to be those of covid-19.

(May 8, 2020) U.S. mayor suspects he caught coronavirus in November 2019
The mayor of a U.S. city in the state of New Jersey claims he recently tested positive for COVID-19
antibodies and suspects he was infected by the virus in November, about two months before the first confirmed case in the country.
However, amid the coronavirus virus pandemic, questions have been raised about the reliability of antibody tests and the ability to pinpoint
the exact time of infection. And it's not clear whether anyone else who had contact with the mayor contracted the virus.

(May 8, 2020) COVID-19: Unique public health issues facing Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities
A possible association between Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)
deficiency and COVID-19 has recently been recently suggested. G6PD deficiency has a high prevalence in persons of African, Asian, and Mediterranean descent.
Accumulating evidence suggests that G6PD deficiency may increase viral replication and susceptibility to viral infections due to its cellular redox state.
In a study conducted on Human Coronavirus HCoV 229E, it was found that antioxidant treatment may protect against viral infection.

(May 8, 2020) Evidence mounts on the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on ethnic minorities
As the cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to increase across the world, evidence
is continuing to emerge that the pandemic could be disproportionately affecting people from black,
Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. In the UK, this trend first came to public attention
during media reports that showed the first 11 doctors who sadly lost their lives to COVID-19,
were all from BAME communities.

(May 11, 2020) Former Sanofi research exec Zerhouni favorite for COVID-19 czar: report
The U.S. government has narrowed down its list of people to be the face of its COVID-19 drug and vaccine response,
and reports suggest Elias Zerhouni is currently the favorite.
Zerhouni, who ran the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under former President George W. Bush
before a seven-year stint helping run Sanofi’s research business, is leading a narrowing pack for the position as "COVID czar."
This is according to sources talking to Politico, with one person telling the news site
that Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, who served
as HHS deputy secretary while Zerhouni was NIH director, “personally prefers Zerhouni for the role.”

(May 11, 2020) Novavax scores $384M deal, CEPI's largest ever, to fund coronavirus vaccine work
After winning a small grant for early vaccine work in March, Novavax just won the largest-ever investment from CEPI,
a global coalition aiding COVID-19 vaccine development. The grant of up to $384 million from the Coalition
for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations will fund Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine testing through phase 2, plus early work to scale-up manufacturing.
The funding follows a $4 million award back in March. The Maryland biotech will use the funds to conduct a phase 1/2 trial on its candidate, NVX-COV2373,
starting with the phase 1 portion in Australia this month.
Beyond testing, the company intends to use part of the funds to scale up production
to make up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020. The company aims to make more than 1 billion doses in 2021.
Novavax's COVID-19 candidate is a recombinant nanoparticle vaccine
combined with the company's Matrix-M adjuvant. The platform recently succeeded in a phase 3 trial for NanoFlu,
a quadrivalent influenza shot, in adults 65 and older.

(May 12, 2020) Federal Whistleblower Says Boss Pushed Him to Purchase Drugs That Hadn’t Been Tested in Humans
In November, Rick Bright, then head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), was asked to spend millions of taxpayer dollars purchasing a drug
that was presented as a “miracle cure” for viral diseases. But as Bright detailed in a whistleblower complaint filed last week,
he didn’t think that BARDA should purchase the drug, known as EIDD-2801. Bright had reason to worry that EIDD-2801 might be dangerous.
The antiviral hadn’t undergone basic safety testing in humans,
as is typically required of drugs that BARDA purchases.
And similar drugs in the same class had caused serious reproductive problems in animals,
with animals exposed in the womb born without teeth and with partially formed skulls.
Central to Bright’s whistleblower complaint is Robert Kadlec,
the assistant secretary for disaster preparedness, who proved to be a major obstacle in Bright’s efforts to ramp up the production of N95 masks.
The problem partly stemmed from long-simmering tensions between Bright and Kadlec.
According to the complaint, since he was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017,
Kadlec had repeatedly pushed Bright to award government contracts to politically connected companies,
including one tied to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Prior to that, Kadlec had served on the staff of Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.,
who is now best known for dumping his stocks while assuring the public about the coronavirus.

(May 12, 2020) ApiJect Systems awarded $138M for syringes for COVID-19 vaccine
The Department of Defense (DoD) announced Tuesday that it has awarded a $138 million contract
to ApiJect Systems America to create a ready supply chain for prefilled syringes
when a COVID-19 vaccine is available. According to the Pentagon, the contract was spearheaded
by the DoD's Joint Acquisition Task Force in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Under the contract, ApiJect's subsidiary RAPID USA Inc. will operate under the initiative Project Jumpstart
to create a U.S.-based high-speed supply chain for prefilled syringes using blow-fill-seal plastics manufacturing technology,
enabling the manufacture of medical-grade injection devices by October 2020.
The contract also enables ApiJect Systems America to accelerate the launch of RAPID USA manufactured in new and permanent
U.S.-based BFS facilities with the ultimate production goal of over 500 million prefilled syringes (doses) in 2021.
This effort will be executed initially in Connecticut, South Carolina and Illinois, with potential expansion to other U.S.-based locations.

(May 13, 2020) French drug company says US will get first dibs on COVID-19 vaccine
Sanofi, the french drug company working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
to develop a coronavirus vaccine, indicated that Americans will be the first to gain access
to the vaccine should the company be successful.
“The U.S. government has the right to the largest pre-order
because it’s invested in taking the risk,” Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson told Bloomberg.

(May 14, 2020) Sanofi walks back after saying US would get vaccine first
French pharmaceutical group Sanofi ensured Thursday that it would make its COVID-19 vaccine,
when ready, available in all countries, hours after the the company's CEO said the United States will get first access.
Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson's comments prompted angry reaction from the French government.
Sanofi said its cooperation with U.S. agency BARDA allows the company “to initiate production as early as possible.”
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has funded the development of the vaccine.

(May 15, 2020) Overnight Health Care: Trump touts accelerated push on vaccines
President Trump formally introduced the new head of his "Operation Warp Speed," a public-private partnership
to push for a vaccine to prevent COVID-19.There are a couple of new faces in the administration’s coronavirus
response efforts: Former pharmaceutical executive Moncef Slaoui and Army Gen. Gustave Perna are heading up
the Operation Warp Speed vaccine development effort.
Slaoui will serve as the project's chief scientist while Perna will serve as its chief operation officer.
Trump joined them in the White House Rose Garden on Friday to tout the effort.

(May 15, 2020) French patients were sick with Covid-19 in mid-November and before China - researchers
Doctors in the French Haut-Rhin region, hit hard by Covid-19, say they’ve detected several cases dating back to 16 November 2019
long before the disease is believed to have surfaced in France, and before it was even announced in China.
According to French daily Le Figaro, each of the scans was carefully
re-studied before being filed into three categories: “not Covid-compatible”, “Covid-compatible” and “typical Covid”.
Any scan falling into the last two categories needed the validation of a second or third doctor.

(May 17, 2020) Government to invest £93m in UK vaccine manufacturing centre
The British government will invest up to £93m to bring forward construction of a new vaccine manufacturing centre,
the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said on Saturday.
The funding will ensure the new centre opens in summer 2021, a year ahead of schedule.
The Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) is a key component of the government’s programme
to ensure that once a coronavirus vaccine is available, it can be rolled out quickly in mass quantities, the department said.
The not-for-profit facility on the Harwell science and innovation campus
in Oxfordshire will have the capacity to produce enough doses for the entire UK population in as little as six months.

(May 19, 2020) The Use of AI Amid COVID-19
Google’s DeepMind has predicted, not yet confirmed,
the structure of the proteins of the virus,
which will be useful in developing a drug.

(May 20, 2020) Bill Maris, who started Google’s VC arm, brings on Google walkout organizer at his new venture firm
Section 32 is one of the newer bio investment funds on the block. It was founded by the first CEO of Google Ventures, Bill Maris,
who also helped start Calico, a Google project (now Alphabet company) dedicated to anti-aging technology.
So far, Section 32 has invested in about 40 companies, including Auris, a microsurgical robotics company that sold to Johnson & Johnson;
Alector, a therapeutics company focused on neurodegenerative diseases; and Vir, an infectious disease-focused company that is working on new vaccines,
including for Covid19. More broadly, the fund is also looking at machine learning, cybersecurity, oncology, infectious diseases, diagnostics and brain health.
Maris also remains interested in anti-aging technology, and he typically meets with three to five founders a week in the space. He doesn’t believe that Calico,
which he helped start, has done enough yet to prevent new players from getting into the space.

(May 21, 2020) U.S. Raises Ante in Vaccine Race With $1.2 Billion for Astra
The U.S. threw its weight behind one of the fastest-moving experimental solutions
to the coronavirus pandemic, pledging as much as $1.2 billion to AstraZeneca Plc
to help make the University of Oxford’s Covid vaccine.
The U.K. drugmaker received the money from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)
and said it has secured capacity to make 1 billion doses. Astra has identified supply chains in the U.S. and U.K., according to Soriot.
Soriot said Astra is working with groups including the World Health Organization,
the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations(CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance,
on making sure the vaccine is allocated fairly so that poorer countries have access.
The company has supply agreements for 400 million doses.

(May 21, 2020) Trump picks little-known U.S. firm to spearhead $354M pandemic drug pact
The Trump administration has floated a four-year, $354 million contract with a fledgling company, Phlow Corporation,
to build a generic medicine and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) plant in Richmond, Virginia and supply COVID-19 treatments
produced there. The massive deal, awarded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA),
can be expanded up to 10 years and a total of $812 million, making it among the largest in BARDA's history.
It's part of the administration's push to boost drug manufacturing on U.S. soil,
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a release.
To fulfill the government deal, Phlow has teamed up with CivicaRx,
a generics maker started by hospitals fed up with rising drug prices, and API supplier AMPAC, among others.
Phlow is helmed by Eric Edwards, a co-founder of Kaléo, a drugmaker that ran afoul of regulators and politicians for pricing of EpiPen competitor Auvi-Q. In 2015, Auvi-Q was pulled off shelves after Sanofi,
which partnered with Kaléo on the injector, issued a voluntary recall on manufacturing and dosing concerns.
A year later, Kaléo announced it would relaunch Auvi-Q without Sanofi on board, this time with a $4,500-per-two-pack price
point that was more than 700% higher than the sticker at its initial launch.

(May 20, 2020) Mink Linked to Human Covid Case Prompts Dutch to Screen Farms
The Netherlands will start checking all mink farms in the country for the coronavirus
after research from an ongoing probe found a person probably caught it from an infected animal.
Screening of mink for antibodies will be mandatory in “the interest of the health of employees,”
the Dutch government said in a statement late Tuesday. A farm worker was infected with a strain
that was genetically similar to one circulating among mink, suggesting the animals were the source.

(May 20, 2020) Trump’s Vaccine Chief Has Vast Ties to Drug Industry, Posing Possible Conflicts
The scientist, Moncef Slaoui, is a venture capitalist and a former longtime executive at GlaxoSmithKline.
Most recently, he sat on the board of Moderna, a Cambridge, Mass., biotechnology firm
with a $30 billion valuation that is pursuing a coronavirus vaccine.
He still holds just under $10 million in GlaxoSmithKline stock and remains a partner in Medicxi,
a venture capital firm that specializes in investing in biotech concerns, with several companies engaged
in the global race to develop treatments or vaccines to stanch the coronavirus pandemic. GSK and Sanofi
have become partners in creating a vaccine candidate against the coronavirus.

(May 20, 2020) This Startup's Covid-19 Test Would Give Results in 20 Minutes
San Francisco-based startup Mammoth Biosciences is developing an at-home test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
The test can determine in 20 minutes whether someone is carrying the virus, thanks in part to the gene-editing technique known as Crispr,
according to Mammoth. Mammoth's test requires the user to take a nasal swab or spit into a vial;
a color indicator then reveals a positive or negative result.
The startup is partnering with London-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to bring the test to market.
Mammoth has $68 million in funding from investors including Mayfield Fund, Verily, NFX, and Brook Byers.

(May 21, 2020) U.S. Raises Ante in Vaccine Race With $1.2 Billion for Astra
The U.S. threw its weight behind one of the fastest-moving experimental solutions
to the coronavirus pandemic, pledging as much as $1.2 billion to AstraZeneca Plc
to help make the University of Oxford’s Covid vaccine.
The U.K. drugmaker received the money from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)
and said it has secured capacity to make 1 billion doses. Astra has identified supply chains in the U.S. and U.K., according to Soriot.
Soriot said Astra is working with groups including the World Health Organization,
the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations(CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance,
on making sure the vaccine is allocated fairly so that poorer countries have access.
The company has supply agreements for 400 million doses.

(May 22, 2020) Immunity Passports and the Perils of Conferring Coronavirus Status
Recently, Onfido submitted a proposal to members of the U.K. Parliament’s science and technology committee,
as they consider ways to lift stay-at-home orders, including the development of immunity passports.
COVI-Pass is an immunity passport that uses VCode—a proprietary cryptographic image, similar to a QR code
—that can be scanned at a distance of a hundred metres. It will reveal if a person has tested positive for antibodies,
flash green if a person has tested negative for the virus, and red if tests show that they have the virus or don’t have antibodies,
or if their test result has expired. (A yellow light shows when it’s time to be retested.) The app can “geo-fence” a point of entry, prohibiting visitors with a red light from entering a building or stadium or school.
“I believe that all governments will move toward a global health passport, which will be as common as carrying a driver’s license
or a passport, because this is not going to be the last pandemic we have,” Adam Palmer, the C.O.O. of COVI-Pass, said.

(May 25, 2020) Swiss tracing app goes on trial
Switzerland is the first country in the world to use APIs from Google and Apple.
The app is being developed as part of the DP-​3T project by ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne,
working together with international researchers. ETH scientists are actively involved in the design,
security assessment, data protection and performance of the SwissCovid app. Srdjan Capkun,
Professor for Systems and Network Security, one of the developers of the SwissCovid app,
stresses: "This is not 'only' a smartphone app, but a complex distributed contact tracing system.

(May 26, 2020) UK authorises anti-viral drug remdesivir
UK regulators say there is enough evidence to approve its use in selected Covid-19 hospital patients.
The US and Japan have already made similar urgent arrangements to provide early access to the medicine before they have a marketing agreement.
The drug is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including in the UK.Early data suggests it can cut recovery time by about four days,
but there is no evidence yet that it will save more lives.

(May 26, 2020) Merck inks Themis buyout to join COVID-19 vaccine race
Merck has struck a deal to buy Themis to accelerate the development
of a COVID-19 vaccine. The takeover will see Merck, a latecomer to the response to SARS-CoV-2,
apply its vaccine capabilities to a candidate based on Themis’ measles vector platform
that is set to enter the clinic this year. Themis is developing a pipeline of vaccines
based on a measles virus vector platform it licensed from Institut Pasteur.
“Together with Institut Pasteur, we have worked on very closely related viruses
like SARS and MERS [and] demonstrated the platform is very useful in eliciting an immune response,”
Themis CEO Erich Tauber said. “We started [SARS-CoV-2] vector design in February.
We have started in vivo models ... and are now preparing for clinical trials.”
Merck is now set to apply its vaccine capabilities to the program.
The Big Pharma has a major human vaccine operation, which generated sales of $8.4 billion last year,
but it stayed on the sidelines in the early days of the pandemic as peers such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sanofi placed bets on COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

(May 26, 2020) IAVI and Merck Collaborate to Develop Vaccine Against SARS-CoV-2
KENILWORTH, N.J. & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and IAVI,
a nonprofit scientific research organization dedicated to addressing urgent, unmet global health challenges, today announced a new collaboration
to develop an investigational vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 to be used for the prevention of COVID-19. This vaccine candidate will use the recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) technology
that is the basis for Merck’s Ebola Zaire virus vaccine, ERVEBO® (Ebola Zaire Vaccine, Live), which was the first rVSV vaccine approved for use in humans.
Merck has also signed an agreement with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA),
part of the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
to provide initial funding support for this effort.

(May 27, 2020) Novavax snares $167M buyout to rapidly scale up COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing
Novavax will fork over $167 million for Czech manufacturer Praha Vaccines and team up with vaccine giant Serum Institute of India
in moves that will add capacity for 1 billion-plus doses per year of a potential COVID-19 shot,
the drugmaker said Wednesday. As part of the acquisition, Maryland-based Novavax will pick up Praha's
150,000-square-foot, 150-employee facility in Bohumil, Czech Republic.
The "state-of-the-art " plant is undergoing renovation and is outfitted for vaccine and biologics manufacturing.
The Praha buyout, funded with a $384 million grant from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI),
will bring Novavax's vaccine manufacturing capacity above 1 billion doses by 2021.

(May 28, 2020) Advisor resigns from ID2020 objecting to blockchain immunity passports for COVID-19
Elizabeth M. Renieris, a Harvard lawyer on the ID2020 technical advisory committee, has resigned from the ID2020 Alliance.
Renieris’ resignation was driven by concerns that the organization will get involved in COVID-19 immunity passports, as Coindesk first reported.
The ID2020 Alliance was founded by Accenture, Microsoft, Gavi, Rockefeller Foundation and IDEO. Partners include Mastercard, which joined last week, as well as NGOs and UN agencies.
Renieris believes immunity passports could potentially infringe privacy rights for tests that are unproven and that the identity and blockchain standards are still a work in progress.

(May 28, 2020) Consumer anticipation of biometric payments surges as contactless takes over from cash
Cash is disappearing and payment cards are being used more, shifting consumer attitudes about biometrics for payments
and presenting a major opportunity for fingerprint cards, a new survey report and a pair of company posts suggest.
More than half of Canadians expect that biometrics will be part of the way they purchase things within the next decade,
according to a new survey. As a Research Co. shows credit card purchases doubled during COVID-19 lockdowns to 50 percent of all transactions,
up from 24 percent in February 2019. Another 31 percent of payments were processed with debit cards,
and 4 percent through e-transfers or with a smartphone, compared to only 3 percent with cash.

(May 28, 2020) AstraZeneca locks up COVID-19 vaccine supply with Oxford BioMedica production deal
AstraZeneca is on the hook for millions of doses of the University of Oxford's front-runner COVID-19 vaccine candidate,
assuming it proves effective. To fill those orders, the British drugmaker has agreed to a short-term manufacturing deal
that will help it bridge the gap. AstraZeneca and Oxford BioMedica inked a one-year deal covering "multiple batches" of the University of Oxford's adenovirus-based
COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222 (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), as part of a consortium aimed at speeding production of the shot.
The vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

(May 28, 2020) Roche partners with Gilead in COVID trial of drug combination
Roche Holding AG and Gilead Sciences Inc. are initiating a late-stage trial of a two-drug combination
in hopes of creating a new weapon in the battle against COVID-19.
The study will pair Roche’s immune suppressor Actemra along with Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir,
the only drug shown so far to fight the coronavirus, in treating patients with severe pneumonia, Roche said in a statement.
The companies plan to begin enrolling as many as 450 patients in the U.S., Canada and Europe in June for the trial, called Remdacta.
Roche said that it’s increasing the size of another trial of Actemra, to 450 patients from 330. That trial started in April
and Roche has said it expects results as soon as June. Other drugmakers experimenting
with anti-inflammatory treatments for COVID-19 include Sanofi, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., AstraZeneca Plc and GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

(May 28, 2020) Takeda focuses on potential new therapies for COVID-19
Japanese firm Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a key leader of a coalition
who has announced that world-leading medical and research institutions, blood centers,
life science companies, technology companies, philanthropic organizations, and COVID-19 survivor
groups have come together to support the rapid development of potential new therapies for patients with COVID-19.
Working together under the “The Fight Is In Us” campaign,
the coalition is seeking to mobilize tens of thousands of people in the United States
who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their blood plasma, which contains vital antibodies
that have fought off the disease and could now help others do the same.
The coalition partners are working on two distinct approaches for treating COVID-19
that both urgently require collection of convalescent plasma now.
One approach is the direct transfusion of blood plasma though the Expanded Access Program
for convalescent plasma, which is currently being administered with authorization from the Food & Drug Administration by Mayo Clinic.
Coalition members developing an H-Ig include the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance
(CSL Behring, Takeda, ADMA Biologics, Biopharma Plasma, Biotest, BPL, GC Pharma, LFB, Octapharma and Sanquin) and Grifols.

(May 30, 2020) Taiwan approves remdesivir as COVID-19 medication
Taiwan's health authorities have approved the potential new coronavirus COVID-19 medication remdesivir
for treatment of the disease in the country, the Central Epidemic Command Center said Saturday.
At a daily press briefing, Wu Shou-mei, Director-General of Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
said that a panel of experts which met on Friday found that the drug was needed in Taiwan and agreed
that it should be used to treat severe patients infected with COVID-19.
Taiwan plans to order doses for 1,000 patients, with the order expected to arrive late July,
Wu said, adding that the move is to ensure there is enough medication for severely ill
patients if a second wave of infection occurs.
Due to the emergency of the situation, Taiwan needs to quickly approve the drug for its patients, Wu said.
Remdesivir was given an emergency use authorization in the United States on May 1 and was also given a special approval
for emergencies in Japan on May 7, Wu said.

(May 31, 2020) Cardiff’s quiet tech investor, Bill Maris, recruits ex-Googlers to Section 32
San Diego’s most high-profile tech investor is building up his local startup fund, recruiting several ex-Google staffers
to manage his firm’s reputation, recruitment and culture. Bill Maris, who’s best known as the former Silicon Valley investor
who created and led Google’s startup investment efforts at GV, now leads his own fund here in San Diego County.
The investment group, called Section 32, is based in Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Since it’s inception in 2017, Section 32 has raised over $400 million across two funds.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:56 pm

June 2020

(June 1, 2020) ID2020 Advisor Questions Corporate Interests in Resignation Letter
Elizabeth Renieris has resigned from the ID2020 Alliance, and penned a scathing critique of the organization on her way out the door.
She specifically argues that the Alliance’s original objectives have been compromised by corporate interests,
and that the organization is now so fixated on digital identities that it is willing to sacrifice civil liberties to accomplish its aims.
ID2020 Advisor Questions Corporate Interests in Scathing Resignation Letter “At this stage, I can no longer even describe what ID2020’s mission is with any confidence,”
wrote Renieris in her resignation letter. “All I can perceive is a desire to promote decentralized identity solutions at all costs.”

(June 2, 2020) India approves emergency use of remdesivir to treat Covid-19 patients
BENGALURU: India's government said on Tuesday it has approved Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral drug remdesivir
for emergency use in treating Covid-19 patients."(Remdesivir) approved on June 1 under emergency use with condition for five dose administration,
" the Drugs Controller General of India said in an email statement.

(June 2, 2020) Gilead developing inhaled remdesivir usable outside of hospitals
Gilead Sciences is developing easier-to-administer versions of its antiviral treatment remdesivir
for COVID-19 that could be used outside of hospitals, including ones that can be inhaled,
after trials showed moderate effectiveness for the drug given by infusion. Remdesivir is the only drug
so far that has been shown to help patients with COVID-19, but Gilead and other companies
are looking for ways to make it work better. For critically ill patients, Roche and Eli Lilly
are testing drugs in combination with remdesivir. Gilead is also seeking to treat the virus earlier.
Other antivirals, like influenza pill Tamiflu, work best when given as early as possible after someone becomes infected.

(June 3, 2020) UK PM Defends Under-fire Virus 'Test And Trace' Scheme
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday defended a new "test and trace" system
designed to stop a second wave of coronavirus infection, amid criticism about a lack of transparency.
The scheme, launched in England last week to coincide with the easing of lockdown restrictions,
uses an army of 25,000 tracers to contact people who may have been exposed to the virus.
Anybody thought to be at risk of infection will have to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms.
The government aims to be able to trace the contacts of 10,000 people a day.
"NHS (National Health Service) Test and Trace started operating a week ago,"
Johnson told a daily briefing on the government's response to the outbreak.

(June 3, 2020) Trump Administration Selects Five Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates as Finalists: NYT
The Trump administration has selected five companies,
including Moderna Inc, AstraZeneca Plc and Pfizer Inc,
as the most likely candidates to produce a vaccine for the novel coronavirus,
the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing senior officials.
The other companies are Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co Inc,
according to the paper.

(June 3, 2020) Portable digital identity solution with face biometrics successfully exits FCA regulatory sandbox
A reusable digital identity solution leveraging face biometrics and developed by Onfido, Deloitte, and Evernym
has successfully exited a regulatory sandbox pilot with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA),
which the company’s say shows that portable digital ID is now market-ready.
“Now that we’ve proven the model in one of the toughest regulated markets in the world,
we’re rapidly proceeding to apply it to other geographies and services
as well such as renting a car, self-checking into a hotel and one day, even voting.”
“When you put the individual in charge of her digital identity,
everyone wins. It gives consumers the freedom to securely move about the digital world,
and businesses the ability to finally know and trust who they are interacting with.”

(June 4, 2020) Dutch Postpone Cull Of Thousands Of Mink After Farm Infections
A Dutch judge late Thursday postponed the planned cull of around 10,000 mink (ferret-like animals)
on farms in the Netherlands where coronavirus had been reported,
after animal rights groups objected. Health officials ordered the slaughter of the animals
after at least two workers were last month reported as being infected with COVID-19, most likely by the mink.
The proposed cull at mink farms in southern Netherlands, the epicentre of the country's outbreak,
due to have started on Friday, was aimed at preventing further contamination, two senior Dutch ministers said.

(June 4, 2020) Vaccines alliance raises $8.8bn for global immunisation plans
Governments, companies and individuals around the world have pledged $8.8bn for a global vaccines alliance
to help immunisation programmes stalled by the coronavirus pandemic and support the development and distribution of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
More than 50 countries took part, as well as individuals such as billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, whose foundation pledged $1.6bn.
The pandemic has exposed new ruptures in international cooperation, notably with President Donald Trump's recent decision to terminate
the United States' relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO).
However, Washington pledged $1.16bn to Gavi, and Trump sent a recorded message to the conference,
telling delegates: "As the coronavirus has shown, there are no borders. It doesn't discriminate.

(June 5, 2020) UK’s COVID-19 health data contracts with Google and Palantir finally emerge
Contracts for a number of coronavirus data deals that the U.K. government
inked in haste with U.S. tech giants, including Google and Palantir,
plus a U.K.-based AI firm called Faculty, have been published today
by openDemocracy and law firm Foxglove — which had threatened legal action for withholding the information.
Concerns had been raised about what is an unprecedented transfer of health data on millions of U.K. citizens to private tech companies,
including those with a commercial interest in acquiring data to train and build AI models.
Freedom of Information requests for the contracts had been deferred up to now.
In a blog post today, openDemocracy and Foxglove write that the data store contracts show
tech companies were “originally granted intellectual property rights (including the creation of databases),
and were allowed to train their models and profit off their unprecedented access to NHS data.”

(June 5, 2020) Peter Thiel’s Palantir Is Given Access to U.K. Health Data on Covid-19 Patients
Britain’s National Health Service allowed secretive U.S. technology company Palantir Technologies Inc.
access to sensitive personal data of patients, employees and members of the public
under a deal to help it cope with the Covid-19 outbreak.
Faculty, a London-based artificial intelligence firm, is also working on the NHS’s coronavirus response
and secured access to sensitive data. Tech giants Microsoft Corp., Amazon Web Services and Google
are also involved in the deal with the NHS. The companies are tasked with building a data platform
to help understand how Covid-19 is spreading across the country and the capacity of its health-care system to deal with it.
Faculty is run by Marc Warner, whose brother Ben Warner, a data scientist, worked with the Vote Leave Brexit campaign
and has attended meetings of a scientific advisory group to guide the government on its coronavirus response strategy,
the Guardian newspaper has reported.

(June 5, 2020) 2 billion doses of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine will be available after a new deal that included $750m from Bill Gates, AstraZeneca says
The global supply of a potential coronavirus vaccine being developed at Oxford University has been doubled to 2 billion
after a deal including $750 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The vaccine is being produced by AstraZeneca British drug maker, drawing on work by researchers from Oxford University.
It announced Thursday that it had signed agreements with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi
the Vaccine Alliance to boost its supplies. The company has committed to mass-producing the vaccine before it has been proved effective, an unusual
step designed to compress the long timeline of vaccine production.
CEPI and Gavi are both charities supported the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization.
The $750 million agreement with CEPI and Gavi will support manufacturing, procurement and distribution for 300 million of the 2 billion doses.
The statement also said that AstraZeneca struck a licensing partnership with the Serum Institute of India (SII),
the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, for 1 billion doses of the vaccine earmarked for low- and middle-income countries.

(June 5, 2020) University of Queensland, CEPI and CSL partner for COVID-19 vaccine
CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, CSL and The University of Queensland (UQ)
have announced that they have entered into a new, significant partnering agreement to accelerate the development,
manufacture and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate which has been pioneered by researchers at UQ.
CEPI and CSL will fund the development and manufacture of UQ’s “molecular clamp”
enabled vaccine for COVID-19. The initial phase of large-scale production
of the UQ COVID-19 vaccine is planned to take place at CSL’s biotech manufacturing facilities in Melbourne, Australia.

(June 5, 2020) Inovio accuses manufacturing partner of hampering COVID-19 vaccine scale-up in lawsuit
Inovio earlier this week accused contract manufacturing partner VGXI,
a subsidiary of South Korean Geneone Life Sciences, of refusing to pass technical know-how
to CDMOs helping manufacture doses of its COVID-19 vaccine hopeful, according to a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania state court.
In its suit, Inovio said VGXI did not have the needed manufacturing capacity to produce its vaccine at scale,
requiring the transfer of its technical information to speed a regulatory approval.
By not doing so, VGXI violated its contract and has kept Inovio's "vaccine and world health hostage,
perhaps to squeeze more money from Inovio or because it's having buyer's remorse over its existing contract," the lawsuit said.
VGXI said in a statement that it has been working with Inovio to help produce its DNA vaccine candidate, INO-4800,
which is currently in phase 1 human testing, and called the complaint "inaccurate."

(June 6, 2020) In the AI era, your voice could give away your face
MIT researchers trained a machine learning model to reconstruct a very rough likeness of someone’s face based only on a short audio clip.
From algorithms that can automatically tag you in photos, to face recognition systems embedded in city surveillance systems
to voice generators that can put words in people’s mouths, AI is dismantling privacy.
A new tool is peeling back the curtain a little more, with a method to figure out what your face looks like from your voice.
The paper, “Speech2Face: Learning the Face Behind a Voice,” explains how they took a dataset
made up of millions of clips from YouTube and created a neural network-based model that learns vocal attributes associated with facial
features from the videos. Now, when the system hears a new sound bite, the AI can use what it’s learned to guess what the face might look like.

(June 7, 2020) AstraZeneca Approaches Gilead About Potential Merger
AstraZeneca Plc has made a preliminary approach to rival drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc. about a potential merger,
according to people familiar with the matter, in what would be the biggest health-care deal on record.
The U.K.-based firm informally contacted Gilead last month to gauge its interest in a possible tie-up,
the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.
AstraZeneca didn’t specify terms for any transaction, they said.
AstraZeneca, valued at $140 billion, is the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker by market capitalization
and has developed treatments for conditions from cancer to cardiovascular disease.
Gilead, worth $96 billion at Friday’s close, is the creator of a drug (remdesivir)
that’s received U.S. approval for use with coronavirus patients.

(June 7, 2020) New saliva test could deliver Covid-19 result within one hour
The tests work by people spitting into a tube and posting the sample to a lab
A new saliva test could help the government meet its target of working out whether someone has coronavirus within 24 hours.
The government is in talks with British company Chronomics about rolling out the test which would involve people who are suspected to have Covid-19 spitting into a tube and posting the sample to a lab. The company is aiming to produce test results within one hour
of the samples arriving at labs.

(June 8, 2020) Since the pandemic began, American billionaires made an extra half a trillion dollars
The richest Americans continue to get richer, while 21 million Americans are on unemployment.
As millions of unemployed Americans bear the brunt of economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic,
U.S. billionaires have seen the opposite: a massive accumulation of wealth.
The total amount of wealth controlled by U.S. billionaires’ swelled by more than $565 billion
since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
The divide becomes even more stark when looking at specific billionaire’s gains.
Jeff Bezos’s wealth is up $36.2 billion since March 18, even as Amazon faces criticism
for how the company has treated its essential workers and its hollow response to the protests against police brutality
that clearly clashes with the company’s actions.
Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth is up by $30.1 billion, at the same time that Facebook has flubbed fact-checking
and Facebook employees complain loudly about that inaction.

(June 8, 2020) UK government releases details of COVID-19 data-sharing deals with big tech firms after legal action threat
Contracts released by the UK government have revealed that personal health information about millions of NHS patients
was provided to private tech firms involved in the COVID-19 datastore project.
Political website openDemocracy and tech justice firm Foxglove sent legal letters demanding transparency about the agreements,
which were revealed hours before court proceedings were due to start on 5 June.
Details of the deals with Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Palantir and Faculty
have been published online by openDemocracy.
They reveal that companies involved in the datastore project were originally granted intellectual property rights
and allowed to train their models and profit from access to NHS data, but the terms of the deal were changed after a Freedom of Information request made by Foxglove.

(June 10, 2020) Remdesivir approved for Covid-19 treatment in Singapore
Antiviral drug remdesivir can now be used to treat seriously ill Covid-19 patients
in Singapore, making the country one of the first to get the nod for using the drug to treat the virus.
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has granted conditional approval for Gilead Sciences' remdesivir,
allowing infectious diseases specialists to administer the drug to some patients,
the authority said on Wednesday (June 10), The Straits Times has learnt.
Remdesivir is the only treatment so far shown to benefit Covid-19 patients
in a robust clinical trial. As part of the conditional approval,
Gilead is required to collect the relevant safety data and to monitor the use of the drug.
The approval was obtained in less than three weeks - Gilead filed for registration of remdesivir in Singapore on May 22.

(June 11, 2020) Emergent BioSolutions signs deal to make AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Emergent BioSolutions Inc said on Thursday it signed an $87 million deal to make AstraZeneca Plc's experimental COVID-19 vaccine
in the United States, boosting the British drugmaker's efforts to bring a vaccine to the market.
The deal comes weeks after the United States pledged up to $1.2 billion to secure 300 million doses
of AstraZeneca's vaccine, which is among the first to move into mid-stage trials.
Emergent, which has also signed a deal with Johnson & Johnson
to make its COVID-19 vaccine, said it would reserve some of its large-scale manufacturing
capacity through 2020 for AstraZeneca.

(June 12, 2020) Over the past 3 months, 44 million US workers filed for unemployment while billionaires got $637 billion richer
Between March 18 and June 11, total US billionaire wealth grew by $637 billion, from $2.95 trillion to $3.58 trillion — a 21.5% increase.
Their overall wealth skyrocketed by at least $72 billion this week alone.
In that same 12-week period, more than 44 million US workers filed for unemployment,
with 1.5 million claims filed in the last week alone. Forbes reported in its annual survey,
published April 7, that total US billionaire wealth had declined from its 2019 levels.
However, IPS said those losses were recovered within weeks.
According to Forbes, the US is home to 623 billionaires, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos,
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, investor Warren Buffett, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

(June 13, 2020) AstraZeneca to deliver 400M vaccine doses to Europe once approved
AstraZeneca announced Saturday that it has reached an agreement with the Inclusive Vaccines Alliance of Europe
to supply as many as 400 million doses of the University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine, with deliveries beginning at the end of the calendar year.
"This agreement will ensure that hundreds of millions of Europeans have access to Oxford University's vaccine following approval," said Pascal Soriot,
AstraZeneca's chief executive officer, in a press statement. "With our European supply chain due to begin production soon,
we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly. I would like to thank the governments of Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands
for their commitment and swift response."
"AstraZeneca recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical programme
with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk," the company's statement said.

(June 13, 2020) Dr Reddy’s Inks Pact With Gilead Sciences For Remdesivir
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., on Saturday announced it has entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement
with Gilead Sciences Inc. that will grant the drug maker the right to register, manufacture and sell Gilead’s investigational drug,
Remdesivir, a potential treatment for Covid-19, in 127 countries including India. Dr. Reddy’s will receive technology transfer from Gilead for manufacturing
of this drug while it needs to do the manufacturing scale-up and obtain regulatory approval for marketing
of this drug in the respective countries, a press release from the company said.
India currently does not manufacture Remdesivir.
The four companies - Hetero, Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd., Cipla Ltd. and Mylan NV -
with which Gilead Sciences earlier entered into non-exclusive licensing agreements are still awaiting permission
from the Drug Controller General of India for manufacturing and distribution of Remdesivir in the country.

(June 15, 2020) AstraZeneca taps Catalent for COVID-19 vaccine finishing, packaging at Italian plant
British drugmaker AstraZeneca is shooting for the moon with its plan to produce 2 billion doses per year of a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
To reach that lofty goal, AstraZeneca has reached a deal with New Jersey-based Catalent
to help with the final stages of the shot's manufacturing.
Catalent will be tasked with finishing and packaging duties for AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222,
at its 305,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Anagni, Italy, the CDMO said Monday.
As part of their agreement, Catalent will help AstraZeneca produce "hundreds of millions of doses" beginning in August 2020
and potentially running through March 2022, if the vaccine receives full regulatory approval.
Last week, AstraZeneca and Emergent BioSolutions inked an $87 million deal to manufacture doses of Oxford's adenovirus-based COVID-19 shot for U.S. supply.
The accord was part of the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed initiative
to develop and rapidly scale production of targeted vaccines before the end of 2020.
For its part, Catalent will also work with Johnson & Johnson to help produce its COVID-19 vaccine hopeful.

(June 16, 2020) Cobra Biologics signs supply agreement with AstraZeneca for manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine candidate
Cobra Biologics (Cobra), part of the Cognate BioServices family, an international CDMO for biologics and pharmaceuticals,
today announced it has signed a supply agreement with AstraZeneca UK Ltd. ("AstraZeneca") to provide GMP manufacture of the adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222,
previously known as ChAdOx1 n-CoV-19. The production agreement is part of AstraZeneca's recently announced in-licensed programme with the University of Oxford
to ensure broad and equitable supply of the vaccine throughout the world, at no profit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cobra, along with other consortium members, will be manufacturing the vaccine with first deliveries to begin in the UK in September 2020.
Cobra is supported by leading shareholder EW Healthcare Partners, as well as Medivate Partners, a Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Fund and Blackrock,
who continue supporting the business and its expansion activities.

(June 16, 2020) AstraZeneca CEO Soriot says fast-tracked COVID-19 shot will protect for just one year
AstraZeneca, advancing a COVID-19 vaccine from the University of Oxford,
is among global frontrunners in the worldwide hunt for a viable vaccine.
Now, the drugmaker’s CEO says the vaccine is expected to provide protection for one year.
“We think that it will protect for about a year,” AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on a Belgian radio station, according to reports.
After that protection runs out, it isn’t clear whether recipients would be instructed
to get another dose, or another vaccine, or rely on COVID-19 treatments if they're approved.
So far, Gilead's remdesivir is the only treatment with an emergency use authorization, but research is underway on many other options.
On Tuesday, researchers in the United Kingdom reported that the inexpensive steroid dexamethasone cut deaths by a third for patients on ventilation.
Numerous governments have already signed deals with the drugmaker to order doses,
including an agreement over the weekend from Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands worth $843 million for 300 million doses.
Before that deal, AstraZeneca agreed to provide doses to the United Kingdom and inked a $1.2 billion agreement with the U.S. government for hundreds of millions of doses.
The company has also struck deals with CEPI and Gavi, the Vaccine alliance—plus the Serum Institute of India—to allow for access in low- and middle-income countries.

(June 16, 2020) Pangea and IDnow pitch biometric immunity credentials, Nomidio CEO calls for trusted identity guardian
Pangea has launched an end-to-end platform for issuing biometric smartcard-based COVID-19 immunity or travel credentials
in an effort to support the global airline and tourism industries. The company says global health experts agree that a solution
to expedite the flow of passengers is necessary to enable a recovery in the air travel industry.
Pangea proposes a card with a photo of the person, a digital signature, a chip and a hologram. The card can be securely linked to the records
of a country’s medical authority, and include encrypted data on the holder’s profile to verify the individual has tested negative or has immunity to the virus.
Pangea says it is in talks with several governments regarding the use of the biometric card.
The company plans to expand the smart card system’s capabilities to make it a full scale medical ‘passport.’
IDnow likewise says it is in talks with the UK government to create “immunity passports” for people who have recovered from COVID-19.
Since launching in the UK last year,
IDnow says its AutoIdent has been in enormous demand from companies seeking to check the security features of ID documents with the artificial intelligence-based software.
Major UK companies adopting IDnow’s technology include BP, Macropay, Holvi, Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and GVC, according to the announcement.
Demand in regulated sectors like finance and gaming has been particularly strong.

(June 19, 2020) Clover Biopharmaceuticals Initiates Phase 1 Clinical Trial for COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate
PERTH, Australia & CHENGDU, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clover Biopharmaceuticals today announced that the first participants have been dosed
in the Phase 1 first-in-human study evaluating the company’s COVID-19 S-Trimer subunit vaccine candidate (SCB-2019),
which is based on Clover’s proprietary Trimer-Tag© vaccine technology platform.
The Phase I study will evaluate two adjuvant systems – GSK’s (London Stock Exchange) pandemic adjuvant system
as well as Dynavax’s (Nasdaq: DVAX) CpG 1018 adjuvant combined with alum.
Clover has previously announced research collaborations with both GSK and Dynavax respectively.
The trial and Clover’s COVID-19 vaccine program is being supported by the funding and collaboration with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

(June 22, 2020) Britain Pilots the First ‘No Swab’ Saliva Mass Testing Trial That Can Be Even Done at Home
When testing kits became available for coronavirus, the most common form had been swab tests.
Yet, scientists continued to develop more efficient means of testing,
especially for mass testing due to the rapid spread of the virus. In Britain, a 'no-swab' saliva test
is under trial in Southampton. The weekly trials in Southampton will allow health officials
to 'learn if routine, at-home testing could pick u cases of the virus earlier,' said Mr. Hancock.
Over 14,000 participants will be part of the initial trial, comprising mostly of health care workers and university staff,
who will take the Optigene test at home.
The health department is also looking into other companies such as Chronomics, Avacta, MAP Science, and Oxford Nanoimaging (ONI).
They said, 'We are also working with a number of suppliers, including DNA Genotek, International Scientific Supplies Ltd, Isohelix
and other leading manufacturers, to develop bespoke saliva collection kits and scale-up manufacturing
for products that can be used with existing PCR tests.'

(June 23, 2020) INOVIO Receives $71 Million Contract From U.S. Department of Defense To Scale Up Manufacture of CELLECTRA® 3PSP
Smart Device and Procurement of CELLECTRA® 2000 for COVID-19 DNA Vaccine

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., June 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- INOVIO (NASDAQ:INO) today announced it has received $71 million funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
to support the large-scale manufacture of the company's proprietary CELLECTRA® 3PSP smart device and the procurement of CELLECTRA® 2000 devices,
which are used to deliver INO-4800 directly into the skin.
The DoD contract, from the JPEO-CRBND-EB through funding provided by the Defense Health Program,
builds upon two separate prior $5 million grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI),
to accelerate the testing of CELLECTRA® 3PSP.
Initial development of this next generation CELLECTRA® 3PSP smart device began in 2019
with $8.1 million in funding from the medical arm of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Medical CBRN Defense Consortium.

(June 23, 2020) Translate Bio Stock Up 50% as Sanofi Commits $1.9 Billion to Its Covid-19 Vaccine
Sanofi said Tuesday that its Sanofi Pasteur division will spend up to $1.9 billion
to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine by mid-2021, using the messenger RNA technology of biotech startup Translate Bio.
The speedy tools of mRNA have already launched clinical trials of Covid vaccines by Moderna (ticker: MRNA) and a team of BioNTech (BNTX) and Pfizer (PFE).
The Translate Bio/Sanofi vaccine against Covid could start human trials by this year’s fourth quarter, the companies said in their announcement.
Sanofi’s manufacturing capabilities will deliver a boost to Translate Bio’s mRNA vaccine program.
Translate Bio could receive a total of $1.9 billion from Sanofi for its vaccine against Covid and other infectious diseases like influenza.
Messenger RNA technology delivers genetic code to cells’ protein factories, instructing them to make a particular protein.

(June 24, 2020) Moderna, pacing a global vaccine race, loses a key patent fight
The U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled against Moderna in an intellectual property dispute with Arbutus Biopharma,
stating Thursday that a key technology to deliver messenger RNA, or mRNA, was invented by the latter company.
Moderna had argued that the technology was "unpatentable."
Arbutus has licensed much of the lipid nanoparticle intellectual property to a spinoff called Genevant,
of which it shares ownership with Roivant Sciences. Arbutus stated that should Moderna be forced
to sign a licensing agreement with Genevant because of the PTAB ruling, it would receive 20% of sales royalties.

(June 25, 2020) EU regulator recommends approving remdesivir as first Covid-19 treatment
The European healthcare regulator has recommended the conditional approval of Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral treatment remdesivir
for use in Covid-19 patients, making it the first treatment to be on track to be green-lit in the continent.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday its human medicines committee (CHMP)
recommended the drug's use in adults and adolescents from 12 years of age with pneumonia who require oxygen support.
"Remdesivir is the first medicine against Covid-19 to be recommended for authorisation in the EU,"
the agency said, adding that the recommendation still needs approval from the European Commission.
The price of the drug in the region is not yet known.
In the United States, it could be priced up to $5,080 (€4,532) per course,
while Indian generic drugmakers will sell the treatment between 5,000 rupees to 6,000 rupees (€59-€71).
The EMA endorsement, which comes just weeks after a speedy review, means physicians can prescribe the Gilead drug, to be branded Veklury, in Europe
once approved by the European Commission, which usually follows CHMP recommendations.

(June 27, 2020) Controversial Data-Mining Firm Palantir Vanishes From Biden Adviser’s Biography After She Joins Campaign
In the run-up to the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is putting together a foreign policy team
for a potential future administration. Among those described as being part of the team is Avril Haines(Event 201 participant),
former deputy director of the CIA during the Obama administration.
According to an NBC News report from last week, Haines has been tapped to work advising on policy,
as well as lead the national security and foreign policy team.
In addition to her past national security work and impressive presence in the D.C. think tank world,
Haines has in the past described herself as a former consultant for the controversial data-mining firm Palantir.
Haines’s biography page at the Brookings Institute, where she is listed as a nonresident senior fellow,
boasted of this affiliation until at least last week, when it suddenly no longer appeared on the page.
The nature of the consulting work that Haines did for Palantir is not clear.

(June 29 2020) Eric and Wendy Schmidt back Cambridge University effort to equip researchers with A.I. skills
Schmidt Futures, the philanthropic foundation set up by billionaires Eric and Wendy Schmidt,
is funding a new program at the University of Cambridge that's designed to equip young researchers with machine learning and artificial intelligence
skills that have the potential to accelerate their research. The initiative — known as the Accelerate Program for Scientific Discovery —
will initially be aimed at researchers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.
Professor Neil Lawrence, a former Amazon director who will lead the program, said in a statement.
Guest lectures will be provided by research scientists at DeepMind, the London-headquartered AI research lab that was acquired by Google.
The size of the donation from Schmidt Futures has not been disclosed.

(June 29, 2020) Gilead’s coronavirus treatment remdesivir to cost $3,120 per U.S. patient with private insurance
Gilead Sciences announced Monday the much-anticipated pricing
for its coronavirus treatment remdesivir, saying it will cost hospitals $3,120
for a typical U.S. patient with commercial insurance.
The company announced its pricing plans in preparation for it to begin charging for the antiviral drug in July.

(June 29, 2020) Trump Administration Secures New Supplies of Remdesivir for the United States
On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced an agreement to secure large supplies of the drug remdesivir for the United States
from Gilead Sciences through September, allowing American hospitals to purchase the drug in amounts allocated by HHS and state health departments.
HHS has secured more than 500,000 treatment courses of the drug for American hospitals through September. This represents 100 percent of Gilead’s projected production for July
(94,200 treatment courses), 90 percent of production in August (174,900 treatment courses), and 90 percent of production in September (232,800 treatment courses),
in addition to an allocation for clinical trials. A treatment course of remdesivir is, on average, 6.25 vials.

(June 29, 2020) AstraZeneca reaches supply deal with Brazilian government to produce millions of doses of COVID-19 shot
AstraZeneca and the government of Brazil have inked a deal valued at $127 million
to produce doses of the University of Oxford's adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222,
as the country combats a rising count of new infections.
Brazil—which trails only the U.S. in terms of total reported COVID-19 cases and deaths—will make available around 30 million finished doses
of the vaccine, with roughly half that amount available by December, AstraZeneca said. Brazil has also committed to produce an additional 70 million doses,
with AstraZeneca supplying the unfinished vaccine at no cost.
The vaccine doses will be finished in Brazil by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, also known as Fiocruz,
as AstraZeneca does not have a vaccine production suite at its Brazilian manufacturing facility, the drugmaker said.
On Friday, local Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo said it was piecing together a supply deal with AstraZeneca for Oxford's shot
after the Japanese government agreed to sit down at the negotiating table to discuss a possible deal.
Daiichi Sankyo Biotech, a subsidiary of the Japanese drugmaker, plans to receive Oxford's undiluted vaccine, which it will finish at its own facilities.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:58 pm

July 2020

(July 2, 2020) Merck and Ridgeback Bio Announce Closing of Collaboration and Licensing Transaction
KENILWORTH, NJ & MIAMI, FL, USA I July 01, 2020 I Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP,
a biotechnology company experienced in anti-viral drug development, today announced that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) granted early termination of the waiting period
under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. All closing requirements have been completed for the previously announced partnership transaction to advance the development of EIDD-2801,
an investigational orally-available antiviral agent currently in early clinical development for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.
Under the agreement, announced on May 26, 2020, Merck, through a subsidiary, has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to develop EIDD-2801
and related molecules in collaboration with Ridgeback.
Ridgeback will continue to fund and conduct multiple Ridgeback-sponsored Phase 1 and 2 trials and fund manufacturing campaigns for clinical supply.
Going forward, the parties will collaborate on clinical development for COVID-19 and manufacturing, to be led by Merck.

(July 2, 2020) Tesla teams up with CureVac to make 'RNA microfactories' for COVID-19 shot, Elon Musk says
Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Thursday that the electric carmaker had signed on with CureVac to make portable molecular RNA printers—
what Musk called "RNA microfactories"— to help produce doses of the German vaccine maker's COVID-19 shot candidate.
Musk said his company was working on the printers as a "side project" and could take on additional partners in the future.
CureVac has previously touted its work on portable "printers" for its mRNA-based vaccines,
which would allow the company to produce shots at scale in farflung locations without the standard logistical concerns.
CureVac's printers are designed to quickly create mRNA vaccine candidates against known pathogens,
plus new and unknown diseases, a category the World Health Organization calls “Disease X.”
If successful, the printers could also be used for CureVac's COVID-19 shot candidate, CVnCoV,
which received German and Belgian regulatory clearance to enter phase 1 human testing in mid-June.
The start of the 168-subject study comes days after the German government invested $337 million
in CureVac to support its efforts to develop and manufacture a vaccine against the coronavirus.

(July 3, 2020) Tesla filed joint patent with CureVac on possibly revolutionary ‘bioreactor for RNA’
A patent application shows that Tesla has been working with CureVac on a possibly revolutionary “bioreactor for RNA” for over a year.
It took many by surprise since it seems like Tesla is making a move in the biotech world,
but we now learn that it has been in the works for a long time — even pre-COVID-19.
The patent application is called “Bioreactor for RNA in vitro Transcription” and it describes an automated system for RNA manufacturing.
It describes a problem with current manufacturing processes for RNA molecules being labor extensive and requiring several different equipments.
The Tesla/CureVac solution solves those problems.

(July 6, 2020) Emergent BioSolutions Inks $480M Deal with J&J
Emergent BioSolutions has entered a five-year manufacturing services agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals,
one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, for large-scale drug substance manufacturing
for Johnson & Johnson’s investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S, recombinant based on the AdVac technology.
Emergent will provide contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services to produce drug substance at large scale over five years,
valued at approximately $480 million for the first two years.
Activities will be performed at Emergent’s Baltimore Bayview facility, a designated Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM)
by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),
designed for rapid manufacturing of large quantities of vaccines and treatments during public health emergencies.

(July 6, 2020) Mylan prices its generic remdesivir in India at $64 per 100 mg vial
Mylan said on Monday it would launch a generic version of Gilead Sciences’ Covid-19 antiviral remdesivir in India at 4,800 rupees ($64.31),
about 80% below the price tag on the drug for wealthy nations. California-based Gilead has signed licensing deals with several generic drugmakers
in an effort to make remdesivir available in 127 developing countries. Last month, two Indian drugmakers, Cipla and privately-held Hetero Labs,
lso launched generic versions of the treatment. Cipla will price its version, Cipremi, at less than 5,000 rupees, while Hetero has priced Covifor at 5,400 rupees.

(July 6, 2020) J&J expands COVID-19 vaccine pact with Catalent for finishing work at Italian facility
On the same day it inked a $480 million order from a Maryland CDMO, J&J announced
it would expand its pact with another manufacturer to scale up production as fast as possible.
J&J has expanded its COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing pact with New Jersey-based Catalent
to include work at the CDMO's Anagni, Italy, facility, a J&J spokesman said Monday.
New Jersey-based J&J initially tapped Catalent in April
to reserve fill-finish capacity for its COVID-19 shot at its Bloomington, Indiana, plant.
As part of that deal, Catalent agreed to hire an additional 300 workers at the plant starting this month,
with the goal of reaching 24/7 manufacturing schedules by January.
In an email, J&J didn't specify what work Catalent would perform at the Anagni site,
but the CDMO previously signed a deal with British drugmaker AstraZeneca to perform fill-finish and packaging duties
for the University of Oxford's adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222.

(July 7, 2020) GlaxoSmithKline pens COVID-19 vaccine pact with Medicago
Hoping to broaden shots on target, GlaxoSmithKline is continuing its strategy of giving out access to its vaccine platform
as it adds Medicago to its growing partners list. The tie-up will wed Canada-based Medicago’s
recombinant coronavirus virus-like particles (CoVLP) with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system, which has been used in previous epidemics.
CoVLPs mimic the structure of SARS-CoV-02, the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease, allowing them to be recognized by the immune system.
Partnering this approach with an adjuvant “can be of particular importance in a pandemic situation as it may boost the immune response
and reduce the amount of antigen required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced
and therefore contributing to protect more people,” according to GSK.
Though not even in human testing yet, the partners have a very ambitious timeline:
They aim to finish off development and make the vaccine available “in the first half of 2021.”

(July 7, 2020) Novavax inks $1.6B Warp Speed deal to fund COVID vaccine's phase 3 testing, manufacturing
Novavax and its COVID-19 shot are racing against well-funded global pharmaceutical players,
but a new deal with the U.S. government will push the biotech's fundraising haul past $2 billion.
The Maryland biotech on Tuesday unveiled a $1.6 billion deal with Operation Warp Speed
the project's largest funding commitment so far—to support late-stage vaccine testing and manufacturing.
For Novavax, the agreement follows others with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the U.S. government
worth more than $400 million.
The company has never brought a product to market, but it's also advancing a late-stage flu vaccine candidate with plans to file for FDA approval soon.
Novavax also scored a $60 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), under which it has pledged to deliver 10 million doses this year.
And in another step to add capacity, the company last month enlisted Japan’s AGC Biologics to produce its adjuvant.

(July 10, 2020) China halts shrimp imports from 3 Ecuadorian firms over coronavirus contamination
China's customs authority said Friday that it has decided to halt imports from three Ecuadorian shrimp producers
after sample inspections showed coronavirus contamination in recent shipments.
One sample, collected from the inner wall of a container carrying frozen white shrimp from Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila S.A.,
and product outer packing samples of both Empacreci S.A. and Empacadora Del Pacifico Sociedad Anonima Edpacif S.A. tested positive
for the coronavirus on July 3, said Bi Kexin, head of the import and export food safety bureau of the General Administration of Customs.
Samples of the three firms' shrimp products and inner packing all tested negative for the virus, Bi said at a press conference.
The temporary import ban became effective starting Friday.
The customs also ordered frozen shrimps produced by the three companies after March 12 to be returned or destroyed.

(July 14, 2020) Covid Shot Derived From Tobacco-Like Plant Tested in Humans
Medicago, which is backed by large investors like Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma and Philip Morris International Inc.,
last week clinched a deal with Glaxo (GSK) to pair the vaccine with the U.K. giant’s adjuvants -- boosters that can help any brand of shot.
Medicago relies on an Australian plant that’s a close relative to tobacco, known as nicotiana benthamiana, to develop vaccines.
The plant has a weakened immune system that allows it to easily host genetic material and develop particles that mimic a virus.
The Canadian trial of Medicago’s Covid-19 candidate will involve 180 healthy patients aged 18 to 55, and will test various doses
of the vaccine alone and coupled with two different adjuvants: one from Glaxo, and another from Dynavax Technologies Corp.
Should the early-stage study prove successful, Medicago aims to enter later-stage trials in October,
and manufacture 100 million doses by the end of 2021.

(July 15, 2020) Follow the Money: Covid-19 Data and Trump Campaign Edition
As the coronavirus continues to ravage the country, the way the government will collect data about Covid-19 cases changed today.
On March 29, Vice President Mike Pence asked hospital administrators to report data about coronavirus through three different systems:
the network provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), HHS Protect, and TeleTracking.
Last Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that, beginning today, hospitals should report daily information about coronavirus cases
not through the CDC system, which has been in place for 15 years, but rather through the other two.
HHS Protect is developed by Palantir Technologies, a data-mining firm that works with the Pentagon and law enforcement agencies,
including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The TeleTracking system also raises suspicions of a financial deal. On June 3, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) wrote to the director of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield
and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Robert P. Kadlec,
to ask why HHS had awarded a $10 million no-bid contract to create this data system that duplicated the one the CDC already had. Why indeed?

(July 15, 2020) Google dropped from NHS Covid-19 ‘Data Store’
The NHS has dropped Google from its Covid-19 patient database, dashing the Silicon Valley giant’s
hopes of embedding itself in Britain's health service in a time of crisis.
Despite signing a contract with the health service's digital arm NHSX
to provide consultancy services, the partnership fizzled out last month, the Telegraph has learned.
In the early days of the outbreak, Google, along with Microsoft, Amazon, Palantir and Faculty AI, volunteered to build a platform
that would bring together Covid-19 data from all parts of the healthcare service.
The initial NHS Data Store contracts showed that Faculty AI, the company employed by Dominic Cummings for the Vote Leave campaign, and Palantir
had initially been granted intellectual property rights and were allowed to train their models and "profit off their unprecedented access to NHS data,"
according to campaign group OpenDemocracy.

(July 16, 2020) The Rockefeller Foundation Launches New Testing Strategy to Keep U.S. Economy Open
As cases of Covid-19 continue to accelerate in more than half of the U.S., and as more states begin to relax restrictions, The Rockefeller Foundation,
with support from a bipartisan team of top scientists, industry, technologists, and economists, is launching its second National Covid-19 Testing & Tracing Action Plan.
In addition to offering four sets of recommendations, including a national strategy for scaling up the use of Covid-19 screening tests for asymptomatic Americans,
the plan requires at least $75 billion be made available for testing.
The Foundation is calling on the CDC to immediately lead the development and implementation of protocols for widespread screening testing of asymptomatic people.
The protocols should be developed for screening tests for K-12 schools, universities, workplaces, nursing homes, vulnerable communities,
and other settings based on their individual levels of risk and exposure.
Because this type of testing is the key to keeping institutions and economies open, the screening tests should be government funded
with same-day turnaround for schools and workplaces, and even faster turnaround for mobile testing in communities.
The Rockefeller Foundation is working with epidemiologists and other experts to help develop these protocols.

(July 16, 2020) Peter Thiel’s Palantir charges NHS England £1 million for coronavirus ‘data store’
Palantir’s initial contract, which did not go to competitive tender, was announced on March 28 and ended on June 11.
NHS England confirmed Wednesday that the contract had been extended by four months
and a spokesperson told CNBC that the value of the contract was £1 million after the figure was first reported by New Statesman.
Palantir’s Foundry software powers the front end of the Covid-19 data store.
The NHS said it enables disparate data to be “integrated, cleaned, and harmonized”
so that a “single source of truth” can be established and used to support decision-making.
Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Faculty, a U.K. artificial intelligence start-up that worked for Dominic Cummings during the Vote Leave campaign,
were also involved in setting up the Covid-19 data store. However, Google has since been dropped, according to The Telegraph newspaper.
Google did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

(July 17, 2020) AstraZeneca and R-Pharm announce agreement to manufacture and export COVID-19 vaccine
AstraZeneca and R-Pharm announce a collaboration for the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222
aimed at preventing infection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Russia.
Under the agreement, R-Pharm will provide technological capabilities for the implementation of the project.
The vaccine vector was transferred to Russia, it is planned to produce the finished dosage form.
At the same time Russia will become one of the hubs for the production and supply of vaccines to international markets.
AstraZeneca is confident that, together with R-Pharm, will be able to provide millions of people with the vaccine in the most efficient way.
AstraZeneca recognises that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical programme with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.

(July 17, 2020) The Trump administration’s terrible record on coronavirus data
Recently, the Trump administration told hospitals to stop sharing data on covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus,
with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, hospitals were to share information with a private company contracted by the Department of Human and Health Services.
The company, TeleTracking Technologies, won its HHS contract in a noncompetitive process in April; around the same time, the department also contracted Palantir,
the data-mining company founded by Peter Thiel, an early ally of Trump, to take on other data-collection functions from the CDC.
The administration’s order, which took effect on Wednesday, seems a blow to transparency: the CDC published the patient data it collected from hospitals, but the TeleTracking database is private.
Researchers and reporters who use the data are worried that vital information is being withheld for the sake of politics.

(July 20, 2020) Translate Bio Announces Closing of Expanded Collaboration and Licensing Agreement with Sanofi Pasteur
to Develop mRNA Vaccines for All Infectious Diseases

LEXINGTON, Mass., July 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Translate Bio (Nasdaq: TBIO), a clinical-stage messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics company
developing a new class of potentially transformative medicines to treat diseases caused by protein or gene dysfunction,
today announced the closing of a previously announced expansion of the collaboration and licensing agreement with Sanofi Pasteur to develop mRNA vaccines for all infectious disease pathogens,
following notice of early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. Under the terms of the agreement, Translate Bio will receive $425 million
in upfront payment and common stock equity investment and overall is eligible to receive up to $1.9 billion of potential milestones and other payments
as well as tiered royalties on worldwide sales of developed vaccines. In turn, Sanofi received exclusive worldwide rights for infectious disease mRNA vaccines.
Sanofi will pay for all costs during the collaboration term.

(July 20, 2020) GSK to obtain 10% stake in vaccines maker CureVac for $163m
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has signed an agreement with German company CureVac to research, develop, manufacture and commercialise up to five mRNA-based vaccines
and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against infectious diseases. The terms of the agreement will provide GSK with approximately 10% stake in CureVac
with an equity investment of $163m (£130m). Also, GSK will make an upfront payment of $130m (£104m), along with a one-time reimbursable payment of $32m (£26m)
to reserve production capacity at CureVac’s commercial-scale manufacturing facility being built in Germany.
The collaboration will leverage GSK’s existing mRNA capabilities and CureVac’s mRNA platform,
which is expected to complement the former’s existing vaccines expertise.
Earlier this month, GSK partnered with Canadian biopharmaceutical firm Medicago to develop,
assess and manufacture a plant-based adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

(July 20, 2020) U.K. Orders 90 Million Covid-19 Vaccine Doses from Pfizer, Valneva
The U.K. has signed agreements to buy 90 million doses of vaccines in development by drugmakers including Pfizer Inc., BioNTech SE and Valneva SE,
joining countries around the world racing to secure supplies of protection against Covid-19.
Pfizer and BioNTech plan to supply 30 million doses of their vaccine candidate this year and next,
the companies said. France’s Valneva agreed to supply the U.K. with 60 million doses of the shot it’s developing,
and another 40 million if the product proves safe and effective.
Britain has already struck a supply agreement for a vaccine being tested by AstraZeneca Plc with the University of Oxford.
Astra shares rose as much as 5.8% to a record in London ahead of news from a clinical trial due later on Monday.
The U.K., a nation of 66 million people, described the order for the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech as that alliance’s
first binding agreement with any government. The U.S. has been supporting the companies’ efforts through its $10 billion Operation Warp Speed research program.

(July 21, 2020) Merck taps contract research firm IRBM for peptides to hit back at pandemic virus
Big Pharma Merck has been pretty quiet on its R&D for COVID-19, but while keen to keep hype to a minimum,
its research work in the background has been growing. Over the past few months, it has penned a series of partnerships,
deals and a buyout with Themis, Ridgeback Bio and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), with all three focusing on both vaccines and treatments.
Now, it’s striking another new deal but being characteristically quiet about it: In a brief release, and declining an interview with Fierce Biotech,
the pharma has teamed up with Italian biopharma services company IRBM
to “identify and develop novel peptide therapeutics active against different strains of coronavirus, including SARS-CoV-2,” the virus causing COVID-19.
But why peptides in the fight against coronavirus?

(July 22, 2020) Pfizer Signs Nearly $2B Contract With US for Virus Vaccine
WASHINGTON (CN) — As the number of confirmed U.S. cases of Covid-19 neared 4 million
on Wednesday, the Trump administration announced an almost $2 billion vaccine contract
with the New York-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and a German biotechnology company.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services(HHS), the Department of Defense(DoD) will pay Pfizer and BioNTech $1.95 billion
upon the receipt of the first 100 million doses, which would need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before distribution.
Lee Riley, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, says that another major advantage of nucleic-acid-based vaccines
is that they can induce both antibody and cell-mediated immune responses, a combination that may lead to protections against different strains of a virus.
“A lot of work has been done on DNA vaccines, especially for veterinary work,
and some such vaccines have been approved,”
he said, citing the example of a vaccine used to protect horses from West Nile disease.

(July 23, 2020) Novavax and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies Initiate Large Scale Manufacturing of COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate
Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), a late-stage biotechnology company
developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, and FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB),
a world leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO)
for biologics, viral vaccines and gene therapies, announced today an agreement to manufacture bulk drug substance for NVX-CoV2373,
Novavax' COVID-19 vaccine candidate. FDB's site in Morrisville, North Carolina has begun production of the first batch of NVX-CoV2373.
The batches produced at the FDB site in North Carolina will be utilized in a future pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of up to 30,000 subjects
which is expected to begin in the fall of 2020 and which will determine the safety and efficacy of NVX-CoV2373.

(July 24, 2020) Biometric digital health credentials for NHL and London theatre, Privacy International warns of risks
As biometrics and other digital identity technologies are deployed to enable big league sports to resume operations,
National Hockey League players and staff will use Clear’s Health Pass
to protect against the spread of COVID-19, Vox reports.
Health Pass was launched in May, and provides health status attestation,
temperature scans, and potentially links to test results, underpinned with biometric identity verification.
The partnership with the NHL means Health Pass will be used to check the roughly 3,000 players, coaches, and support staff
who are involved in the 24-team playoffs, which will be held in Edmonton and Toronto, Canada.
ID2020 Executive Director Dakota Gruener, Yoti, the Tony Blair Institute, IATA, and Onfido are singled out for “hyping the immunity passport ‘solution’.”
Gruener’s paper, however, notes that digital health credential “systems can only be effective once testing is ubiquitous, convenient, and free,” suggesting that they would not be supported at this time.

(July 27, 2020) AstraZeneca pledges $174M to ramp up coronavirus vaccine supply deal with Emergent
With a $174 million manufacturing pact signed Monday, Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions
will help produce bulk drug substance for AstraZeneca and Oxford's adenovirus-based COVID-19 shot starting this year.
The agreement follows a separate $87 million deal the companies inked in early June
to reserve space at Emergent's Baltimore Bayview facility for three years of commercial production.
The partnership now totals $261 million through 2021, with an option to expand in future years, Emergent said in a release.
AstraZeneca and Emergent's original deal in June reserved large-scale manufacturing capacity for Oxford's shot, dubbed AZD1222,
through at least 2020 with the possibility for more based on a "flexible capacity deployment model."

(July 29, 2020) Irregularities In COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raise New Questions
The Department of Health and Human Services initially characterized the contract with TeleTracking as a no-bid contract.
When asked about that, HHS said there was a "coding error"
and that the contract was actually competitively bid.
The process by which HHS awarded the contract is normally used for innovative scientific research, not the building of government databases.
HHS had directly phoned the company about the contract, according to a company spokesperson.
TeleTracking CEO Michael Zamagias had links to the New York real estate world
— and in particular, a firm that financed billions of dollars in projects with the Trump Organization.

(July 30, 2020) AstraZeneca to Be Exempt From Coronavirus Vaccine Liability Claims in Most Countries
"This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in ... four years the vaccine is showing side effects," Ruud Dobber,
a member of Astra's senior executive team, told Reuters. "In the contracts we have in place, we are asking for indemnification.
For most countries it is acceptable to take that risk on their shoulders because it is in their national interest,"
he said, adding that Astra and regulators were making safety and tolerability a top priority. Dobber would not name the countries.
EU officials told Reuters this week product liability was among contentious points in European
efforts to secure supply deals for potential COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson.
The United States, however, already has a law to exclude tort claims from products that help control a public-
health crises in the form of the 2005 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness, or PREP Act.

(July 30, 2020) Sanofi and GSK to supply UK with 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have announced that they have reached an agreement,
subject to final contract, with the UK government for the supply of up to 60 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine candidate, developed by Sanofi in partnership with GSK,
is based on the recombinant protein-based technology used by the former
to produce an influenza vaccine and the latter’s established pandemic adjuvant technology.

(July 31, 2020) U.S. agrees to pay Sanofi and GSK $2.1 billion for 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine
The U.S. government will pay drugmaker Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline up to $2.1 billion to develop and deliver 100 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine,
the companies announced Friday. More than half of the $1.5 billion will be used to support further development of the vaccine, including clinical trials.
The rest will be for manufacturing and delivery of the 100 million doses,
the companies said. The U.S. will have the option to order an additional 500 million doses, they said.
Public health officials say there is no returning to “normal”
until there is a vaccine against the coronavirus, which has infected
more than 17 million people worldwide and killed at least 667,808, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
More than 150 vaccines are under development, according to the World Health Organization, with 25 already in clinical trials.

(July 31, 2020) Merck to start ‘pivotal’ study of controversial remdesivir alternative in September
The drug is known as MK-4482, and it’s being developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
The report notes that Merck doesn’t want to “dribble out data” on the drug’s performance
in Phase 2 trials, according to Perlmutter. That’s certainly strange.
MK-4482 was the most advanced COVID-19 therapy from Merck,
per a C&EN report in late May. But MK-4482 wasn’t always known as, well, MK-4482.
BioSpace says the antiviral candidate was known as EIDD-2801 before being renamed under Merck.
CNBC makes no mention of the compound’s controversial history.
Emory University licensed it to Ridgeback, which then partnered with Merck.


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Post by Abacus Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:59 pm

August 2020

(August 1, 2020)EC Concludes Talks with Sanofi-GSK to Supply 300 M Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
The European Commission has concluded exploratory talks
with a pharmaceutical company to purchase a potential vaccine against COVID-19.
The envisaged contract with Sanofi-GSK would provide for an option for all EU Member States
to purchase the vaccine. It is envisaged that, once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19,
the Commission would have a contractual framework in place for the purchase of 300 million doses,
on behalf of all EU Member States. The Commission continues intensive discussions with other vaccine manufacturers.

(August 2, 2020) Pfizer, BioNTech score deal to supply 120M Covid-19 vaccine doses to Japan
New York-based Pfizer and Mainz, Germany-based BioNTech said Friday that they would provide 120 million doses
of vaccine from their BNT162 development program, assuming regulatory approval, to Japan’s Ministry of Health, L
abor and Welfare, in the first half of 2021. Financial details were not disclosed,
and terms were based on timing of delivery and volume of doses,
but the companies had signed a deal with the U.S. government
to supply 100 million doses of vaccine for $1.95 billion.

(August 3, 2020) Pfizer says Covid-19 vaccine may be needed regularly
Pfizer expects that a Covid-19 vaccine could be needed regularly to effectively protect from the virus.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla was quoted as saying: “There is a likely scenario that either the vaccine’s immunity will not be lasting forever,
or that the virus will mutate, or that the virus will find ways to come back again and again.”
During its earnings call on 28 July, the company proposed a two-phase commercial strategy
for its vaccine, which is being developed in alliance with German company BioNTech and is currently undergoing clinical trials.
The first pandemic phase is expected to last through 2020 or into 2021,
and will see dose production in high volumes for mass vaccinations, with pricing for broad access.
This broad access pricing is a $1.95bn agreement signed by the US Government last week to buy 100 million doses
of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, if it receives regulatory approval.
During the second seasonal phase, Pfizer sees the need for regular annual or bi-annual immunisations.
This phase is set to involve a value-based pricing approach.

(August 3, 2020) Oxford Nanopore Technologies partners with UK Government to roll out LamPORE, a new generation of COVID-19 test
Oxford Nanopore today announces an agreement with the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care, to roll out its novel LamPORE test.
This will support the UK’s efforts to manage the continued reduction of COVID-19
and containment of new cases, now and through the winter cold and flu season.
Under the agreement, an initial 450k LamPORE SARS-CoV-2 tests will be made available for use by a number of NHS testing laboratories.
As well as providing a large number of tests for existing labs, the programme will help the UK to understand the different use cases for the technology,
for example the potential asymptomatic screening of frontline staff.
Because of its scalability, LamPORE has the potential to provide both:
Large-scale screening to detect the virus in broader populations.
Individuals being tested may be presymptomatic or asymptomatic, eg:
- Regular screening of frontline workforces
- Broad screening of a community/population in the event of an outbreak
- Screening at the point of congregation eg transport hubs
LamPORE is designed to be deployed on Oxford Nanopore’s desktop device (GridION) or palm-sized device (MinION Mk1C),
providing the capacity of processing up to 15,000 samples a day or 2,000 samples a day respectively.
In addition to a test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Oxford Nanopore is currently developing LamPORE
to test for multiple pathogens within a single sample, including influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2), influenza B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS-CoV-2.

(August 4, 2020) Merck betting on ‘swish-and-swallow’ and single administration COVID vaccines
Merck & Co. (known as MSD outside North America) entered the battle against COVID-19 relatively late, inking a triumvirate of deals in May.
Two of the programs focused on vaccine development, one of which –
a collaboration with non-profit research organization IAVI
– is expected to begin clinical studies in the next few months.
The program, known as V590, is based on recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV)
technology already proven in Merck’s Ebola Zaire virus vaccine, Ervebo (Ebola Zaire Vaccine, Live) – the first rVSV vaccine approved for use in humans.
If successful, V590 would require a single-dose, Perlmutter (president of Merck Research Laboratories) said,
an advantage also held by a second vaccine candidate born out of Merck’s acquisition of Themis during that deal-heavy May period.
V591 uses technology developed at the Institut Pasteur and licensed to Themis in 2010,
which is based on an attenuated measles vector delivering selected antigen preferentially to macrophages and dendritic cells.
It has been incorporated into vaccine development programs against infectious diseases including SARS, Chikungunya, MERS, and Lassa fever.

(August 5, 2020) Seven States Join Pact to Speed Coronavirus Testing
Three Republican governors and three Democratic governors signed an interstate testing agreement
on Tuesday, The New York Times reported. Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia will work with the Rockefeller Foundation
and two U.S. manufacturers of rapid tests to buy 3 million tests, the newspaper said.
A seventh state, North Carolina, later joined the pact, CNN reported.
The United States is testing about 755,000 people a day,
up from about 640,000 per day a month ago, the Times reported.

(August 5, 2020) Blackstone Reaches $4.7 Billion Deal to Buy Ancestry.com
Blackstone Group Inc. acquired a majority stake in Ancestry.com Inc., the business known for family history research and DNA testing.
It’s the first acquisition by Blackstone’s largest ever private equity fund.
Silver Lake and Singaporean sovereign-wealth fund GIC Pte have been the majority owners since 2016.
After the deal closes, Blackstone will own about 75% and GIC will still hold about 25% of Ancestry.com,
said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
Based in Lehi, Utah, Ancestry.com has more than 3 million paying subscribers and more than 18 million people in its DNA network.
It sells at-home DNA testing kits to customers, competing with 23andMe Inc.

(August 5, 2020) Canada inks deals with Pfizer, Moderna for coronavirus vaccine candidates
The Canadian government has signed new deals with pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Moderna to secure millions of doses in 2021
of the coronavirus vaccine candidates each company is currently developing.
Pfizer is currently working on four experimental coronavirus vaccines
and Moderna is also working on what’s been described as among the leading candidates for a vaccine.
Anand said the agreements will be for “millions of doses” but didn’t specify an exact amount,
adding that the goal is to make sure “Canadians are at the front of the line when a vaccine becomes available.”

(August 6, 2020) ID2020 certifies BLOK BioScience Immunity Passport with self-sovereign approach to digital ID
ID2020 has certified the digital ID immunity passport developed by BLOK Bioscience
as conforming to its conception of “good ID,” the organization announced.
The tool is the first certified by the organization for COVID-19 health status,
allowing users to keep a self-sovereign record of all tests, antibodies and vaccination results.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust digital credentials into the global spotlight,” said ID2020 Executive Director Dakota Gruener
in a prepared statement. “As we consider digital ID-based solutions for public health applications, getting the technology right is not negotiable.
There are currently over 30 technology providers who have submitted applications
to confirm their technologies align with ID2020’s requirements,
though presumably not all applications are for digital health credentials.
Kiva Protocol, Gravity.earth, and ZAKA have also received ID2020 certification for their digital ID solutions.

(August 6, 2020) AstraZeneca takes COVID-19 vaccine to China with BioKangtai deal for 200M-dose capacity by 2021
AstraZeneca reached a licensing deal with Chinese firm BioKangtai
to help provide its adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, created by the University of Oxford, to China,
AstraZeneca said (Chinese) in a social media post on Thursday. The pair will also explore the possibility of producing the vaccine for other markets.
Under the pact, AZ grants exclusive clinical development, production and commercialization rights
to the vaccine in China to BioKangtai, which will in return reserve enough capacity to make at least 100 million doses
of the shot by the end of 2020 and expand to 200 million doses per year
by the end of 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.
AZ’s shot is only the third foreign COVID-19 vaccine candidate to have looped in China.
Fosun Pharma holds China rights to BioNTech’s mRNA program through a licensing agreement worth up to $135 million.
The pair just kicked off a phase 1 trial in China with the goal to enroll 144 healthy volunteers.
Outside of China, BioNTech and its partner Pfizer launched their 30,000-subject phase 3 efficacy trial last week.
In addition, Inovio previously teamed up with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology for work on its DNA vaccine candidate, INO-4800.

(August 6, 2020) NIH clinical trial testing remdesivir plus interferon beta-1a for COVID-19 treatment begins
The study, called the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 3 (ACTT 3),
is anticipated to enroll more than 1,000 hospitalized adults with COVID-19 at as many as 100 sites in the United States and abroad.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring the trial.
ACTT 3 is the third iteration of NIAID’s Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT).
ACTT began on Feb. 21 to evaluate remdesivir, an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral discovered and developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc, of Foster City, California.
The second iteration of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial, ACTT 2, began on May 8 to evaluate the safety and efficacy of remdesivir plus the anti-inflammatory drug baricitinib
for treating hospitalized adults with COVID-19.
Subcutaneous interferon beta-1a, a medication manufactured by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany,
is approved in the U.S. and more than 90 other countries for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
The drug is marketed under the brand name Rebif by EMD Serono,
the North American biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

(August 7, 2020) Pfizer Announces Agreement with Gilead to Manufacture Remdesivir for Treatment of COVID-19
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced a multi-year agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc.
to manufacture and supply Gilead’s investigational antiviral remdesivir,
as one of multiple external manufacturing organizations supporting efforts to scale up supply
of the investigational treatment for COVID-19. Under the terms of the agreement,
Pfizer will provide contract manufacturing services at Pfizer’s McPherson, Kansas facility
to manufacture and supply remdesivir for Gilead.

(August 6, 2020) Janssen to supply 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to US
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) unit Janssen Pharmaceutical has signed an agreement with the US Government
for the large scale domestic production and supply of 100 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S.
The vaccine, based on Janssen AdVac technology, will be used in the US after it secures regulatory approval or emergency use authorisation.
For this agreement, the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the Department of Defense (DoD)
have committed to providing more than $1bn.
The government may buy an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine in the future.
Last month, J&J said that the company is in discussions with the Government of Japan, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
regarding allocations of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
The US government already signed similar Covid-19 vaccine supply deals with Sanofi
and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), as well as Pfizer and BioNTech.

(August 6, 2020) Facebook Fired An Employee Who Collected Evidence Of Right-Wing Pages Getting Preferential Treatment
Facebook employees collected evidence showing the company is giving right-wing pages preferential treatment
when it comes to misinformation. And they’re worried about how the company will handle the president’s falsehoods in an election year.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg told employees that the increased use of mail-in ballots due to the pandemic
will likely lead to a situation where election results will not be available "for days" or "for weeks."
On July 22, a Facebook employee posted a message to the company’s internal misinformation policy group
noting that some misinformation strikes against Breitbart had been cleared by someone at Facebook seemingly acting on the publication's behalf.
Individuals that spoke out about the apparent special treatment of right-wing pages have also faced consequences.
In one case, a senior Facebook engineer collected multiple instances of conservative figures receiving unique help from Facebook employees,
including those on the policy team, to remove fact-checks on their content. His July post was removed because it violated the company’s “respectful communication policy.”
Facebook denied the employee had been terminated for the post but said it was because "they broke the company's rules."

(August 6, 2020) Facebook removes troll farm posing as African-American support for Donald Trump
Facebook removed hundreds of accounts on Thursday from a foreign troll farm posing as African-Americans in support of Donald Trump and QAnon supporters.
It also removed hundreds of fake accounts linked to conservative media outlet The Epoch Times
that pushed pro-Trump conspiracy theories about coronavirus and protests in the U.S.
Facebook took down the accounts as part of its enforcement against coordinated inauthentic behavior,
which is the use of fake accounts to inflate the reach of content or products on social media.
The foreign pro-Trump troll farm was based in Romania and pushed content on Instagram
under names like “BlackPeopleVoteForTrump”
and on Facebook under “We Love Our President.”

(August 8, 2020) Brazilian billionaire Jorge Lemann leads initiative to build Covid-19 vaccine factory
Brazilian billionaire Jorge Lemann’s foundation and other business interests will fund the building of factory
to produce the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC.
The Lemann Foundation said in a statement on Friday that the 100 million reais ($18 million) factory
will be donated to Brazil’s premier biomedical research and development lab, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, or Fiocruz.
It said the factory will be ready to produce 30 million doses of the vaccine per month as of the beginning of 2021.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is being tested on Brazilian volunteers in a study led by the Federal University of São Paulo that is also funded by the Lemann Foundation.
Other donors to the initiative to ensure Brazil can absorb the technology
to produce the potential vaccine include Brazilian brewer Ambev SA, Itaú Unibanco, the Votorantim Institute and the Behring Family Foundation.

(August 10, 2020) Novavax partners with Takeda to develop Covid-19 vaccine in Japan
US-based biotechnology firm Novavax has partnered with Takeda Pharmaceutical to develop, manufacture and commercialise its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX‑CoV2373, in Japan.
Based on Novavax’s recombinant protein nanoparticle technology, the vaccine candidate is a stable, prefusion protein that includes the company’s Matrix‑M adjuvant.
Takeda will receive funding from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to support the technology transfer, infrastructure and scale-up of manufacturing.
The Japanese company expects to produce more than 250 million doses of the vaccine annually.
In addition, Novavax signed a licensing agreement with Serum Institute of India (SII) to develop and commercialise NVX‑CoV2373 in India and low and middle-income countries (LMIC).
Meanwhile, SII has teamed up with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
to manufacture and deliver up to 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines for India and LMICs as early as the first half of next year.

(August 11, 2020) AstraZeneca bumps up vaccine deal with Brazil to $360M with more doses, licensing rights
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ordered $360 million set aside last week for a supply and licensing deal with AstraZeneca for at least 100 million doses
of the University of Oxford's adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine.
An AstraZeneca spokesman said the new agreement "builds on" the drugmaker's earlier deal
with Brazil in June to supply around 30 million unfinished doses of the vaccine at a price tag of $127 million.
Brazil also committed to produce an additional 70 million doses, with AstraZeneca supplying the unfinished vaccine at no cost.
The vaccine doses were set to be finished and filled at Fiocruz
as AstraZeneca does not have a vaccine production suite at its Brazilian manufacturing facility.
The expanded Brazil deal comes as AstraZeneca looks to lock up manufacturing capacity to reach its stated goal of 2 billion doses produced annually.

(August 12, 2020) Alphabet’s Verily opens own lab to speed up COVID testing
In a blog post, Verily, Alphabet's life sciences research arm and a sister company to Google, has set up its own CLIA-certified lab
(i.e., it has clinical laboratory credentials) and used tech from Thermo Fisher Scientific’s TaqPath test kit,
which has an emergency use tag (EUA) from the FDA, to test for COVID-19.
It’s also sent off an EUA application for an adaptation of the TaqPath test
for use in testing pooled patient specimens, which can further speed up testing.
And it’s “verified” the Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test,
which can assess if you’ve had the disease (rather than currently have it),
with plans to “implement additional tests in our lab,” said Deb Hanks, M.D., lead pathologist at Verily, in the blog post.

(August 13, 2020) Biological E. inks pacts with Johnson & Johnson, Baylor College of Medicine on vaccine
Pharmaceuticals and biological company Biological E. (BE) has entered into separate agreements with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) for COVID-19 vaccine.
With Janssen Pharmaceutica, one of the Pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson,
the agreement is for creation / enhancement of manufacturing capacities for drug substance
and drug product for Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S.
Director of BioE Holdings Inc. Narender Dev Mantena, who heads BE’s novel vaccine initiative,
said “we look forward to deploying our manufacturing infrastructure to support Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to global access for its COVID-19 vaccine.”
Another release said the Baylor College of Medicine and BE have signed a licensing agreement for development of a safe,
effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccine. BE has licensed the recombinant protein COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed at Baylor.
According to the release, BE engaged in license negotiations with the BCM Ventures team,
a part of Baylor College of Medicine, after initial discussions on Baylor’s technology.
“We look forward to facilitating the technology transfer for the COVID-19 vaccine to India and for the world,” said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi,
associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and co-director of Texas Children’s Centre for Vaccine Development.

(August 13, 2020) Novavax and SK bioscience Announce Collaboration for Novavax’ COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate
GAITHERSBURG, Md. and SEOUL, South Korea, Aug. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX),
a late stage biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases,
and SK bioscience, a vaccine business subsidiary of SK Group, today announced a development and supply agreement
for the antigen component of NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine candidate,
for supply to global markets including the COVAX Facility.
In addition, the companies have signed a letter of intent
with the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare
to work toward broad and equitable access to NVX-CoV2373
for the global market as well as to make the vaccine available in South Korea.
SK bioscience, using its cell culture and recombinant protein capability, will initiate the production of the NVX-CoV2373
antigen at its vaccine facility in Andong L-house, South Korea beginning in August 2020.

(August 14, 2020) Researchers Use Nanopore Sequencing Technology to Complete First Gapless End-to-End Assembly of Human X Chromosome
Using nanopore sequencing technology from multiple companies, researchers at the University of California Santa Cruz Genomics Institute (UCSC Genomics Institute)
have produced what they say is the first telomere-to-telomere or end-to-end map of the human X chromosome.
This could prove to be a major milestone for genomics research and help scientists gain a better understanding of certain genetic conditions.
The completely gapless DNA sequencing was produced by using new sequencing technologies that enable much longer reads of strings of DNA base pairs.
In the past, most sequencing technologies produced relatively short reads of each sequence,
which then had to be painstakingly pieced together to assemble the complete genome.
Nanopore sequencing technology from Oxford Nanopore Technologies was combined with sequencing technologies
from Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) and Illumina, as well as with optical maps from Bionano Genomics, to produce the results of the research.
The combination of these technologies allowed the UCSC team to produce a whole-genome sequence assembly with no gaps and with a previously unforeseen level of accuracy.
Besides the advantages of providing ultra-long reads, nanopore sequencing can also detect bases that have been modified by methylation,
a biological process by which methyl groups are added to the DNA molecule. Methylation is an epigenetic change
that can alter the activity of a DNA segment without changing the sequence,
and can have important effects on the DNA structure and gene expression.

(August 14, 2020) Immunity passports and the risks to user privacy
According to Privacy International, “The ‘visionaries’ are keen to get back into painting a world driven by identification.”
Already, several identity firms such as OnFido, ID2020, IDNow, Yoti, Circle Pass Enterprises (CPE) and VST Enterprises are racing to develop immunity passport solutions.
Likewise, several countries including Chile, Italy, Estonia, France, Germany, India, U.S, and the U.K, have all expressed interest in so-called immunity passports.
CPE and VST Enterprises for instance have teamed up to create a blockchain technology-based immunity passport known as COVI-PASS, to be supplied to 15 countries
including the US, Canada, Sweden, India, UAE, South Africa, among others. In West Africa, a digital identity firm Trust Stamp in partnership with Mastercard and GAVI
is quietly developing what they call “Wellness Pass” for people who receive vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccine—when it becomes available.
It enables individuals to be digitally tied to their medical and financial records.
This is an unprecedented attempt to link biometric digital identity systems, health records, and a payment system into a single unified platform.
The linking of health records to digital payment systems in the “Wellness Pass” scheme is an ominous way of compelling people to comply or face starvation.

(August 15, 2020) AstraZeneca concludes agreement with European Commission for supply of up to 400 million doses of AZD1222 COVID-19 vaccine
AstraZeneca has concluded an agreement with the European Commission (EC) to supply up to 400 million doses of the AZD1222 COVID-19 vaccine.
Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer, said: “This first vaccine agreement with the European Commission will ensure that millions of Europeans have access to the AZD1222 vaccine
following its approval. With production in our European supply chain soon to be started, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly,
with the first doses to be delivered by the end of 2020.
AZD1222 was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech.
It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus)
that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein.
After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced,
priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.

(August 16, 2020) Novavax, partnering with Morrisville firm, lands Covid-19 vaccine deal with U.K.
Novavax Inc. has locked in a deal to provide 60 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine to the United Kingdom,
the latest of multiple agreements the Maryland biotech has inked in the past week. Deal terms were not disclosed.
Novavax (Nasdaq: NVAX) said it will expand its partnership with Tokyo-based Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies
to make the antigen for its candidate, NVX-CoV2373, including 180 million doses at the latter’s U.K. site each year.
That expanded supply would serve additional markets, Novavax said Friday.
The company plans to start supplying doses to the U.K. as early as the first quarter of 2021.
The company also secured agreements with Fujifilm, Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS),
AGC Biologics and PolyPetide Group; acquired Praha Vaccines and its Czech manufacturing facility for $167 million;
and made several executive hires, including appointing David Mott to its board of directors.

(August 17, 2020) Plans for digital IDs need to focus on what isn’t yet known
A proposed five-point plan for making digital identities — and anticipated follow-on societal benefits — succeeds where so many similar efforts have failed.
It does not prescribe specific biometric tools for the world as it is today, but calls for governments to address novel challenges related to biometrics with legislation.
Researchers at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
make only one commandment like statement.
“The broader need for secure, user-centric and reusable digital identity has never been clearer.”
The group’s first point is, indeed, for the government to accept that a digital ID is inevitable.
It is the best way to help economies exit lockdowns without re-igniting the pandemic.

(August 17, 2020) Gates Foundation gives Dynavax COVID-19 grant to scale up adjuvant production
With the support of the Gates Foundation, Dynavax plans to establish the capacity to make up to 750 million adjuvanted doses a year.
The target is in the middle of the 600 million to 1 billion range that Dynavax said its contract manufacturer
could theoretically support using existing installed capacity.
How much capacity Dynavax ultimately needs will depend on the success of the vaccines in which its adjuvant is being used.
In recent months, Dynavax has agreed to provide its CpG 1018 adjuvant for use in COVID-19 vaccines
in development at Clover Biopharmaceuticals, Medicago, Medigen, Sinovac and Valneva.
Clover and Medicago have already begun clinical testing, while Medigen and Valneva
are set to move their prospects into humans later this year. Dynavax expects to strike additional agreements.
GlaxoSmithKline is also providing an adjuvant to Clover and Medicago, as well as to Sanofi.

(August 19, 2020) CSIRO welcomes Australian agreement with AstraZeneca to provide access to Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine
CSIRO welcomes the Australian Government’s agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca,
to give Australians access to the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine,
should it prove successful, safe and effective. CSIRO also welcomes the news that the Australian Government is working with CSL and AstraZeneca
to assess whether it is possible to provide local manufacturing support for the vaccine,
should it prove successful. As Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO is playing a critical role
in the global efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. In March this year, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) engaged CSIRO
to undertake a preclinical trial of Oxford’s vaccine candidate at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP).
ACDP is CSIRO’s high-containment biosecurity facility, the only lab of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
CSIRO has shared early data from the preclinical trial with CEPI and Oxford University,
which enabled the vaccine candidate to progress on to phase 3 clinical (human) trials.

(August 20, 2020) EU and CureVac in talks on 225 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine
The European Commission and German biotech firm CureVac said on Thursday they were in advanced talks for the supply of at least 225 million doses
of a potential Covid-19 vaccine to EU states. The EU will now begin negotiating a contract with CureVac,
which could be the company’s first bilateral supply deal, aimed at securing the vaccine for all 27 EU member states
should the shot prove safe and effective. CureVac said it could start large-scale human trials on its vaccine in the last quarter
of this year based on results of its current trials. The Commission did not disclose financial details
but said funding would be provided through an EU emergency fund,
of which around 2 billion euros ($2.37 billion) can be used to finance advance purchase deals,
officials have told Reuters.

(August 20, 2020) Adaptive Phage Therapeutics Receives Department of Defense Award for Development of COVID-19 Vaccine
GAITHERSBURG, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to providing therapies
to treat the global rise of bacterial and viral infectious diseases, today announced the Department of Defense (DoD)
awarded APT $9.8 million for research development of multiple high-priority, bacteriophage-based display vaccine candidates against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
Recent data suggests that immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may be transient and require frequent booster vaccinations
to maintain protective levels of immunity. APT is exploring the potential for an oral delivery system
in the form of a lozenge for the vaccine and any necessary booster doses.

(August 21, 2020) COVID-19’s Toll on People of Color Is Worse Than We Knew
As many as 215,000 more people than usual died in the U.S. during the first seven months of 2020,
suggesting that the number of lives lost to the coronavirus is significantly higher than the official toll.
And half the dead were people of color—Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and, to a marked degree unrecognized until now, Asian Americans.
With this new data, Asian Americans join Blacks and Hispanics among the hardest-hit communities,
with deaths in each group up at least 30 percent this year compared with the average over the last five years,
the analysis found. Deaths among Native Americans rose more than 20 percent,
though that is probably a severe undercount because of a lack of data. Deaths among Whites were up 9 percent.
The toll on Asian Americans has received far less attention,
perhaps in part because the numbers who have died—about 14,000 more than normal
this year—have been far lower than among several other groups.
Still, the 35 percent increase in Asian American deaths is the second-highest, behind Hispanic Americans.
Another surprise: Only about half of the Asian American deaths have been officially linked to COVID-19, lower than for all other groups.

(August 21, 2020) Coronavirus: Belgian experts ‘shocked’ as AstraZeneca seeks liability waiver for vaccine
“In the US it is common for firms to cover for themselves in this way, but, in Europe, it is exceptional,”
Stefaan Callens, university professor of medical law at KU Leuven, told HLN.
Thierry Vansweevelt, professor of medical law at the University of Antwerp called the request “very exceptional” and even “slightly shocking,”
in light of existing EU regulations on companies’ liability for what they put on the market.
“There is a European directive on product liability,”
Vansweevelt said. “Any producer who places a defective product on the market is responsible for that without exceptions.
You can’t escape that.” But, Ruud Dobber, an AstraZeneca executive, told Reuters that most countries with whom it had signed procurement deals
had already granted its request, but refused to name the countries in question.
Dobber said that AstraZeneca could “simply not take the risk” of being faced with liability claims if “in four years the vaccine is showing side effects.”

(August 21, 2020) Officials have no answers about legal liabilities for vaccine’s potential side-effects
Australian health officials and drug maker AstraZeneca have declined to comment
on whether the pharma company is seeking indemnification against potential liability
arising from any side effects of its vaccine candidate.
The government’s signing of a letter of intent with Britain’s AstraZeneca
to secure the Oxford University vaccine has raised questions over the exact nature of the agreement,
with finer details around numbers and rollout not yet announced.
The government said “a final formal agreement will include distribution, timing and price of the vaccine”
but those details are not yet ironed out.

(August 24, 2020) Blackstone to acquire Takeda Consumer Healthcare for $2.3bn
Takeda Pharmaceutical has agreed to divest its Japanese consumer healthcare business unit to Blackstone for $2.3bn.
Oscar A-Co KK, a company controlled by funds managed by The Blackstone Group and its affiliates,
has signed an agreement to acquire Takeda’s wholly-owned subsidiary Takeda Consumer Healthcare Company (TCHC).
Under the deal, Blackstone will acquire a variety of over-the-counter medicines and health products from TCHC.
Subject to customary legal and regulatory closing conditions, the deal is expected to be completed by March 2021.
“TCHC played an important role in Takeda’s long history, but with our growth strategy
now focused on five key business areas – Gastroenterology (GI), Rare Diseases, Plasma-Derived Therapies,
Oncology and Neuroscience – and an increasingly competitive consumer health care market
in Japan, the ownership transition will benefit both TCHC and Takeda.”

(August 24, 2020) Catalent Signs Agreement with AstraZeneca to Expand Manufacturing Support for COVID-19 Vaccine AZD1222
SOMERSET, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Catalent, Inc. (NYSE: CTLT), the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies,
development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies,
and consumer health products, today announced that Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy will provide drug substance manufacturing to AstraZeneca
for the University of Oxford’s adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222,
at Catalent’s commercial gene therapy manufacturing facility located in Harmans, Maryland.
Catalent will prepare the Harmans facility, close to Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) airport,
to enable multiple production trains to run in parallel to produce the vaccine candidate drug substance commencing late in the third quarter of 2020.
This agreement expands Catalent’s support of the AZD1222 program following the announcement in June
that Catalent’s facility in Anagni, Italy, will provide large-scale vial filling and packaging of AZD1222.

(August 27, 2020) Abbott to ship millions of $5, card-sized coronavirus tests offering 'digital health passes'
The FDA has given its green light to a new coronavirus test from Abbott, which will be sold for $5
and fits entirely on a device about the size of a credit card.
The rapid antigen test is designed to deliver a reading from a nasal swab within 15 minutes
and is paired with a free, optional smartphone app
capable of logging and displaying COVID-19 test results—providing a “temporary digital health pass”
that could help clear people for entry to places such as schools, hospitals, workplaces, airports and elsewhere.
In addition, according to a report today from Politico, the Trump administration has reached a $750 million deal with Abbott
to purchase 150 million tests—which would amount to a substantial increase in U.S. testing capacity, with the country performing 22 million tests last month.

(August 28, 2020) 'Without evidence': Once again, FDA expands use of COVID-19 treatment without research to back it up
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Friday allowed the drug remdesivir to be used on all patients
hospitalized with COVID-19, although no published research supports such widespread use.
In May, the FDA allowed remdesivir to be used for hospitalized patients who need oxygen, but not those sick enough to require ventilation.
No studies have been published since then supporting more widespread use of remdesivir, yet the FDA said the data is now compelling enough to expand its use.
The FDA announced the expanded use of remdesivir at 5:20 p.m. ET on Friday, citing two studies to support its decision. One was the study published in May.
The other, released earlier this month, found that five days of treatment with the drug was just as effective as 10,
allowing supplies of the sought-after drug to be stretched. That study was conducted by the drugmaker, Gilead Sciences Inc. of Foster City, California.

(August 28, 2020) Coronavirus: Infected minks force 100 Dutch farms to shut
Authorities are ordering farms to close after the novel respiratory virus
broke out among the animals. The disease is bringing forward plans to wind down the industry in the country.
More than 100 mink farms in the Netherlands will be ordered to close by March 2021
after animals across the country contracted the coronavirus, Dutch news agency ANP reported on Thursday.
Hundreds of thousands of the ferret-like animals, which are bred for their fur,
have been culled across Europe after the virus began spreading among them.
The first two outbreaks were reported on April 23 and April 25 at Dutch farms holding 12,000 and 7,500 animals.
Since then, the country has killed 1.1 million minks at 26 farms.

(August 30, 2020) Australian Religious Leaders Criticize ‘Immoral’ COVID-19 Vaccine Deal
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - A coronavirus deal signed by Australia with an international drug company is raising ethical concerns among prominent church leaders.
Australia has signed a deal with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to produce and distribute a vaccine being developed by Britain's Oxford University...
if the treatment works. But three of Australia's most senior archbishops have written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging him to reconsider the agreement,
saying the use of "fetal tissue” in the research is “deeply immoral.”
“To use that tissue then for science is reprehensible,” said Glenn Davies, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney.
“Once I know something that is morally compromised, it is my job to speak out about it.”
The Oxford University study uses embryonic kidney cells harvested from a female fetus in the Netherlands in 1973.


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