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Post by Abacus on Sun 15 Nov 2020 - 23:00

September 2020

(September 3, 2020) AMRI Selected to Support AstraZeneca in Delivery of COVID-19 Vaccine
ALBANY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), a leading global provider of advanced drug development
and manufacturing solutions, today announced that it has signed a supply agreement with AstraZeneca
to support the manufacture of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222, intended to protect against the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus.
On May 21, 2020, AstraZeneca announced it had received more than $1B from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)
for the development, production and delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine it is developing in cooperation with University of Oxford.
AMRI has been chosen to contribute to the supply of the vaccine candidate through sterile fill/finish of AZD1222 at AMRI’s drug product manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

(September 3, 2020) AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine to be tested at military sites
Five Department of Defense facilities will participate in the Phase 3 trial of a COVID-19 vaccine, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
According to the Department of Defense, researchers are still seeking volunteers
for the next phase of testing for AZD1222, a COVID-19 vaccine candidate under development by AstraZeneca.
The upcoming trial will take place at
- Naval Medical Center in San Diego,
- Joint Base San Antonio,
- Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center in San Diego,
- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.,
- and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

"The Department of Defense continues to play a key role in the development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine,"
Tom McCaffery, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, said in a statement.
The vaccine is the result of a partnership between AstraZeneca and Oxford Vaccine Group,
with funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority,
a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the British government.

(September 9, 2020) Vaccination persuasion: Personal stories most likely to influence people toward COVID-19 shots, analytics firm finds
As coronavirus vaccines edge closer to market, the next question is how pharma companies and public health authorities will convince people to get them.
Civis Analytics decided to test what kind of messages might work. The data firm created five different themed messages and random tested them with 4,000 respondents.
They compared the results to the control group in which 73% said they were likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The result? Personal stories proved to be the best motivator for COVID-19 vaccinations.
When people saw a mock ad about a real person,
in this case a young healthy person who contracted COVID-19 and died, they were 5% more likely than the control group to say yes to a vaccine.

(September 9, 2020) AstraZeneca Vaccine Tests Face Delay After Patient Gets Ill
AstraZeneca Plc stopped giving shots of its experimental coronavirus vaccine after a person participating in one of the company’s studies got sick,
a potential adverse reaction that could delay or derail efforts to speed an immunization against Covid-19 for the world.
The pause stemmed from a standard review of the company’s vaccine trials after one person developed an unexplained illness (transverse myelitis, inflammation of the spinal cord)
AstraZeneca said in a statement. The move was intended to give researchers time to examine safety data
while maintaining the integrity of the trials, the company said.
Paul Offit, a pediatrician and vaccine expert at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia,
said the AstraZeneca shot involves giving large doses of a monkey adenovirus engineered
so it can’t replicate. It is therefore important for researchers to investigate
whether the adverse event wasn’t somehow being triggered by a reaction to that large viral dose, he said.
“When you have that kind of viral load, you can have side effects,” said Offit.

(September 9, 2020) Pfizer, BioNTech in EU Vaccine Deal That’s Their Biggest Yet
Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE reached a preliminary agreement to supply 200 million doses
of their experimental Covid-19 vaccine to the European Union
-- the biggest initial order yet for the U.S.-German partners.
The European Commission has concluded exploratory talks and will now begin contract negotiations,
according to a statement Wednesday. The deal would include an option for another 100 million doses.

(September 10, 2020) Governor Hogan announces acquisition of 250,000 rapid antigen tests from Becton Dickinson through compact with Rockefeller Foundation
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Thursday announced the acquisition of 250,000 rapid point-of-care antigen tests,
which will be deployed to nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and correctional and juvenile detention centers across the state.
The purchase makes Maryland, the founding member of the bipartisan interstate testing compact with the Rockefeller Foundation,
the first state in the compact to move forward with an order for rapid antigen tests.
“This state-of-the-art rapid testing will be critically important to our continued economic recovery and will also help to keep the people
of our state safe,” said Governor Hogan. “I’m pleased to announce that Maryland will be the first state in the bipartisan interstate
testing compact to move forward with an order with Becton Dickinson for the purchase of the first 250,000 of these rapid tests,
along with the diagnostic machines used to process the tests onsite.”
In his remarks, the governor noted that rapid tests do not take the place of the state’s PCR diagnostic tests,
which continue to be the backbone of Maryland’s long-term testing strategy,
which has successfully completed more than 2.1 million tests for nearly 25 percent of the state’s population.
Since its launch in early August, the interstate compact now includes ten states—split equally between Democratic and Republican governors—
that are working together to purchase 500,000 antigen tests per state, for a total of five million tests.

(September 11, 2020) FDA grants EUA to Verily Life Sciences for COVID-19 test, pooling techniques
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Alphabet, for a RT-PCR test
to detect SARS-CoV-2 as well as for a pooled sampling technique, according to an approval letter from the FDA. In its letter to Verily, the FDA said
the EUA was for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in upper-respiratory specimens as well as for the pooled testing
of up to 12 specimens collected by healthcare providers.
Verily said it verified the performance of the RT-PCR test in its lab with Thermo Fisher Scientific’s TaqPath test kit.
Earlier this year, Verily also launched the Baseline COVID-19 testing program in conjunction with the state of California,
as an integrated solution combining symptom reporting, specimen collection, testing and reporting of results.
Since then, the program has expanded to other states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Massachusetts, Maryland,
Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

(September 11, 2020) Facebook board member Peter Thiel reportedly had dinner with a key white nationalist figure in 2016 and said he 'really enjoyed' meeting him
In July, 2016, Facebook board member Peter Thiel met with a white nationalist figure (Kevin DeAnna)
who has advocated for the formation of a white ethnostate, according to newly surfaced emails published by BuzzFeed News this week.
A few months later, when Thiel came out in support of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign,
some of Facebook's staff raised concerns about the move — but CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Thiel at the time.
Thiel, a famously outspoken Libertarian, was among Facebook's earliest investors and now sits on its board.
He's also one of the most influential venture capitalists in Silicon Valley,
and the founder and a board member of Palantir the $10.5 billion software company
that has scored millions of dollars with of contracts with the Trump administration and is currently preparing to go public.

(September 12, 2020) AstraZeneca Resumes Its COVID-19 Vaccine Trials In The U.K.
Drugmaker AstraZeneca announced Saturday that its COVID-19 vaccine studies have resumed in the United Kingdom,
though not yet in the United States. The vaccine trials had been placed on hold
around the world earlier in the week after a U.K. participant in one of the studies developed a neurological illness.
AstraZeneca said it cannot disclose further medical information because it is the study sponsor,
but added in its statement, "All trial investigators and participants will be updated with the relevant information,
and this will be disclosed on global clinical registries, according to the clinical trial and regulatory standards."
In late July, results of a preliminary safety and effectiveness study found that more than two-thirds
of the people who received the experimental vaccine reported fatigue and headache after inoculation.
Muscle aches and fever were also common. In May, the Trump administration awarded the AstraZeneca
effort up to $1.2 billion from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority as part of Operation Warp Speed,
the administration's push to have a widely available coronavirus vaccine by January.

(September 12, 2020) The big problem with Operation Moonshot? False positives
On September 9, prime minister Boris Johnson announced the government’s landmark Operation Moonshot programme,
which aims to deliver up to ten million tests a day – covering nearly a sixth of the entire population –
and return results within as little as 20 minutes. Coming at a cost of a reported £100bn,
just shy of the entire annual budget for the NHS, it has the twin aims
of boosting economic activity, and avoiding a second national lockdown.
The government has stated that the onus will be on the private sector in order to achieve these milestones,
with GSK responsible for supplying tests, Serco and G4S for logistics and warehousing, and AstraZeneca for laboratory capacity.
As the threat of a second wave of Covid-19 grew last month, French health minister Olivier Véran promised
that France would carry out one million tests per week by September 1.
While this figure was met, the sudden rise in testing has overwhelmed lab capacities.
In an attempt to avoid similar problems – after all, the Moonshot targets would see the UK carrying out 60 times as many tests
per week as France – the government is banking on a novel testing technology called Transcriptase Loop Amplification (LAMP).

(September 14, 2020) Valneva CEO optimistic after signing €1.4B COVID-19 vaccine deal with UK
Under the terms of the deal, the Saint-Herblain, France-based biotech will provide the U.K. with 60 million doses of its experimental vaccine, VLA2001,
at a cost of €470 million next year, should it be successful in clinical trials. The government has also secured an option for an additional 130 million doses between 2022 and 2025.
The government is also investing in scaling-up vaccine production at Valneva's manufacturing facility in Livingston, Scotland, which will be recouped against the supply deal.
VLA2001 is one of the few inactivated vaccine candidates in development for COVID-19 and is based on the company's approved vaccine for Japanese encephalitis, Ixiaro.
Inactivated vaccines use the killed version of the virus and do not provide as strong a response — hence the need for a booster shot to maintain immunity.
Unlike at least 17 coronavirus vaccines that are already in various stages of clinical trial — including candidates already in phase 3 trials,
such as AstraZeneca PLC and Moderna Inc. — VLA2001 is not expected to enter the clinic until December 2020,
with a target date for possible regulatory approval in the second half of 2021 for a two-dose regimen.
VLA2001 is combined with an adjuvant, made by Berkeley, California-based Dynavax Technologies Corp., to boost the immune response.

(September 15, 2020) Valneva, Dynavax Enter COVID-19 Vax Supply Pact
Valneva SE, a specialty vaccine company, and Dynavax Technologies Corp., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel vaccines,
have entered a commercial partnership for the supply of Dynavax’s CpG 1018 adjuvant
for use in Valneva’s SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate, VLA2001.
Dynavax will supply CpG 1018 to produce up to 100 million doses of vaccine in 2021.
Valneva has the option to purchase up to an additional 90 million doses through 2025.
This commercial supply partnership follows the companies’ initial collaboration entered in April 2020 to advance COVID-19 vaccine development.

(September 15, 2020) BioNTech Gets $445 Million in German Funding for Vaccine
(Bloomberg) -- BioNTech SE will get as much as 375 million euros ($445 million) from Germany to back its Covid-19 vaccine program,
about half of the money the government set aside to accelerate development of immunizations.
The German biotech company is working with Pfizer Inc. and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co.
on what is expected to be one of the first vaccines to deliver results from late-stage human trials.
Pfizer has repeatedly said data from a U.S. study could be ready next month.
Germany is splitting its funding between BioNTech and rival vaccine developers CureVac NV and IDT Biologika GmbH.
CureVac will get 230 million euros, while talks are still going on with IDT Biologika, Research Minister Anja Karliczek said in a press conference in Berlin.

(September 15, 2020) Novavax adds antigens to COVID-19 production pact with Indian vaccines giant
Novavax and the Serum Institute of India (SII) fleshed out an earlier manufacturing pact
for the Maryland biotech's recombinant protein-based COVID-19 vaccine to include production of the antigen
used in the shot, the partners said Tuesday. SII will join five other manufacturers helping to produce the antigen
component of Novavax's vaccine, dubbed NVX-CoV2373, while aiming to produce 1 billion doses of the shot
specifically for low- and middle-income countries starting in mid-2021, Novavax said.
All told, Novavax's growing supply chain will enable it to produce up to 2 billion doses per year of NVX-CoV2373
once manufacturing fires up to full speed in the middle of next year.
In August, SII was reportedly pursuing $1 billion in fundraising
by this month with the backing of private equity giants Blackstone and KKR, the Economic Times of India reported.

(September 15, 2020) COVID-19 kills far more Hispanic and Black children than white youths, federal statistics show
The coronavirus is killing Hispanic, Black and American Indian children at much higher numbers than their white peers, according to federal statistics released Tuesday.
Of those killed by COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, more than three-quarters
have been Hispanic, Black and American Indian children, even though they represent 41 percent
of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The disproportionate deaths among youths echo pandemic disparities documented among adults.
Previous studies have found that the virus’s death toll is twice as high among people of color under age 65 as for white Americans.
Of the children and teens killed, 45% were Hispanic, 29% Black and 4% American Indian.

(September 16, 2020) Regeneron, University of Oxford announce RECOVERY COVID-19 phase 3 trial to evaluate REGN-COV2 investigational antibody cocktail in UK
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and the University of Oxford announced that RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY),
one of the world's largest randomized clinical trials of potential COVID-19 treatments,
will evaluate Regeneron's investigational anti-viral antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2.
Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford
and chief investigator of the trial, said "We have already discovered that one treatment, dexamethasone,
benefits COVID-19 patients, but the death rate remains too high so we must keep searching for others.
The trial is supported by a grant to the University of Oxford from UK Research and Innovation/National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
and by core funding provided by NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Wellcome,the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
the Department for International Development, Health Data Research UK,
the Medical Research Council Population Health Research Unit and NIHR Clinical Trials Unit Support Funding.

(September 17, 2020) Italy could have AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots by end November, IRBM biotech says
Italy could have its first shots of British drugmaker AstraZeneca's potential COVID-19 vaccine by the end of November,
the managing director of IRBM told Reuters. Biotech firm IRBM, whose lab is based south of Rome,
is cooperating with AstraZeneca in developing a vaccine
for the disease which has caused more than 35,600 deaths in Italy.

(September 17, 2020) BioNTech buys German site from Novartis to boost vaccine output
Germany’s BioNTech is purchasing a German biotech production site from Swiss drugs giant Novartis to boost output
of the coronavirus vaccine hopeful it is developing with Pfizer. The facility in the German city of Marburg
will be converted to be fully on stream in the first half of 2021 with an annual production capacity up to 750 million doses
of the inoculation, based on the so-called messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.
The two companies were previously aiming to supply up to 100 million doses
worldwide by the end of this year and an additional 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
The new site, with its 300 staff that will join BioNTech, will allow for a larger 2021 output target
but it is not yet clear by how much on balance, a company spokeswoman said.

(September 18, 2020) Billionaire wealth grew by $845 billion, or 29%, as America struggled through first six months of pandemic
Between March 18—the rough start date of the pandemic shutdown,
when most federal and state economic restrictions were in place—and Sept. 15,
the total net worth of the nation’s billionaires rose from $2.95 trillion to $3.8 trillion.
In fact, this billionaires’ bonanza occurred against a general backdrop of working-class pain:

- 6.6 million Americans got coronavirus, and almost 200,000 died from it.
- Over 50 million Americans lost jobs, with nearly 14 million still unemployed.
- 30 million are collecting unemployment benefits (counting contract workers), up from 1.6 million a year earlier.
- Nearly 30 million Americans have gone hungry.
- 12 million Americans have lost employee-sponsored health insurance.
- Big swathes of business have shut down, including 100,000 restaurants.

(September 20, 2020) Can an employer require you to get a covid-19 vaccine?
Legally, there is little preventing private employers from imposing vaccinations on their own,
legal experts say. The only significant legal limitations are federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 could require employers to accommodate employees who object to a vaccination
because it would conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs.
If employees have a medical condition that makes it unsafe for them to get a vaccine,
they could also try to get an exemption under the Americans with Disabilities Act,
which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
Under that law, employers must reasonably accommodate disabled employees
unless doing so would be prohibitively difficult or expensive.
A vaccine requirement may be lawful but impractical, especially for larger companies.

(September 22, 2020) Novavax Will Manufacture Its COVID-19 Vaccine In Spain
US biotech company Novavax has signed an agreement to carry out the industrial production of its vaccine for Europe in Spain,
once it becomes available, with Spanish pharmaceutical Zendal (through its subsidiary Biofabri).
Specifically, the Galician-based firm will be responsible for the production
of the vaccine designed by Maryland-based Novavax for the European Union.

(September 23, 2020) Privacy Fears Rising as DNA Test Companies Shift to New Ventures
At-home DNA test kits from companies like 23andMe and Ancestry have enabled customers to trace their heritage and piece together family trees.
A lack of strict data privacy protections has allowed these companies to rack up hundreds of millions in revenue through the collection of DNA samples
and sales of genetic data, all with the consent of customers who may not have read the fine print.
As it stands, there is no comprehensive federal privacy law in the U.S.
Other laws, including HIPPA and the Genetic Information Discrimination Act,
only keep genetic information off-limits to certain types of insurers and employers.
Further, the agency that is supposed to enforce privacy rules by DNA testing companies, the Federal Trade Commission, has limited authority.
Exposed genetic information poses risks from the mundane to the extreme, experts say.
Long-term care, disability and life insurers, for example, can still legally inflate their rates based on a customer’s predisposition to adverse health conditions.
And if a person takes a DNA test, the information could be used to profile unsuspecting relatives as well.
Some have warned of more dire consequences. One DNA data security startup, Geneinfosec—which counts former U.S. assistant secretary of defense Andrew C. Weber
among its advisors—claims that someone’s DNA profile could be used as blackmail, or even to create bioweapons that target specific people.
In 2019, Pentagon officials advised military troops to avoid taking consumer DNA tests because they could, “create unintended security consequences and increased risk to the joint force and mission.”

(September 24, 2020) Europe Indemnifies COVID-19 Vaccine Makers in Case of Side Effects
Sue Middleton, president of the executive board of Vaccines Europe, said in a European Parliament hearing that,
under the advance purchase agreements in place, the commission or EU member states would “essentially indemnify the companies
against the cost of legal action” arising from claims of adverse events.
Although vaccines may cause certain known side effects,
unexpected side effects of vaccines are relatively rare, Middleton said.
However, she noted that some did occur in previous mass vaccination campaigns,
such as for measles, mumps and rubella. A commission spokesperson acknowledged
that EC agreements with vaccine suppliers provide for EU “member states to indemnify the manufacturer
of certain liabilities incurred under specific and strict conditions,” but she declined to elaborate what those conditions are.

(September 25, 2020) Endo Announces Fill-Finish Manufacturing and Services Agreement for Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate
Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP) today announced that its subsidiary, Par Sterile Products, LLC (Par Sterile)
has entered into a non-exclusive agreement with Novavax, Inc. to provide fill-finish manufacturing services
at its plant in Rochester, Michigan for NVX-CoV2373, Novavax' COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Under the terms of the agreement, Par Sterile's Rochester facility has begun production of NVX-CoV2373 final drug product,
with initial batches to be used in Novavax' pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in the United States.
Par Sterile will also fill-finish NVX-CoV2373 vaccine intended for commercial distribution in the United States.
Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

(September 26, 2020) Researchers at CCMB reveal coronavirus in India has stable genome & can be effectively cured with vaccine
According to Rakesh Mishra, director of CCMB, a worldwide research has been taken up to study and identify how often the SARS CoV-2 virus is mutating.
As part of this research, the Hyderabad based CCMB scientists have also taken up a genetic research on the COVID-19 virus
and analyzed more than 2000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes secured from various parts of India and found that the virus unlike in its earlier days is hardly mutating
and is found to be highly stable with a very low genetic biodiversity.

(September 28, 2020) Trump announces plans to ship millions of Abbott's rapid tests to states
President Donald Trump announced plans to distribute millions of Abbott Laboratories’s 15-minute COVID-19 test
in the coming weeks, a move aimed at expanding access and helping reopen schools that are seen as key to getting parents back to work.
The federal government expects to ship 150 million of the Abbott rapid tests,
based on states’ populations, Trump said Monday in a press conference at the White House.
The White House will encourage states—which have ultimate discretion over how to deploy the tests—to use about 100 million
to screen teachers, check symptomatic children to see if they have contracted the virus, or conduct baseline surveillance.

(September 29, 2020) NIH expanding enclave for COVID-19 data with $36M Palantir contract
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is now home to the largest centralized collection of COVID-19 patient data in the world,
awarding Palantir Technologies a non-competitive $36 million contract for a data enclave over the weekend.
NIH calls the enclave the NCATS Secure Scientific Platforms Environment, and it supports the Unified NIH Integrated Translational Environment (UNITE),
which hosts the N3C data platform proof-of-concept built by Palantir in May.
NCATS plans to grant more researchers access to the data, add more clinical datasets and provide new analysis modules over time.
This isn’t the first time Palantir has won a non-competitive contract since the start of the pandemic.
Both the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services quickly awarded multimillion-dollar contracts
to the Silicon Valley company for its data services citing the “unusual and compelling urgency” of coronavirus recovery.

(September 29, 2020) Michigan’s GRAM Inks COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Deal with J&J
Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM), based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, inked a deal with Janssen Pharmaceutical,
a Johnson & Johnson company, to support the manufacturing of Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
GRAM is an injectable contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).
The agreement with GRAM includes technical transfer and fill-and-finish manufacture of the vaccine candidate.
GRAM is expanding domestic fill-and-finish capacity for COVID-19 vaccines and drugs for companies
that have deals with the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed.
The expansion is partially funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA),
part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services(HHS),
in collaboration with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND).

(September 29, 2020) Filipinos make up 4% of nurses in the US, but 31.5% of nurse deaths from COVID-19
Nurses of Filipino descent comprise just 4% of the workforce, but nearly a third of registered nurse deaths due to COVID-19.
National Nurses United, the country's largest nurse union, released a report Monday detailing COVID-19 deaths among nurses and other healthcare workers.
NNU estimates that 1,718 healthcare workers have died due to the disease and related complications,
including 213 registered nurses. Nurses of color made up more than half of the nurse deaths due to COVID-19, despite only making up 24.1% of the workforce.
The largest non-white ethnic group to die of the disease was Filipino nurses. Nurses of Filipino descent account for 31.5% of the workforce's COVID-19 deaths.


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Post by Abacus on Sun 15 Nov 2020 - 23:02

October 2020

(October 1, 2020) HHS Teams Up with The Rockefeller Foundation to Share Best Practices for Increased COVID-19 Testing
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and The Rockefeller Foundation have signed an agreement
to identify and share effective approaches for using rapid point-of-care (POC) antigen tests to screen
for COVID-19 in communities, with a focus on safely reopening K-12 schools. The partnership establishes a pilot program
with select cities and states in The Rockefeller Foundation's Testing Solutions Group (TSG),
a network of public officials devoted to rapidly scaling COVID-19 testing, tracing, and tracking in their communities.
HHS will provide at least 120,000 Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card POC SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests to pilot sites.
The initial pilot cities, selected collaboratively with The Rockefeller Foundation, are
Louisville, Ky.; Los Angeles; New Orleans; and Tulsa, Okla.
In addition, Rhode Island has been selected as a pilot state.
The collaboration between HHS and The Rockefeller Foundation builds upon the Trump Administration's national distribution plan
for the Abbott BinaxNOW tests to states, which includes sending millions of BinaxNOW rapid tests to all U.S. states and territories over the next few months.

(October 8, 2020) J&J inks European COVID-19 vaccine supply deal for 200M doses
Two months after concluding exploratory talks over a COVID-19 vaccine supply pact
with officials in Europe, Johnson & Johnson has finalized its deal.
The company will provide 200 million doses of its vaccine
—should it prove safe and effective in testing and win an approval—for an undisclosed price.
The deal also provides an option for an additional 200 million doses.
The European Commission already had supply agreements in place with
AstraZeneca and the Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline partnership.

(October 12, 2020) Pfizer and BioNTech enter Covid-19 vaccine deal with New Zealand
Pfizer and BioNTech have entered an agreement with the New Zealand Government to supply 1.5 million doses of their potential Covid-19 vaccine.
Expected to take place by the first quarter of next year, the delivery could vaccinate approximately 750,000 people in New Zealand.
The parties did not divulge the financial terms of the agreement, which marks the government’s first vaccine purchase.
According to officials, discussions are ongoing with other pharmaceutical firms
to buy more vaccine doses for the country of five million people.
Further announcements on vaccine supply deals should take place next month.

(October 12, 2020) Johnson & Johnson pauses dosing of its coronavirus vaccine
Johnson & Johnson announced late Monday it is temporarily pausing recruitment and dosing of its coronavirus vaccine
in clinical trials due to an “unexplained illness in a study participant.”
The company did not disclose more information about the affected individual.
The company noted that in placebo-controlled clinical trials,
it “is not always immediately apparent” if a given individual received the treatment or a placebo.

(October 13, 2020) AstraZeneca secures federal backing for investigational monoclonal antibody COVID-19 therapy
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD)
have awarded a contract of $486 million
to AstraZeneca’s late-stage development and large-scale manufacturing of the AZD7442
investigational treatment for COVID-19, according to a press releases.
AZD7442 is a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies
that may help treat or prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2.
AstraZeneca will receive approximately $486 million under Operation Warp Speed
for two Phase 3 clinical trials and related development activities,
including a large-scale manufacturing demonstration project and supply of AZD7442 doses in the U.S.

(October 15, 2020) Google & Oracle to Monitor Americans Who Get Warp Speed’s Covid-19 Vaccine for up to Two Years
During an interview with the Wall Street Journal published last Friday, the “captain” of Operation Warp Speed, career Big Pharma executive Moncef Slaoui,
confirmed that the millions of Americans who are set to receive the project’s Covid-19 vaccine will be monitored via “incredibly precise . . . tracking systems”
that will “ensure that patients each get two doses of the same vaccine
and to monitor them for adverse health effects.” Slaoui also noted that tech giants Google and Oracle
have been contracted as part of this “tracking system”
but did not specify their exact roles beyond helping to “collect and track vaccine data.”
The day before the Wall Street Journal interview was published,
the New York Times published a separate interview with Slaoui
where he referred to this “tracking system” as a “very active pharmacovigilance surveillance system.”

(October 17, 2020) Digital ‘health passport’ trials under way to aid reopening of borders
A new digital “health passport” is to be piloted by a small number of passengers flying from the UK to the US
for the first time next week under plans for a global framework for Covid-safe air travel.
The CommonPass system, backed by the World Economic Forum (WEF),
is designed to create a common international standard for passengers to demonstrate they do not have coronavirus.
Paul Meyer, the CEO at the Commons Project, which was given startup funding by the Rockefeller Foundation
two years ago and created the digital health pass,
said countries that have closed borders and imposed quarantines are looking for ways to “thoughtfully reopen” their borders.
The trial will apply for passengers flying from Heathrow to Newark, US, on a United Airlines flight on Wednesday.
Tests from the private testing company Prenetics
will be administered by the travel and medical services firm Collinson
in Covid-19 testing facilities set up with Swissport.
It follows a pilot by Cathay Pacific on flights between Hong Kong and Singapore.
However, the test used generally in the UK is not a test of infectiousness,
experts have said, as it does not distinguish between those who have the virus and are infectious and those who are no longer infectious.
There have been many false results as a consequence. There is also suspicion that such schemes could provide a way in to greater monitoring
of people’s movements and health statuses, a paper published in the Lancet on Friday said.

(October 19, 2020) Covid-19: Remdesivir has little or no impact on survival, WHO trial shows
The largest trial to date of treatments repurposed for use in the covid-19 pandemic
has shown that none of the four drugs studied produced any measurable benefit in mortality or disease course.
This includes remdesivir—a drug already recommended by several guidelines and pre-ordered by numerous governments around the world.
Hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir-ritonavir, and interferon beta-1a regimens also seemed to have little or no effect on 28 day mortality.
None of the drugs delayed the need for ventilation or shortened the stay of patients admitted to hospital.
“For each drug in the study, the effect on mortality was disappointingly unpromising,” said the World Health Organization in a statement.
The WHO Solidarity trial followed 11 266 adults at 405 hospitals in 30 countries and,
although the results are preliminary, WHO said that the “conclusive” findings “suffice to refute early hopes” in the four drugs studied.

(October 20, 2020) Regeneron failed to disclose BARDA funding in their REGN-COV2 patent
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals failed to disclose U.S. government funding in a patent that claims antibodies against COVID-19.
The obligation to acknowledge U.S. government funding in patents is required under an existing contract
between Regeneron and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA),
as well as under the Bayh-Dole Act and regulations issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Luis Gil Abinader, the author of the research note.
“Regeneron has received massive funding for its work on COVID-19.
Federal agencies are apparently not monitoring the required disclosures.”

(October 21, 2020) Patient death casts a shadow on AstraZeneca's COVID-19 trial: report
A patient has died in the global study of AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine,
Brazil’s health authority, Anvisa announced on Wednesday. But despite the death, the study will carry on as normal,
Reuters reports. The person who died was Brazilian,
said the Federal University of Sao Paulo,
which is helping coordinate the trial in Brazil,
the news service said. It's not yet clear whether the death was related to the vaccine candidate.
"We cannot comment on individual cases in an ongoing trial of the Oxford vaccine as we adhere strictly to medical confidentiality
and clinical trial regulations, but we can confirm that all required review processes have been followed,” an AstraZeneca spokesperson said in an email.
The news comes a month after AstraZeneca, along with partner Oxford University, paused the study because a patient developed transverse myelitis,
or inflammation of the spinal cord that can be triggered by infections.
AstraZeneca isn't the only COVID-19 vaccine maker that's hit a roadblock. Just last week, Johnson & Johnson
suspended its own study because a patient developed an "unexplained illness."
Like AstraZeneca, J&J did not immediately know if the patient had received the vaccine candidate or placebo.

(October 21, 2020) Stanford Medicine launches home COVID-19 testing study covering greater San Francisco
Stanford University and its school of medicine have launched plans to survey the population of greater San Francisco
for COVID-19, in an effort to build an early warning system for future outbreaks. The program is currently seeking to enroll participants,
who will report their exposures and symptoms daily through an online portal.
Home test kits—developed in collaboration with the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub,
which is also helping to fund the study—will be delivered through the mail
within 24 hours at no cost, and will contain a gentle nasal swab for self-collection.
Samples will then be processed at Stanford’s laboratories.

(October 22, 2020) IAVI, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Serum Institute of India Join Forces to Develop Monoclonal Antibodies for COVID-19 and Ensure Prompt and Equitable Global Access
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a nonprofit scientific research organization dedicated to addressing urgent, unmet global health challenges,
and Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of vaccines and biologics, announced an agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany,
a leading science and technology company, to develop SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)
co-invented by IAVI and Scripps Research as innovative interventions to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agreement builds on the advanced antibody discovery
and optimization expertise of IAVI and Scripps Research,
gained from years of experience in HIV broadly neutralizing antibody research and development,
and on Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s and Serum Institute’s significant capabilities in design and scale up of accelerated manufacturing processes for mAb production.
The global development plan is being led by the three organizations in partnership.

(October 23, 2020) US: FDA approves coronavirus drug Remdesivir despite doubts about effectiveness
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the drug Remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19,
issuing a statement on Friday, October 23. The drug had previously been approved in the US only under an Emergency Use Approval (EUA).
In Europe, the product had also received an EUA in July for the treatment of certain COVID-19 patients.

(October 23, 2020) AstraZeneca's U.S. COVID-19 trial is back on track after 45-day hold
It’s been a minute, but AstraZeneca has gotten the FDA’s all-clear to restart the U.S. study of its COVID-19 vaccine.
The British pharma slammed the brakes on the program in early September when a patient in the U.K. developed an inflammatory side effect.
The pause came just one week after the 30,000-patient U.S. trial had kicked off.
Now, the FDA has finished that review and told AstraZeneca it can restart the U.S. trial, the pharma giant confirmed Friday.
On Wednesday, Brazil’s health authority Anvisa announced a patient participating in the study had died but that the trial would carry on.

(October 23, 2020) 4D pharma to merge with special purpose acquisition company, Longevity Acquisition Corporation
4D pharma plc, a pharmaceutical company leading the development of live biotherapeutic products (LBPs),
and Longevity Acquisition Corporation, a NASDAQ-listed Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC),
announce the proposed merger of the two companies. The deal is worth up to US$ 37.6 million to 4D pharma.
It is currently planned for the merger to be completed and effective in early 2021,
and 4D pharma ADSs will begin trading on NASDAQ immediately following completion.
4D pharma’s clinical programmes are targeting cancer, including a clinical collaboration with Merck & Co., respiratory diseases including COVID-19 and asthma,
gastrointestinal diseases, and pre-clinical programmes targeting neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, and autoimmune diseases;
in addition, the company has a research collaboration with MSD (Merck & Co.) in the field of vaccines.

(October 23, 2020) Trudeau announces plan to purchase 76 million doses of Canadian-made COVID-19 vaccine
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced another contract to buy a promising COVID-19 vaccine now in development
— part of a plan to secure millions of vaccine doses to inoculate Canadians from the novel coronavirus.
Trudeau said the government has signed a contract to procure 76 million doses from the Quebec City-biotech company Medicago.
Medicago is developing the vaccine in partnership with the British drug company GlaxoSmithKline.
Canada already has signed six other contracts for tens of millions more vaccine doses
with other pharmaceutical giants, such as AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer.

(October 20, 2020) U.S. Billionaires Wealth Surges $931 Billion since Beginning of Pandemic
Between March 18 – the rough start of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — and October 13, the total wealth of 644 U.S. billionaires
increased from $2.95 trillion to $3.88 trillion, a rise of 31.6 percent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 220,000 Americans
and destroyed the health, wealth and livelihood of millions of households.

- Jeff Bezos’s wealth grew from $113 billion on March 18 to $203 billion on Oct. 13, an increase of 80 percent.
- Elon Musk’s wealth has more than tripled since the beginning of the pandemic, from $24.6 billion on March 18 to $92.8 billion on Oct. 13, an increase of 277 percent.
- Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth grew from $54.7 billion on March 18 to $101 billion on Oct. 13, an increase of 85 percent.
- Zoom’s Eric Yaun wasn’t even a billionaire in 2019. Now is wealth is over $22 billion, an increase of over 300 percent since March 18th.
- Steve Ballmer, a major owner of Microsoft and its TEAMS video conferencing, has seen his wealth increase by $22 billion since March 18, an increase of 43.4 percent.
- Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans, saw his wealth rocket by 656 percent, to $49.2 billion from $6.5 billion 7 months earlier.

(October 25, 2020) A Federal Coronavirus Vaccine Contract Released At Last, But Redactions Obscure Terms
Overall, there is a lack of disclosure around the terms of the federal contracts
with companies involved in the crash program to make COVID-19 vaccines.
Most of the contracts haven’t been released.
While the publicly posted Moderna contract includes previously unknown details, extensive redactions leave the public in the dark
about some of the company’s obligations as well as the extent of protections for taxpayers.
It’s 53 pages long, but only 14 of them are free of redactions.
Some of the redactions obscure information that has already been disclosed.
The value of the contract, for example, is blacked out with a note
that it isn’t disclosable under public records law because it is a trade secret.

(October 26, 2020) Coronavirus document disclosure motion could ‘jeopardize’ vaccine for Canadians
Procurement Minister Anita Anand says if opposition parties approve a parliamentary probe
of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic — including some of its sensitive contracts —
then suppliers for coronavirus vaccine candidates and protective gear could “walk away.”
“I do not want to be back here to explain to Canadians that because of the disclosure we were forced to make,
we were not able to secure vaccines or PPE for Canadians because our supplies chose to walk away,”
she said during a press conference on Monday morning.
“I am seriously saying our contracts – vaccines, PPE, rapid test kits – are in jeopardy.”
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Canada is among those raising concerns about the motion, set to be voted on in the House of Commons Monday.

(October 27, 2020) Stevanato Group, Catalent Partner to Expedite Equipment Installation
Stevanato Group, a producer of glass primary packaging and capabilities for drug delivery systems,
has expanded its longstanding collaboration with Catalent to include the provision and accelerated delivery
of advanced visual inspection systems to help with potential vaccines and biologics to address the pandemic.
Catalent has ordered Plus 400 LKD automatic and PWL semi-automatic visual inspection machines from Stevanato
and will install the equipment at its sites in Bloomington, IN, and Anagni, Italy, to support various customer programs.

(October 28, 2020) Sanofi, GSK to provide 200M coronavirus vaccines to COVAX for equitable distribution
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline aren’t the front-runners in the race for a COVID-19 vaccine,
but execs for the companies have said they expect to play an important role in the global vaccination push.
Now, the partners are backing that up with an agreement to provide 200 million doses of their vaccine to COVAX,
a global effort to develop, produce and equitably distribute doses. COVAX is a global group of governments, health groups, businesses and nonprofits
that are aiming to speed coronavirus vaccine research and manufacturing, plus ensure equitable distribution.
Established vaccine groups Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI),
along with the World Health Organization, are co-leading the effort. Funding details for Wednesday's agreement weren't released.
Aside from their COVAX deal, the partners have inked agreements to provide 300 million doses to the EU and up to 600 million doses to the U.S.

(October 29, 2020) Takeda plans to supply 50 million doses of Moderna vaccine in Japan
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. said Thursday it plans to supply 50 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine,
developed by U.S. drugmaker Moderna Inc., in Japan from the first half of next year.
The Japanese drugmaker said it will provide the vaccine based on a three-way agreement with Moderna
and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare once the vaccine has been approved.
The health ministry said the doses of the vaccine to be distributed by Takeda
will cover 25 million people in Japan, as two shots are needed
for it to be effective against the novel coronavirus. The Japanese government has already agreed
with British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. to receive 120 million doses
of any successfully developed vaccine from each company. Takeda is also preparing to produce and sell
in Japan a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by U.S. biotechnology firm Novavax Inc.

(October 31, 2020) Merck collaborates with Mammoth Biosciences for CRISPR-based SARS CoV-2 diagnostic test
Merck, a leading science and technology company, announced collaboration with Mammoth Biosciences,
for the development, scale-up and commercial production of Mammoth’s CRISPR-based SARS CoV-2 diagnostic test.
Mammoth’s high-throughput systems will be compatible with both nasal swab and saliva samples
and are targeting approximately 1,500 tests per 8-hour shift with minimal user interaction.
Mammoth Biosciences plans to submit the assay for FDA Emergency Use Authorization later this year.
The Life Science business of Merck will serve as the contract manufacturer of the DETECTR BOOST SARS-CoV-2 Reagent Kit,
which will use standard, automated liquid handling equipment to allow rapid processing of patient samples.


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Post by Abacus on Sun 15 Nov 2020 - 23:06

November 2020

(November 2, 2020) Icosavax gets a $16.5M boost to study its COVID-19 candidate
A $10 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,
designed to support the program through a phase I trial in young and older adults,
is backed by preclinical data showing the vaccine candidate induces neutralizing antibody titers after one administration.
The company also received $6.5 million from Open Philanthropy
to support the candidate’s development along with the company’s platform technology.
IVX-411 was developed at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine
using a design invented at the school’s Institute for Protein Design.
It was little more than a year ago that Icosavax launched with a $51 million series A for advancing another candidate, IVX-121,
a computationally designed self-assembling virus-like particle,
through phase Ib studies. IVX-121, based on the same fundamental technology as IVX-411,
incorporates a stabilized prefusion F antigen licensed from the NIH’s
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for treating respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in older adults.

(November 2, 2020) Ultrapotent COVID-19 Vaccine Designed via Computer: Innovative Nanoparticle Vaccine Spurs Extremely High Levels of Protective Antibodies
Compared to vaccination with the soluble SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, on which many leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates are based,
the new nanoparticle vaccine produced 10 times more neutralizing antibodies in mice, even at a sixfold lower dose.
The data also show a strong B-cell response after immunization, which can be critical for immune memory and a durable vaccine effect.

The vaccine candidate was developed using structure-based vaccine design techniques invented at UW Medicine.
It is a self-assembling protein nanoparticle that displays 60 copies of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein’s receptor-binding domain
in a highly immunogenic array. The molecular structure of the vaccine roughly mimics that of a virus,
which may account for its enhanced ability to provoke an immune response.

The lead vaccine candidate from this report is being licensed non-exclusively and royalty-free during the pandemic by the University of Washington.
One licensee, Icosavax, a Seattle biotechnology company co-founded in 2019 by Neil King,
is currently advancing studies to support regulatory filings and has initiated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s
Good Manufacturing Practice. To accelerate progress by Icosavax to the clinic, Amgen has agreed to manufacture
a key intermediate for these initial clinical studies. Another licensee, SK bioscience of South Korea,
is advancing its own studies to support clinical and further development.

Reference: “Elicitation of potent neutralizing antibody responses by designed protein nanoparticle vaccines for SARS-CoV-2
Alexandra C. Walls, Brooke Fiala, Alexandra Schäfer, Samuel Wrenn, Minh N. Pham, Michael Murphy,
Longping V. Tse, Laila Shehata, Megan A. O’Connor, Chengbo Chen, Mary Jane Navarro, Marcos C. Miranda,
Deleah Pettie, Rashmi Ravichandran, John C. Kraft, Cassandra Ogohara, Anne Palser, Sara Chalk, E-Chiang Lee,
Kathryn Guerriero, Elizabeth Kepl, Cameron M. Chow, Claire Sydeman, Edgar A. Hodge, Brieann Brown, Jim T. Fuller,
Kenneth H. Dinnon, III, Lisa E. Gralinski, Sarah R. Leist, Kendra L. Gully, Thomas B. Lewis, Miklos Guttman, Helen Y. Chu, Kelly K. Lee, Deborah H. Fuller, Ralph S. Baric,
Paul Kellam, Lauren Carter, Marion Pepper, Timothy P. Sheahan,
David Veesler and Neil P. King, Accepted 26 October 2020, Cell.

(November 2, 2020) South African firm and Johnson & Johnson strike vaccine deal
JOHANNESBURG -- South African pharmaceutical firm Aspen Pharmacare
has announced a deal with U.S. firm Johnson & Johnson to manufacture its COVID-19 vaccine candidate,
if it is approved in South Africa and internationally.
The company said the facility has a capacity to manufacture more than 300 million doses of the vaccine a year.
Johnson & Johnson's test vaccine, Ad26.COV3-S, is one of four different vaccines currently undergoing clinical trials in South Africa.
Johnson & Johnson would be responsible for supplying the vaccine in large batches
and Aspen would put it into vials and package it for individual doses,
pending a final commercial agreement, said the statement issued by Aspen.
In July protesters demonstrated in Johannesburg against vaccine trials of a vaccine being tested by the University of Oxford,
in which about 2,000 people were expected to participate. The protesters told The Associated Press then that people
chosen as volunteers for the trials were from impoverished backgrounds
and not fully aware of the potential risks associated with clinical trials.

(November 5, 2020) Australia makes COVID-19 vaccine supply agreements with Novavax and Pfizer
The Australian Government has inked an agreement with Novavax for 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses;
and with Pfizer/BioNTech for 10 million doses.
The government expects the two vaccines will be available in Australia from early to mid-2021:
subject to them being proven safe and effective and approved by the country's regulator.
Australia has now lined up a total of 134 million doses across four vaccine candidates,
with today's announcement following agreements made in September
with the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca (for 33.8 million doses)
and Australia’s University of Queensland / CSL (51 million doses).

(November 5, 2020) Denmark to cull up to 17 million mink amid coronavirus fears
Denmark will cull all its mink - as many as 17 million -
after a mutated form of coronavirus that can spread to humans was found on mink farms.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the mutated virus posed a "risk to the effectiveness" of a future Covid-19 vaccine.
Denmark is the world's biggest producer of mink fur and its main export markets are China and Hong Kong.
The culling began late last month, after many mink cases were detected.

(November 7, 2020) Infections with a new virus variant: Mink transfer mutated coronavirus to people – knowledge
The mutated variant shows changes in the very structure that many of the vaccine candidates currently in development target.
Concerned that this new variant might spread and that vaccines against it might not work,
the Danish government is not only having all farm minks culled, but is also sealing off areas around the fur farms.
Since June, at least 214 people have been infected with a variant of the corona virus that originally appeared in minks,
the Danish health institute SSI announced on Friday. 200 of the cases were detected in the North Jutland region.
There are a particularly large number of mink farms in this region. Sars-CoV-2 has already been found in 216 breeding facilities across the country.

(November 9, 2020) UK to isolate patients with new mink strain of coronavirus
The UK ordered patients suspected of contracting a virus from mink in Denmark into isolation
as fears that the mutated coronavirus strain could undermine vaccine efforts increased.
Doctors were told the strain showed "less sensitivity for neutralising antibodies", The Telegraph said.
Known as cluster five, the variant has four mutations in the spike protein,
the part of the virus scientists put into vaccines to help drive antibodies.
There are now more than 200 patients with coronavirus infections linked to mink farms.
At the weekend, the UK banned entry to all non-residents coming from Denmark, while UK citizens must isolate for two weeks.

(November 11, 2020) Pfizer, BioNTech to Supply 200M Doses of BNT162b2 to EU
Pfizer and BioNTech SE have reached an agreement with the European Commission to supply 200 million doses
of their investigational BNT162b2 mRNA-based vaccine candidate against COVID-19 to EU Member States,
with an option to request an additional 100 million doses.
Deliveries are anticipated to start by the end of 2020,
subject to clinical success and regulatory authorization.
The vaccine doses will be produced at BioNTech’s German manufacturing sites,
as well as Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Belgium.
The BNT162 program is based on BioNTech’s mRNA technology
and supported by Pfizer’s global vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities.
Two of the companies’ four investigational vaccine candidates – BNT162b1 and BNT162b2 –
received Fast Track designation from the U.S. FDA, with Phase 1/2 studies currently ongoing in the U.S. and Germany.

(November 12, 2020) CureVac Aims to Overcome Deep-Freeze Challenge With Covid Shot
Data show CureVac’s messenger RNA vaccine remained stable for at least three months
when stored at a standard refrigerator temperature of 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit),
and for up to 24 hours as a ready-to-use shot when stored at room temperature,
the company said Thursday. Some vaccines, like the front-runner from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, must be kept at ultra-cold temperatures

(November 12, 2020) Arcturus Therapeutics receives $220M from Singapore for COVID-19 vaccine development
Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) financial commitment includes $45 million up front to fund manufacture of ARCT-021
and up to an additional $175 million in vaccine purchases.
ARCT-021 is being developed in collaboration with Duke-NUS Medical School
and ongoing Phase 1/2 development is being conducted in Singapore.
ARCT-021 combines self-transcribing and replicating mRNA (STARR™) with LUNAR® lipid-mediated delivery technology,
which is designed to enhance and extend antigen expression, enabling vaccination at lower doses.
Interactions with additional agencies are expected within the next few weeks.
Under the terms of the agreement, the loan will be repaid through royalties on future ARCT-021 commercial sales.

(November 14, 2020) J&J’s Covid Vaccine Gets Another $1 Billion Funding Boost
Johnson & Johnson will spend about $604 million expanding its deal with the U.S. government to develop a Covid-19 vaccine,
seeking to catch up with rivals who have forged ahead in the race.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will commit about $454 million
in additional money to the Phase 3 Ensemble trial, which seeks to evaluate the efficacy of the company’s vaccine candidate as a single-dose.
To accelerate the recruitment of participants and cut the trial time in half, J&J has also turned to data experts at UnitedHealth Group Inc.
J&J and Barda, under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
already committed more than $1 billion in March to co-fund the research in an about 50-50 split.


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Post by KneelB4Zod! on Wed 25 Nov 2020 - 18:38

I moved this topic on the top of Main discussion. This is really excellent job!

"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 : 56809
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刘汉 likes this post

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Post by Abacus on Wed 25 Nov 2020 - 18:58

Thank you Zod!


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Post by KneelB4Zod! on Thu 26 Nov 2020 - 0:26

Abacus wrote:Thank you Zod!

We thank you. This is really a piece of work.

Btw, I trired to search while ago but I failed. Did you add Fucci's money transfer to Wuhan? It was in 2019 I think. There were more than one such transactions I think.

"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 : 56809
Reputation : 198
Join date : 2018-05-17
Age : 40
Location : Krypton


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Post by Abacus on Thu 26 Nov 2020 - 23:09

I haven’t found anything conclusive,
but I’ll try to dig through it again when I get the time.


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Post by Abacus on Sun 29 Nov 2020 - 22:14

(November 16, 2020) George Soros buys a stake in big data firm Palantir
Soros Fund Management has acquired 18.5 million shares of Palantir, and Third Point has taken a more modest position of 2.4 million shares.
According to a submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Soros’ investment was worth about $ 175.3 million.
This is a purchase price of $ 9.50 per share. Palantir shares are currently trading at just under $ 16 per share,
so Soros shares are currently valued at approximately $ 294 million.
Palantir was co-founded by venture capitalist Thiel, known as a member of the “PayPal Mafia” that helped launch the payment giant.
With a more conservative political tendency, Thiel was also a supporter of President Trump in 2016 and is now a member of Facebook’s board of directors.

(November 16, 2020) EU Expands Vaccine Options With CureVac Contract
The EU is to sign a contract with German pharmaceutical company CureVac for another potential Covid-19 vaccine,
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Monday. The deal, to be signed Tuesday, brings to five the number of vaccines
the EU will have in its portfolio, with a sixth, from US firm Moderna, on its way, von der Leyen said in a video statement.
The CureVac contract is an option to buy up to 405 million doses if its vaccine is proven to be safe and effective.
Von der Leyen did not disclose the financial terms, in line with the same confidentiality given the other companies making candidate vaccines.

(November 16, 2020) Labour calls for emergency laws to stop misleading anti-vaccination news – leading macroeconomic influencers
The Labour party in the UK has called for immediate laws to stamp out dangerous anti-vaccine content online.
Within hours of progress of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine announcement,
online posts were popping up on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
The misleading information included chats and comments on vaccines causing deliberate harm,
the government inserting chips to alter DNA and vaccines as weapons of genocide.
Labour is pressing for criminal and financial charges for social media firms
who are not removing misleading or fear inducing stories about vaccines, the article noted.
Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, stated that such content
was exploiting the fears of people and initiated mistrust against the government and institutions.
As a result, the party was interested in working with the government to promote vaccine
adoption and build trust.

(November 17, 2020) Amazon unveils online pharmacy, expanding its push into health care
Amazon unveiled its biggest push into selling prescription drugs
with the launch of a digital pharmacy and discounts for paying U.S. Prime members
that sent shock waves through shares of drugstore chains and distributors.
Amazon’s new offering comes more than two years after its $753 million acquisition of PillPack,
an online pharmacy known for organizing prescriptions into packets.

(November 19, 2020) Covid-19: Government agrees in principle to buy Janssen Pharmaceutica vaccines
The New Zealand government has reached an in-principle agreement to purchase doses of a Covid-19 vaccine for the entire population.
If all goes to plan, the first doses - up to two million - would be delivered from the third quarter of 2021.
The government would then have the option to purchase up to three million more doses, which would be delivered throughout 2022.
The vaccine is likely to be single-dose and compatible with standard vaccine distribution channels, so it may be more efficient to administer.
The Pfizer vaccine would be available in the early part of 2021 while the Janssen one would more likely be near the end of the year.

(November 20, 2020) ‘Internet of Bodies’: Are COVID Tests Harvesting DNA?
We have all heard about the Internet of Things (IoT): An emerging posthuman world of unprecedented connectivity,
in which smart technology will power a new industrial revolution.
When IoT connects with your body, this is called the Internet of Bodies (IoB).
The ‘Internet of Bodies’ is a major part of the IoT revolution that basically connects the human body to a network
through devices that are ingested, implanted or connected to the body in some way.
Our ‘friends’, the usual suspects at the World Economic Forum,
are once again at the forefront of this transformation.
Remember: The World Economic Forum were co-hosts of Event 201 and will host
the upcoming Great Reset forum between January 18-21. An important note to keep in mind.
Your DNA is a unique marker of your identity, and it reveals many things about you, your health and your family.
There are many companies who are trying to capture your DNA from the moment you are born.
Some states even assemble huge banks of DNA or blood from newborns, for example.
COVID-19 is no different. This isn’t about a virus. This is about taking your most sensitive details.

(November 20, 2020) Billionaires' net worths climbed by almost $1 trillion during the pandemic while their workers were put at risk
A report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) focuses on 12 billionaires who saw their fortunes skyrocket
during the pandemic, while thousands of workers from their companies fell ill or did not receive hazard pay.
From March 2020 to November 2020, billionaires gained almost $1 trillion in wealth.
But, as the report outlines, those profits may come at the expense of the essential workers they employ.
For instance, John H. Tyson, the owner of Tyson Foods, has made over $600 million during this timeframe.
The family member of a Tyson employee who died of COVID-19 is suing the company for wrongful death
and claiming that a plant manager organized an office pool in April on how many workers would get infected.
Iowa's News Now reported that Tyson suspended the employees
named in the lawsuit and began an internal investigation,
led by former Attorney General Eric Holder.

(November 21, 2020) Israel Says Agreed With AstraZeneca on COVID Vaccine Rations for 5 Million People
Israel said Friday it is in advanced stages of negotiations with British drug maker AstraZeneca
to secure the supply of a coronavirus vaccine for five million people.
Under to the agreement, AstraZeneca would provide some 10 million vaccine doses,
with its vaccine requiring two doses per person.
The initial supply of AstraZeneca vaccines would arrive in Israel in the first half of 2021
subject to regulatory authorities in Europe, the United States and Israel.
This deal would include the biggest supply of vaccines Israel has secured so far.
The talks to seal the deal are held on the order by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.

(November 23, 2020) Germany's CureVac Signs Contract for New Vaccine
German pharmaceutical company CureVac says it has signed a contract to produce major quantities of a COVID-19 vaccine
under development in the Netherlands. The Tuebingen company said Monday it had agreed with Munich’s Wacker Chemie AG
on a contract for the production of its COVID-19 vaccine using mRNA technology at Wacker’s site in Amsterdam
in the first half of 2021. It plans to produce 100 million doses of the CureVac vaccine per year at the facility,
and said there is potential for expansion.

(November 23, 2020) Tony Blair Institute and Oracle Launch Africa Vaccine Management in the Cloud
The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) and Oracle have brought cloud technology to Africa to manage public health programs.
Initially, Ghana, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone will use the new Oracle Health Management System
to create electronic health records for their vaccination programs
for yellow fever, HPV, polio, measles, and COVID-19, as soon as that vaccine is distributed to Africa.
TBI and Oracle are in discussions with more than thirty other countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America
that are evaluating using the same cloud system to manage their COVID-19 vaccination programs.  

(November 23, 2020) UK considers face biometrics to verify vaccinated travelers
The UK is taking steps to allow British citizens to resume traveling, with plans to make vaccination credentials
capable of supporting face biometrics checks at borders and prove the bearer is not carrying the novel coronavirus.
The investigation by The Telegraph mentions that Cabinet Office officials have contacted banknote printers, including De La Rue,
for the creation of holograph and security stamp documents to verify the identity of citizens who have tested negative for the virus.
The documents could incorporate facial recognition, as well as NFC-powered chip reading capabilities.

(November 23, 2020) Qantas airline to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for international flights
Australian airline Qantas will require travelers on international flights to be jabbed
with a coronavirus vaccine once an inoculation is ready, CEO Alan Joyce said.
Australia’s largest airline is planning to enshrine the mandate in its terms and conditions,
which would be amended to say that international travelers must be vaccinated before they can board a Qantas plane, Joyce said.

(November 24, 2020) US FDA grants EUA to Regeneron’s casirivimab & imdevimab antibody cocktail for COVID-19
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that the antibody cocktail casirivimab and imdevimab administered together (formerly known as REGN-COV2(REGN10933) or REGEN-COV2(REGN10987),
a therapy currently being investigated for use in COVID-19, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Regeneron rapidly scaled up production of casirivimab and imdevimab, beginning in the early days of the pandemic
with support from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA),
part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Regeneron now expects to have treatment doses ready for approximately 80,000 patients by the end of November,
approximately 200,000 patients by the first week of January, and approximately 300,000 patients in total by the end of January 2021.
This use is authorized only for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use,
unless terminated or revoked sooner. Casirivimab and imdevimab have not been approved by FDA and remain investigational.
Regeneron continues to increase in-house production of casirivimab and imdevimab, and the company has partnered with Roche to increase the global supply beginning in 2021.

(November 24, 2020) Coronavirus digest: EU agrees vaccine deal with Moderna
The European Union has reached a deal with US pharmaceutical firm Moderna to secure doses of its coronavirus vaccine candidate,
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday.
Von der Leyen said: "I am happy to announce that tomorrow we will approve a new contract to secure another COVID-19 vaccine."
She added the deal will include up to 160 million doses.
It is the sixth deal of its kind the EU has negotiated with vaccine developers.

(November 24, 2020) Moderna boss says COVID-19 vaccine not proven to stop spread of virus
Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine may not get life back to normal
right away because it hasn’t yet been proven to prevent the deadly bug from spreading,
the company’s top doctor says.
“When we start the deployment of this vaccine, we will not
have sufficient concrete data to prove that this vaccine reduces transmission.”

(November 24, 2020) Elon Musk becomes world's second richest person
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has topped Microsoft founder Bill Gates to become the world's second richest man
after a meteoric rise in his personal fortune. Mr Musk's net worth jumped by $7.2bn (£5.4bn) to $128bn
after shares in his car firm Tesla surged. Only Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is richer, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

(November 25, 2020) ReiThera announces update on ongoing phase 1 study of vaccine candidate, GRAd-COV2 against novel coronavirus
ReiThera Srl, a biotech company dedicated to the technology development, GMP manufacturing and clinical translation of genetic vaccines
and medicinal products for advanced therapies, provides an update on the ongoing phase 1 study of its vaccine candidate (GRAd-COV2)
against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). GRAd-COV2, the candidate vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 recently developed by ReiThera,
is based on a novel and proprietary replication-defective simian (gorilla) adenoviral vector (called GRAd)
encoding the full-length coronavirus spike protein (GRAd-COV2). The spike protein enables the coronavirus to enter human cells.
ReiThera produced the vaccine material for this trial using its in–house GMP manufacturing expertise and capabilities in Italy.
In parallel, the Company is working with LEUKOCARE in Germany to develop a thermostable formulation
of the GRAd-COV2 vaccine and with Univercells in Belgium to develop a bespoke manufacturing process
to enable rapid, large-scale production of the vaccine.

(November 25, 2020) UK’s Johnson speaks with Mohammed bin Salman on phone call
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
on the phone on Tuesday afternoon after the Kingdom hosted the Group of 20 virtual summit at the weekend.
In a statement, a Downing Street representative said Mr Johnson congratulated Saudi Arabia for hosting the summit
and for the “productive meetings” it brought about on the global recovery from the pandemic and tackling climate change.
“They discussed recent positive progress on the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca
and the importance of ensuring global access to coronavirus vaccines,” the representative added.

(November 25, 2020) Abu Dhabi launches Hope Consortium for global vaccine distribution, teams-up with Etihad Cargo, Rafed & SkyCell to handle over 6 billion vaccine doses
Amid an anticipated surge in vaccine logistics demand, Abu Dhabi is poised to cement its position as the global logistics hub
to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine distribution globally after spearheading the launch of the Hope Consortium.
The consortium also includes Abu Dhabi Ports Group, Etihad Cargo Rafed, the healthcare purchasing arm of Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, and Switzerland’s award-winning SkyCell,
which develops next-generation, temperature-controlled logistics containers for the pharmaceutical industry.
As part of the Hope Consortium, SkyCell will establish a regional service and manufacturing centre in Abu Dhabi.
The Consortium intends to transport the vaccines using SkyCell’s hybrid containers.

(November 29, 2020) UK secures 2 million more doses of Moderna’s Covid vaccine
Britain has secured two million doses of Moderna Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate,
to be available in Europe as early as the spring, the government said on Sunday, in addition to the 5 million doses
it secured from the U.S. company two weeks ago.
The new deal came a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson named Nadhim Zahawi,
a junior business minister, to be minister responsible for the deployment of Covid-19 vaccines.
Britain now has access to enough doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate for around 3.5 million people.
Overall, it has access to 357 million doses of vaccines from seven developers, according to government statement.

(November 29, 2020) Coronavirus inoculations in UK to be overseen by vaccines minister
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi
would oversee the country's biggest vaccine program in decades.
During the time he was on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee
he was also chairman of the secretive trans-Atlantic group Le Cercle
but did not declare his membership. In 2019 a member of his staff
was listed as an administor of Le Cercle in the Parliamentary Register of interests.


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Post by KneelB4Zod! on Sun 29 Nov 2020 - 22:40

Abacus wrote:I haven’t found anything conclusive,
but I’ll try to dig through it again when I get the time.


That's what I found just now. But I've seen better articles I'm sure.

"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

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Post by Abacus on Mon 30 Nov 2020 - 22:20

Have only found this (first part already in the timeline):

(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.

More info:
Reported studies were initiated after the University of North Carolina Institutional Biosafety Committee approved the experimental protocol:
project title: Generating infectious clones of Bat SARS-like CoVs; lab safety plan ID: 20145741; schedule G ID: 12279.
These studies were initiated before the US Government Deliberative Process Research Funding Pause on Selected Gain of Function
Research Involving Influenza, MERS, and SARS Viruses
and the current paper has been reviewed by the funding agency, the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Continuation of these studies has been requested and approved by the NIH.

We thank Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi of the Wuhan Institute of Virology for access to bat CoV sequences and plasmid of WIV1-CoV spike protein.
Research was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the National Institute of Aging ..


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Post by shachalnur on Fri 25 Dec 2020 - 17:50


dunno if you already linked this one ,but it's the score worldwide for the vaxx.

you can see how many vaxxes have been given where etc.




No se va a caer solo, hay que prenderle fuego



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Post by Abacus on Sun 27 Dec 2020 - 19:31

Thanks for info shachalnur


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Post by Abacus on Sun 3 Jan 2021 - 12:58

(December 1, 2020) DNA Data Storage Alliance Launches With Illumina, Microsoft, Twist Bioscience, Western Digital
Twist Bioscience Corporation, Illumina, and Western Digital announced an alliance last month with Microsoft to advance the field of DNA data storage.
Microsoft has already demonstrated a fully automated end-to-end system capable of storing and retrieving data from DNA in collaboration with the University of Washington.
“We have separately stored 1GB of data in DNA synthesized by Twist and recovered data from it,” added Karin Strauss, senior principal research manager at Microsoft
in the Alliance announcement. Synthetic DNA is preferable because it is easier to handle and store.
“A key component of a DNA data storage system is its ability to read back the digital information when needed,”
said Alex Aravanis, chief technology officer at Illumina in the same statement.

(December 1, 2020) Amazon delves deeper into voice recognition, call-center work as COVID-19 drives cloud
Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O on Tuesday announced voice recognition
as part of a suite of call-center services for businesses,
as the company sees growing demand for its cloud tools during the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at the company's annual re:Invent conference, executive Andy Jassy announced Amazon Connect Voice ID,
which uses machine learning software to authenticate customers who dial into call centers.
Jassy, who runs the firm's cloud computing division Amazon Web Services, said AWS builds a voice print
for customers who opt in to save time on calls.

(December 2, 2020) UK MHRA grants emergency use authorization to Pfizer & BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine, BNT162b2 against COVID-19
Pfizer and BioNTech announced that the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK has granted a temporary authorization
for emergency use for their COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2), against COVID-19.
“The Emergency Use Authorization in the UK will mark the first time citizens outside
of the trials will have the opportunity to be immunized against COVID-19,” said Ugur Sahin,
M.D., CEO and co-founder of BioNTech. “We believe that the roll-out of the vaccination program
in the UK will reduce the number of people in the high-risk population being hospitalized.
Our aim is to bring a safe and effective vaccine upon approval to the people who need it.

(December 2, 2020) Drugmaker Merck divests stake in vaccine-maker Moderna
U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co said on Wednesday it has sold its equity investment in Moderna Inc,
after benefiting from a surge in the stock price of the vaccine developer this year.
Merck did not disclose the details of the sale proceeds,
but said it expects to record a small gain from the sale in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Moderna's shares have risen more than seven-fold this year,
valuing the company at US$55.80 billion as of Tuesday's closing price.

(December 3, 2020) Coronavirus vaccine: Pfizer given protection from legal action by UK government
The UK government has granted pharmaceutical giant Pfizer a legal indemnity protecting it from being sued,
enabling its coronavirus vaccine to be rolled out across the country as early as next week.
The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed the company has been given an indemnity
protecting it from legal action as a result of any problems with the vaccine.
Ministers have also changed the law in recent weeks to give new protections to companies such as Pfizer,
giving them immunity from being sued by patients in the event of any complications.

(December 3, 2020) Keneka Eurogentec Joins Inovio’s Global Mfg. Consortium
Inovio, a biotechnology company focused on bringing to market precisely designed DNA medicines
to treat and protect people from infectious diseases and cancer, has executed an agreement with Kaneka Eurogentec S.A.,
an affiliate of Kaneka Corporation, for Eurogentec to manufacture Inovio's Covid-19 vaccine candidate INO-4800
at their industry-leading GMP plasmid production scales. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Kaneka Eurogentec joins existing partners Thermo Fisher Scientific, Richter-Helm BioLogics and Ology Biosciences in Inovio's global manufacturing consortium.
The INNOVATE(Inovio INO-4800 Vaccine Trial for Efficacy) trial will be funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND)
in coordination with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (OASD (HA)) and the Defense Health Agency (DHA).

(December 4, 2020) CDC Quietly Adjusted Covid Death Data, Shows Higher Relative Toll on Black, Hispanic People
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has quietly revised
its estimates for the disproportionately deadly toll that Covid-19 is taking on communities of color.
After adjusting for age, the CDC now says Hispanic and Black Americans
are shown to die at a rate of almost three times that of White Americans.
The nation's top health agency revised the analysis after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.,
called on the CDC to adjust the data by age.

(December 4, 2020) Pfizer COVID jab warning: No breastfeeding, avoid pregnancy for 2 months, unknown fertility impacts
UK Government produced safety instructions for a new coronavirus vaccine indicate that it should not be used by pregnant or breast-feeding mothers and children.
In addition, they state that it is unknown what effect the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine will have on fertility.
In a section called “Fertility, pregnancy and lactation,” the guide says there is “no or limited data” on the vaccine.
Therefore, it is not recommending its use for pregnant women.
“Animal reproductive toxicity studies have not been completed.
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 is not recommended during pregnancy,” the guide states in section 4.6.
But alarmingly the guide has only one thing to say about the vaccine’s impact on fertility: they don’t know if it does or doesn’t.

(December 4, 2020) Sherlock Biosciences Strengthens Intellectual Property Portfolio in CRISPR-based Diagnostics Through Exclusive License Agreement with Tolo Biotech
Sherlock Biosciences, an Engineering Biology company dedicated to making diagnostic testing
better, faster and more affordable, today announced exclusive license agreements with Shanghai-based Tolo Biotech.
Tolo has granted Sherlock exclusive rights in the United States to its CRISPR-Cas12 (including Cas12a and Cas12b) diagnostic technology,
and Sherlock has granted Tolo exclusive rights to the CRISPR-Cas13 SHERLOCK™ diagnostic platform in Greater China.
Financial details have not been disclosed.
In May 2020, Sherlock received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
for its Sherlock™ CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit, the first FDA-authorized use of CRISPR technology.

(December 4, 2020) EuBiologics partners with IVI for COVID-19 vaccine development
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and South Korean company EuBiologics exchanged an MOU to cooperate in the clinical development
of the COVID-19 vaccine the company is currently developing. The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by EuBiologics
uses two platform technologies: its own immunity enhancement technology (EuIMT) and the antigen display technology
(Spontaneous nanoliposome antigen particleization: SNAP) of the US-based POP Biotech, which EuBiologics has an investment in.
EuBiologics’ own COVID-19 vaccine uses protein subunit (synthetic antigen) technique,
which is the same method as that used by Sanofi and NovaVax, and SK bioscience in Korea.

(December 4, 2020) New CRISPR-Based Test for COVID-19 Uses a Smartphone Camera
In a new study published in the scientific journal Cell, the team from Gladstone, UC Berkeley, and UCSF
has outlined the technology for a CRISPR-based test for COVID-19
that uses a smartphone camera to provide accurate results in under 30 minutes.
The technique was designed in collaboration with UC Berkeley bioengineer Daniel Fletcher, PhD, as well as Jennifer Doudna, PhD,
who is a senior investigator at Gladstone, a professor at UC Berkeley, president of the Innovative Genomics Institute,
and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Doudna recently won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
for co-discovering CRISPR-Cas genome editing, the technology that underlies this work.
"When coupled with repeated testing, measuring viral load could help determine whether an infection is increasing or decreasing,"
says Fletcher, who is also a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator.

(December 7, 2020) Palantir Wins FDA Contract to Power Drug Review, Inspections
The three-year deal is worth $44.4 million and will allow the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation
and Research and the Oncology Center of Excellence to use Palantir software to integrate and analyze data.
The FDA contract is one of dozens Palantir has secured with U.S. federal agencies in recent years.
Government work, which Palantir undertakes globally, now makes up more than half of its total revenue.
The company was awarded $21 million in contracts in late April with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS)
as part of the country’s data collection and analysis platform, HHS Protect.
Since the pandemic began this year, Palantir has secured more than 100 deals with private companies and health and government groups.
More recently, Palantir announced its software (Tiberius) will help power the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to 300 million Americans through Operation Warp Speed.

(December 8, 2020) The Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican, A New Alliance Of Global Business Leaders, Launches Today
The Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican ("the Council"), a historic new partnership
between some of the world's largest investment and business leaders and the Vatican, launched today.
The Council is led by a core group of global leaders, known as Guardians
for Inclusive Capitalism, who meet annually with Pope Francis and Cardinal Turkson.

The full list of Guardians is as follows:

- Ajay Banga, President and Chief Executive Officer - Mastercard
- Oliver Bäte, Chairman of the Board of Management - Allianz SE
- Marc Benioff, Chair, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder - Salesforce
- Edward Breen, Executive Chairman - Dupont
- Sharan Burrow, General Secretary - International Trade Union Confederation
- Mark Carney - COP26 Financial Advisor to the Prime Minister, and United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance
- Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - EY
- Brunello Cucinelli, Executive Chairman and Creative Director - Brunello Cucinelli S.p.A.
- Roger Ferguson, President and Chief Executive Officer - TIAA
- Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Founder and Managing Partner - Inclusive Capital Partners
- Kenneth Frazier, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer - Merck & Co., Inc.
- Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer - The Estée Lauder Companies
- Marcie Frost, Chief Executive Officer - CalPERS
- Alex Gorsky, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer - Johnson & Johnson
- Angel Gurria, Secretary General - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- Alfred Kelly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer - Visa Inc.
- William Lauder, Executive Chairman - The Estée Lauder Companies
- Bernard Looney, Chief Executive Officer - BP
- Fiona Ma, Treasurer - State of California
- Hiro Mizuno, Member of the Board - Principles for Responsible Investment
- Brian Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer - Bank of America
- Deanna Mulligan, President and Chief Executive Officer - Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
- Ronald P. O'Hanley, President and Chief Executive Officer - State Street Corporation
- Rajiv Shah, President - The Rockefeller Foundation
- Tidjane Thiam, Board Member - Kering Group
- Darren Walker, President - Ford Foundation
- Mark Weinberger, Former Chair and CEO of - EY, and Board member of - J&J, - MetLife and - Saudi Aramco

(December 8, 2020) HALIX, AstraZeneca Ink Commercial COVID-19 Vax Mfg. Pact
HALIX B.V. signed an agreement with AstraZeneca for large-scale commercial drug substance manufacture of AZD1222, the adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccine.
HALIX will provide commercial manufacturing of drug substance at its cGMP facility at the Leiden Bio Science Park in the Netherlands.
To meet the increased demand, HALIX has expanded with two additional viral vector production lines.
HALIX continues its key role as one of the original partners in the University of Oxford’s consortium
for the manufacture of AZD1222. The vaccine was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company Vaccitech.

(December 8, 2020) Florida Agents Raid Home Of Rebekah Jones, Former State Data Scientist
Florida law enforcement agents searched the home of former state data scientist Rebekah Jones on Monday,
entering her house with weapons drawn as they carried out a warrant as part of an investigation
into an unauthorized message that was sent on a state communications system.
The Florida Department of Health is the agency that fired Jones in May, after she helped create the state's COVID-19 dashboard.
Jones has said she lost her job after she refused requests to manipulate data to suggest Florida was ready to ease coronavirus restrictions.
The search warrant was authorized as investigators tried to learn who sent a chat message to a planning group on an emergency alert platform,
urging people to speak out publicly about Florida's coronavirus strategies.

(December 9, 2020) Health Canada Green Lights COVID-19 Vax
Pfizer Canada and BioNTech SE said that Health Canada has granted Authorization under Interim Order for the emergency use of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2).
The distribution of the vaccine in Canada will be prioritized according to the populations identified in guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI).
BioNTech will hold the regulatory approval in Canada, while Pfizer Canada will have the commercialization rights.
Pfizer will have the marketing and distribution rights worldwide with the exception of China, Germany and Turkey.

(December 9, 2020) Fareva enhancer: CureVac to use CDMO for COVID vaccine fill/finish
Under terms of the deal – financials of which have not been disclosed – contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fareva
will provide fill and finish capabilities for CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, from facilities in Val-de-Reuil and Pau, both in France.
Fareva has invested over €80 million ($97 million) in its Val-de-Reuil facility over the past decade,
but Pau is a brand new extension for the CDMO, having just acquired the plant – along with a monoclonal antibody production plant
in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, France – from French drugmaker Pierre Fabre.

(December 9, 2020) Malaysia joins CEPI donating $3 M to advance vaccine R&D
Malaysia has announced funding of $3 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
to help support CEPI’s work to advance the development of vaccines against emerging epidemic threats.
Malaysia also last week joined COVAX, a global initiative co-led by CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO),
working to ensure the globally fair allocation of 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021 to end the acute phase of the pandemic.
With the UK and Norway working as COVAX partners and established coalition members within CEPI, H.E. Mr. Charles Hay, High Commissioner of the British High Commission,
and H.E. Ms. Gunn Jorid Roset, Ambassador of Royal Norwegian Embassy in Malaysia,
were also in attendance at the virtual signing ceremony to discuss the new partnership.

(December 9, 2020) PostEra, Pfizer ink pact to advance machine learning for drug discovery
PostEra, a biotechnology company, announced a strategic partnership with Pfizer
with the goal of accelerating small molecule drug discovery
by developing a platform technology based on generative chemistry.
PostEra's machine learning technology is intended to accelerate the drug discovery process
by designing novel molecular structures with optimised potency and drug-like properties.
PostEra will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive additional payments as the project progresses.
PostEra will also retain ownership rights to all algorithms developed during the collaboration.

(December 9, 2020) Singapore to contribute $5,000,000 to COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access AMC mechanism
In a recent press release, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs
said that "Global solidarity is required for an effective international response to the pandemic.
As part of our consistent support for vaccine multilateralism, and the fair and equitable access and allocation of vaccines,
Singapore will contribute $5,000,000 to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX)
Advance Market Commitment (AMC) mechanism, which will help support 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries’
access to COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility.
The COVAX Facility is a global risk-sharing mechanism which seeks to procure,
equitably allocate and deliver 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
Singapore is one of 97 self-financing participants (as of 25 November 2020) in the Facility.
The Facility’s implementing partners are the World Health Organisation, Gavi,
the Vaccine Alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
Singapore and Switzerland co-chair the Friends of the COVAX Facility to support the work of this Facility.

(December 10, 2020) Anti-vaxxer who founded non-profit Learn the Risk discovered dead by 9-year-old son
Brandy Vaughan was an activist who founded California non-profit Learn the Risk in 2015,
which is known for its billboard campaigns asserting vaccines are responsible for a large number of deaths of young children.
Best known for speaking out against the pharmaceutical industry and vaccines;
She worked for Merck between 2001-2004.
After leaving her job, Brandy Vaughan lived in Europe for 8 years with her son.
In December 2019, Brandy Vaughan explicitly stated that she would never commit suicide,
stating "I’ve NEVER had any thoughts of taking my own life, not once, ever.
Vaughan was found dead by her son on December 7, 2020.
According to some webpages, she died from gallbladder complications.
Erin Elizabeth wrote on Dec. 8 that there will be an independent autopsy,
Brandy did relate that she was fearful for attacks on her life and her house had been broken into several times.

(December 10, 2020) SK Bioscience chosen to receive $10mn from CEPI for vaccine development
SK Bioscience’s second Covid-19 vaccine candidate GBP510 has been chose to receive $10 million
in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI),
becoming the first to be supported as part of the global partnership’s Wave 2 initiative,
the South Korean company said on Wednesday. CEPI is a global health partnership launched in 2017
with the aim to accelerate the development of vaccines against infectious diseases and enable
equitable access to these vaccines during outbreaks. Last month, the organization launched the Wave 2 project
with donations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fund effective Covid-19 vaccine development.
GBP510, once developed, will be supplied to the world to more than 180 countries
and economies through the Covax Facility led by CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
GBP510 is a coronavirus vaccine candidate that SK Biosciences started development in collaboration with the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington
in Seattle in May with a grant from BMGF.

(December 11, 2020) White House threatens to fire FDA chief unless Pfizer Covid vaccine approved Friday, report says
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told the head of the Food and Drug Administration to submit his resignation
if the agency doesn’t clear Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use by day’s end, The Washington Post reported Friday.
The warning led FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and the agency to accelerate its timetable for clearing America’s first Covid-19 vaccine
from Saturday morning to later Friday, according to the Post, which cited anonymous sources.

(December 11, 2020) Sanofi, GSK announce delay in Covid-19 vaccine until end of 2021
France's Sanofi and Britain's GSK said Friday their Covid-19 vaccines will not be ready until the end of 2021,
after interim results showed a low immune response in older adults.
Also unknown is whether more side effects will emerge with longer follow-up,
how long the vaccine remains effective, whether it will limit transmission
and how it will work in children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised patients.
The vaccine candidate, developed by Sanofi in partnership with GSK,
is based on technology that Sanofi has used to produce seasonal influenza
vaccines and on immunological agents developed by GSK.

(December 11, 2020) Australia secures 20 M extra Astra Zeneca vaccines doses
The Australian Government has secured an additional 20 million doses of the "promising" AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine,
strengthening Australia’s position for whole-of-population vaccination.
This will mean a total delivery of 53.8 million Astra Zeneca vaccine doses in 2021,
covering the whole of population requirements. The extra 20 million doses
of the Astra Zeneca vaccine will be produced within Australia by CSL.
In addition, a further 11 million doses of the Novavax vaccine will be purchased,bringing the total for this vaccine to 51 million.
A purchasing agreement is also in place for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, with 10 million doses scheduled for early 2021.
The Australian Government is also part of the international COVAX Facility which allows the purchases of over 25 million doses of a range of other potential vaccines.

(December 11, 2020) 64 foreign ambassadors visit Hyderabad to take stock of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing process at Bharat Biotech
The ambassadors of all the 64 countries were taken on a tour of Bharat Biotech and Biological E vaccine manufacturing companies located in Hyderabad.
“The visit of HoMs of various countries to the leading vaccine manufacturing companies is first of its kind trip taken up in the country.
The main objective is to give a firsthand experience of the vaccine manufacturing facilities
and the processes being taken up by leading firms in India to the world countries.
Apart from Hyderabad, the central government is also planning similar trip for the HoMs (heads of missions)
to other vaccine manufacturing facilities located in other cities across the country,” informed the Chief Secretary.

(December 13, 2020) Vaccinated? Show Us Your App
In the coming weeks, major airlines including United, JetBlue and Lufthansa plan to introduce a health passport app, called CommonPass,
that aims to verify passengers’ virus test results — and soon, vaccinations. The app will then issue confirmation codes
enabling passengers to board certain international flights. It is just the start of a push for digital Covid-19 credentials
that could soon be embraced by employers, schools, summer camps and entertainment venues.
“This is likely to be a new normal need that we’re going to have to deal with to control
and contain this pandemic,” said Dr. Brad Perkins,
the chief medical officer at the Commons Project Foundation,
a nonprofit in Geneva that developed the CommonPass app.

(December 14, 2020) Singapore approves Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has granted an authorization 14 Dec 2020 under the Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR)
for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be used in Singapore for the prevention of COVID-19. The vaccination regime
submitted by Pfizer-BioNTech requires two doses of vaccine to be administered 21 days apart, in individuals aged 16 years and above.

(December 15, 2020) INOVIO to Develop dMAb COVID Treatments under DARPA Grant
INOVIO and a team of scientists from The Wistar Institute, AstraZeneca, the University of Pennsylvania, and Indiana University
received a $37.6 million grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA),
to use INOVIO's DNA-encoded monoclonal antibody (dMAb) technology to develop anti-SARS-CoV-2-specific dMAbs,
which could offer versatile capabilities to function as both a therapeutic and preventive treatment for COVID-19.
As part of DARPA's two-year grant, INOVIO and Wistar teams will construct COVID-19 dMAb candidates mirroring AstraZeneca's
traditional recombinant monoclonal antibody candidates currently being tested in clinical trials to treat COVID-19.
The company can encode the DNA sequence for a specific monoclonal antibody in a DNA plasmid and deliver the plasmid directly into cells
of the body using the company's proprietary smart device called CELLECTRA®.

(December 15, 2020) Applying AI to global health challenges: Gates Foundation awards $4.2m to Exscientia
UK-based artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery company Exscientia has received a $4.2m two-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
to apply its two Centaur platforms to three global health challenges: malaria, tuberculosis (TB), and non-hormonal contraception.
Exscientia’s AI platforms – Centaur Biologist and Centaur Chemist – will be leveraged to identify new next-generation targets
and leads for these unmet needs in infectious disease and family planning.
Exscientia portfolio manager Dr Denise Barrault explains that Centaur Biologist focuses on “identifying and quantifying new targets…for new therapies”.
The platform leverages “large data sets from the literature, large-scale repositories, like genetic repositories,
and other relevant data, including privately owned data if we can access it,” Barrault says.

(December 15, 2020) Spain's Reig Jofre to manufacture J&J's COVID-19 vaccine in Barcelona
Spanish pharmaceutical company Reig Jofre said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with Johnson & Johnson
to produce the U.S. company's experimental COVID-19 vaccine at its plant in Barcelona.
J&J's Janssen subsidiary will transfer the technology required for large-scale manufacture
of the vaccine candidate to Reig Jofre, allowing production to get underway
once the shot receives regulatory approval, the Spanish company said in a statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Reig Jofre said it will be responsible for the formulation, filling and packaging of the vaccine,
while Janssen will handle distribution. Reig Jofre said last month it would able to produce 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine a year
at its new factory without cancelling any existing contracts.


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Post by Abacus on Sun 3 Jan 2021 - 13:00

(December 17, 2020) You can’t sue Pfizer or Moderna if you have severe Covid vaccine side effects. The government likely won’t compensate you for damages either
If you experience severe side effects after getting a Covid vaccine, lawyers tell CNBC there is basically no one to blame in a U.S. court of law.
The federal government has granted companies like Pfizer and Moderna immunity from liability if something unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccines.
You also can’t sue the Food and Drug Administration for authorizing a vaccine for emergency use,
nor can you hold your employer accountable if they mandate inoculation as a condition of employment.
In February, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act.
The 2005 law empowers the HHS secretary to provide legal protection to companies making or distributing
critical medical supplies, such as vaccines and treatments, unless there’s “willful misconduct” by the company. The protection lasts until 2024.
HHS declined CNBC’s request for an interview.

(December 17, 2020) Johns Hopkins leads coalition for equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health has launched a coalition to promote equitable vaccination distribution.
The pandemic has exacerbated systemic factors that have driven longstanding health inequities among communities of color.
The CommuniVax coalition will conduct rapid ethnographic research related to COVID-19 vaccination
among historically underserved communities of color. As hard-hit communities must have an active role in the vaccination campaign,
research teams will work with community members to develop suggestions
on strengthening COVID-19 vaccine delivery and communication strategies.
The coalition will disseminate community viewpoints to national stakeholders
to develop a more equitable and effective vaccination effort.
CommuniVax received a $2 million grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to fund this research.

(December 17, 2020) Canada announces additional support for equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines
The Minister of International Development Karina Gould today announced a contribution of $230 million to procure COVID-19 treatments for developing countries
in response to urgent priorities identified by the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, launched by the World Health Organization and partners.
The initiative builds on the important work done with the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
to secure manufacturing capacity for novel antibody therapeutics production dedicated to developing countries.
Minister Gould also announced that Canada will invest $255 million in additional support for the ACT-Accelerator
for the effective deployment of medical solutions against COVID-19 in developing and vulnerable countries.
This will be achieved through focused investments with the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization,
the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for the development, delivery and distribution
of vaccines and therapeutics, including targeted support to Latin America and the Caribbean.
With today’s announcement of $485 million in support, Canada has contributed $865 million to date to partners of the ACT-Accelerator,
a coalition of international organizations and countries overseeing the development, production
and equitable distribution of affordable COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.

(December 18, 2020) BinaxNOW COVID-19 home test granted emergency use authorization by FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Abbott
this week for its BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test, allowing for virtually guided use by anyone 15 years or older, with a prescription.
Healthcare providers will refer such patients to the antigen test if they suspect them of having COVID-19 within the first seven days of symptom onset.
The test, offered in partnership with a telehealth service, will be provided for $5.
A previous EUA had authorized the BinaxNOW test only for use by medical personnel or trained operators
in certain non-clinical environments operating under CLIA certificate.
Through the telehealth service, guides will walk users through the process step-by-step,
including reading and understanding the results. All test results will then be reported to public health authorities.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been in the process of distributing 150 million
federal purchased ag card tests to states and other recipients.

(December 18, 2020) BioNTech, Shanghai Fosun Pharma to Supply COVID-19 Vax to China
BioNTech SE and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd. have signed an agreement to supply Mainland China
with an initial 100 million doses of their BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate against COVID-19 in 2021,
subject to regulatory approval. Initial supply will be delivered from BioNTech’s production facilities in Germany.
In March 2020, BioNTech and Fosun Pharma announced their strategic collaboration to work jointly
on the development and commercialization of a potential COVID-19 vaccine based on BioNTech’s mRNA technology platform.

(December 18, 2020) WHO (finally) admits PCR tests create false positives
The World Health Organization released a guidance memo on December 14th, warning that high cycle thresholds on PCR tests will result in false positives.
While this information is accurate, it has also been available for months, so we must ask: why are they reporting it now? Is it to make it appear the vaccine works?
The “gold standard” Sars-Cov-2 tests are based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR works by taking nucleotides – tiny fragments of DNA or RNA – and replicating them
until they become something large enough to identify. The replication is done in cycles, with each cycle doubling the amount of genetic material.

The number of cycles it takes to produce something identifiable is known as the “cycle threshold” or “CT value”.
The higher the CT value, the less likely you are to be detecting anything significant.
It’s been commonly available knowledge, for months now, that any test using a CT value over 35 is potentially meaningless.
Dr Kary Mullis: "If you have to go more than 40 cycles to amplify a single-copy gene, there is something seriously wrong with your PCR."
Despite all this, it is known that many labs around the world have been using PCR tests with CT values over 35, even into the low 40s.

So why has the WHO finally decided to say this is wrong? What reason could they have for finally choosing to recognise this simple reality?
The answer to that is potentially shockingly cynical: We have a vaccine now. We don’t need false positives anymore.
Notionally, the system has produced its miracle cure. So, after everyone has been vaccinated,
all the PCR tests being done will be done “under the new WHO guidelines”, and running only 25-30 cycles instead of 35+.
Lo and behold, the number of “positive cases” will plummet, and we’ll have confirmation that our miracle vaccine works.

(December 18, 2020) Government of New Zealand inks agreement to purchase 10.7 million doses of Novavax’s adjuvanted protein vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373 against COVID-19
Under the terms of the agreement, Novavax will manufacture NVX-CoV2373 with a target of delivering initial doses by mid-2021.
The company will work with Medsafe, New Zealand’s regulatory agency, to obtain product approvals as needed.
Given the urgency of timely approval and delivery of vaccine during the pandemic, the regulatory review process may leverage review by prioritized regulatory bodies
such as the US Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency and/or Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority in the United Kingdom.
NVX-CoV2373 is a protein-based vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.
NVX-CoV2373 was created using Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein
adjuvanted with Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies.

(December 19, 2020) Enesi Pharma, Imperial College London collaborate to develop thermostable RNA vaccines
Enesi Pharma, an innovative biotechnology company, announced its collaboration with Prof. Robin Shattock,
a leading infectious disease and vaccine expert, and his group at Imperial College London (Imperial),
to develop RNA vaccines, including against SARS-CoV-2, that are stable at ambient temperatures and up to 40o Celsius (104o Fahrenheit).
The collaboration will investigate the potential of combining Enesi's ImplaVax technology for the creation of thermostable, solid dose vaccines
with RNA vaccines based on Imperial's self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) technology and novel Polyplex DNA/RNA stabilisation technologies.
ImplaVax technology enables the development of solid dose vaccines of a fixed (unit) dose that are designed to be delivered using a needle-free device
into the dermal layer of the skin and with minimal administrator training.

(December 19, 2020) Switzerland Approves Pfizer Shot as First Covid-19 Vaccine
Switzerland has authorized Pfizer Inc.’s and BioNTech SE’s Covid-19 vaccine, the first approved for use in the country.
Switzerland had previously signed contracts with the companies for the delivery of three million vaccine doses.
The first delivery of about 100,000 doses will arrive this year, with larger batches to follow,
according to a separate statement from the Federal Office of Public Health.
The Swiss nod comes after the U.K. and U.S. among others have already approved the vaccine,
while European Union regulators will be meeting next week to decide.
The public health office said that the vaccines from Moderna and AstraZeneca
are still undergoing Swissmedic’s approval process and the latter is “unlikely” to be available until the middle of next year.

(December 20, 2020) SII calls for protection against “frivolous” lawsuits
The chief executive officer of the Serum Institute of India, Adar Poonawalla,
has said the government should provide vaccine makers indemnity against lawsuits,
saying such legal challenges will “ or distract them if they have to just all-day fight lawsuits
and explain to the media what is happening”. SII is expected to get approval
for distributing the vaccine developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca;
it also has a deal to make the Novavax vaccine.

(December 21, 2020) COVID-19 vaccination in the EU: Are the contracts with the companies publicly available?
Contracts are protected for confidentiality reasons, which is warranted by
the highly competitive nature of this global market. This is in order
to protect sensitive negotiations as well as business related information,
such as financial information and development and production plans.
Disclosing sensitive business information would also undermine
the tendering process and have potentially far-reaching consequences
for the ability of the Commission to carry out its tasks as set out in the legal instruments
that form the basis of the negotiations. All companies require that such sensitive business
information remains confidential between the signatories of the contract.

(December 21, 2020) EU approves BioNTech-Pfizer COVID vaccine
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Commission approved the BioNTech-Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on Monday.
The EMA's positive assessment of the vaccine was widely expected.
The Amsterdam-based drug regulator was under pressure from European countries,
including Germany, to speed up its decision, which was originally scheduled for December 29.
"We granted conditional market authorization to the vaccine produced by BioNTech and Pfizer,"
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement, just hours after the EMA recommendation to approve the vaccine.

(December 21, 2020) COVAX plans global rollout of COVID-19 vaccine starting Q1 2021
COVAX, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries,
regardless of income level, has announced that it had arrangements in place to access nearly two billion doses
of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, on behalf of 190 participating economies.
The new deals include the signing of an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca for 170 million doses
of the AstraZeneca/Oxford candidate, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Johnson & Johnson for 500 million doses
of the Janssen candidate, which is currently being investigated as a single dose vaccine..
These deals are in addition to existing agreements COVAX has with the Serum Institute of India (SII) for 200 million doses
– with options for up to 900 million doses more – of either the AstraZeneca/Oxford or Novavax candidates,
as well as a statement of intent for 200 million doses of the Sanofi/GSK vaccine candidate.

(December 21, 2020) IBM links with Salesforce to offer digital COVID-19 vaccine passports
"At the start of the pandemic, many organizations deployed simple COVID-19 screenings, such as self-reported health surveys,
to support re-entry to workplaces and other institutions," said Paul Roma, general manager of IBM Watson Health.
"Now, as testing becomes more widespread and vaccine distribution gets underway, we are expanding the availability of IBM Digital Health Pass with Salesforce
to help organizations verify an individual's vaccine status and any other relevant health credentials," Roma said.
Big Blue’s health pass app, which debuted earlier this year, aims to provide individual, sharable health credentials following test results, vaccinations
and temperature checks through an encrypted digital wallet on a smartphone. This could also help allow passengers to board airplanes,
concertgoers to enter venues or spectators to attend sporting events. Salesforce also recently introduced a version of Work.com for managing vaccine programs
aimed at governments and healthcare organizations. The company is also working with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
to help distribute about 2 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines across 190 countries before the end of next year.

(December 21, 2020) Allied Identity introduces Vaxtrac, a new vaccination management
and credentialing platform designed to aid against COVID-19 and other communicable diseases

Allied Identity announced the launch of Vaxtrac, a comprehensive vaccination management and credentialing platform
designed to aid in the local, national and international response to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases.
Vaxtrac uses SICPA’s proprietary Certus service in order to ensure the security of vaccination records and credentials.
SICPA’s Certus MyHealth Pass sits at the heart of Vaxtrac to generate a blockchain-protected digital seal
that ensures credentials are tied to a unique identity, cannot be tampered with, and can be confidently verified by anyone
ensuring greater transparency and preventing potentially dangerous efforts to mislead public health officials.
SICPA is a Swiss company that provides security inks for currencies and sensitive documents,including identity documents, passports, transport and lottery tickets.

(December 22, 2020) Malaysia inks agreement with AstraZeneca to procure 6.4 Million doses of COVID-19 vaccine
KUALA LUMPUR – The government has just signed an agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca
for the procurement of an additional 10 per cent or 6.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine,
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced. He said this meant that the government had secured 40 per cent
guarantee of vaccine supply through joint agreements with COVAX, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
The government has previously signed preliminary agreements with Covax and Pfizer
for the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine to secure a vaccine supply of 30 per cent of the population.
“The government is also in final negotiations with Sinovac, CanSino and Gamaleya
to secure a vaccine supply increase of more than 80 per cent or 26.5 million
of the country’s total population,” he said in a video on the recent development of COVID-19 vaccine for Malaysians today.

(December 23, 2020) Australia’s vaccine agreements
Australia has entered into 4 separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Australian Government has invested more than $3.3 billion through these 4 agreements.
- Australia has secured 53.8 million doses of this vaccine
- 3.8 million doses will be delivered to Australia in early 2021
- 50 million doses will be manufactured in Australia in monthly batches.
- CSL will manufacture these doses on behalf of AstraZeneca
- 51 million doses will be made available in Australia during 2021
- 10 million doses will be available from early 2021
- these doses will be manufactured offshore
- Australia will have the option to purchase additional doses where supply is available.
COVAX Facility:
The Australian Government has made 2 financial commitments to Gavi’s COVAX Facility for the supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines:
- An upfront payment of $123.2 million to allow the purchase of over 25,000,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the Australian population.
- This would be sufficient for 50 percent of the population to receive a 2 dose regimen.
- A further $80 million to support vaccine access for up to 94 lower-income countries through the Facility’s Advanced Market Commitment.

(December 23, 2020) Data giant Palantir’s murky track record raises alarming questions about secret, potentially illegal £23 million NHS deal
Palantir has won a huge contract to continue its work on the NHS Covid-19 Data Store.
But the British public will have no way of knowing how the private information the company has been granted access to will be used.
The potentially illegal two-year deal, which began on December 12, was awarded under the Crown Commercial Services G-Cloud 11 Framework,
a ‘streamlined’ – i.e. much-accelerated – system typically used for minor contracts, which doesn’t require a tender to be published.
Under the terms of the agreement, the store will rely on Palantir’s Foundry data until at least December 2022.
Such information is clearly a highly valuable commodity, exclusive oversight of which is fraught with opportunity for abuse,
but Whitehall insists any personally-identifying details are aggregated or anonymized prior to being shared with Palantir et al.

(December 23, 2020) Merck to Deliver 100,000 Doses of COVID-19 Therapeutic
Merck announced it has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Government to support the development, manufacture, and initial distribution
of an investigational biological therapeutic (CD24Fc, to be named MK-7110) upon approval or Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. FDA.
Additionally, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority(BARDA) announced it will provide approximately $356 million
to Merck to deliver up to 100,000 doses of MK-7110 by June 30, 2021. BARDA part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response,
collaborated with the DOD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) and Army Contracting Command (ACC-APG).
Merck acquired MK-7110 through the acquisition of New Jersey-based OncoImmune.

(December 23, 2020) Philips wins $2.8M from DoD for early COVID-19 detection tech
The U.S Defense Department has selected Royal Philips (NYSE:PHG) and BioIntelliSense to receive nearly $2.8 million.
Amsterdam-based Philips (which has its U.S. base in Cambridge, Mass.) was selected by the DoD through a Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC)
award to validate BioIntelliSense’s FDA-cleared BioSticker device for the early detection of COVID-19 symptoms, according to a news release.
“Key industry and academic partnerships provide DoD a timely opportunity
to field medical-grade wearables capable of high-frequency physiologic surveillance,”
stated Commander Christopher Steele, Director of the Military Operational Medicine Research Program at USAMRDC.

(December 23, 2020) U.S. buys another 100M doses of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech will supply 100 million more doses of their coronavirus vaccine to the United States by this summer
after protracted negotiations over how much the companies could deliver, given their commitments to other nations.
The $1.95 billion agreement doubles the overall U.S. order for the vaccine to 200 million doses.
In addition to the 200 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine, the United States has also ordered 200 million doses of a vaccine from Moderna.
Because each of the vaccines must be given as two shots, those orders are enough to treat 200 million people.

(December 24, 2020) CDC To Require Negative Covid-19 Tests For Airline Passengers Entering U.S. From UK
Airline passengers heading to the U.S. from the UK must test negative for COVID-19 before departure, the Centers for Disease Control said late Thursday.
Airline passengers from the United Kingdom will need to get negative COVID-19 tests within three days of their trip
and provide the results to the airline, the CDC said in a statement. If a passenger chooses not to take a test,the airline must deny boarding
to the passenger. The agency said the order will be signed today, December 25, and go into effect on Monday.
This week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo clinched an unusual agreement with three airlines with flights from London to New York – Delta,
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic — which agreed to test passengers flying from the UK to New York.
On Thursday, United Airlines agreed to do the same for its flights to Newark, NJ.

(December 24, 2020) New Zealand secures AstraZeneca & Novavax COVID-19 vaccines
The new agreements secure access to 7.6 million doses from AstraZeneca — enough for 3.8 million people,
and 10.72 million doses from Novavax — enough for 5.36 million people.
Both vaccines require two doses to be administered.
The four pre-purchase agreements secured to date are:

- 750,000 courses from Pfizer/BioNTech;
- 5 million courses from Janssen;
- 3.8 million courses from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca; and
- 5.36 million courses from Novavax.

Medsafe, the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority, has agreed to allow pharmaceutical companies
to make rolling applications for their COVID-19 vaccines, which means they may submit their data as it is completed and ready
for assessment to speed up the process. Pfizer and BioNTech and Janssen have already started to submit data for Medsafe's approval.
Medsafe is in close contact with its Australian counterpart throughout.

(December 24, 2020) Aurobindo Pharma and Covaxx ink pact to commercialize COVID-19 vaccine, UB-612 for India and UNICEF
Aurobindo Pharma Limited has entered into an license agreement with Covaxx, a US-based company,
to develop, commercialize and manufacture UB-612, the first multitope peptide-based vaccine to fight COVID-19,
for India and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) agency.
Under the signed agreement, Aurobindo Pharma has obtained the exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and sell Covaxx's UB-612 vaccine
in India and to UNICEF, as well as non-exclusive rights in other select emerging and developing markets.
Aurobindo will manufacture the finished doses at its facilities in Hyderabad.
Aurobindo has the capacity of manufacturing 220 million doses in multi-dose presentation
and is building additional facilities to have a total capacity of nearly 480 million doses by June 2021.

(December 24, 2020) 'Morally acceptable' to receive COVID-19 vaccines regardless of cell line, Vatican says
The Vatican on Monday declared that it is "morally acceptable" for Roman Catholics
to receive COVID-19 vaccines based on research that used fetal tissue from abortions.
The Catholic Church's teaching says that abortion is a grave sin.
The Vatican concluded that "it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses"
in the research and production process when "ethically irreproachable" vaccines aren't available to the public.

(December 26, 2020) Developers of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Tied to UK Eugenics Movement
Analysis by Jeremy Loffredo and by Whitney Webb

..For instance, mainstream media has had little, if anything, to say about the role of the vaccine developers’ private company – Vaccitech – in the Oxford-AstraZeneca partnership,
a company whose main investors include former top Deutsche Bank executives, Silicon Valley behemoth Google and the UK government.
All of them stand to profit from the vaccine alongside the vaccine’s two developers, Adrian Hill and Sarah Gilbert, who retain an estimated 10% stake in the company.

Yet, arguably most troubling of all is the direct link of the vaccine’s lead developers to the Wellcome Trust and, in the case of Adrian Hill, the Galton Institute,
two groups with longstanding ties to the UK Eugenics movement. The latter organization, named for the “father of eugenics” Francis Galton, is the re-named UK Eugenics Society,
a group notorious for its promotion of racist pseudoscience and efforts to “improve racial stock” by reducing the population of those deemed inferior for over a century.

The ties of Adrian Hill to the Galton Institute should raise obvious concerns given the push to make the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine he developed with Gilbert
the vaccine of choice for the developing world, particularly countries in Latin America, South and Southeast Asia and Africa,
the very areas where the Galton Institute’s past members have called for reducing population growth..

(December 26, 2020) UK scientists trial instant immunity antibody drug treatment for Covid-19
The University College London Hospitals NHS Trust (UCLH) said that the researchers in the Storm Chase study
believe a Long Acting AntiBody (LAAB) known as AZD7442, developed by AstraZeneca, may offer immediate and long-term protection
to people who have been recently exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and prevent them developing Covid-19.
UCLH said its new vaccine research centre is running two clinical trials testing a LAAB combination treatment to protect against Covid-19.
The second Provent study is looking at the use of AZD7442 in people who may not respond to vaccination,
for instance where someone has a compromised immune system or are at increased risk of Covid-19 infection due to factors such as age and existing conditions.
Antibodies are protein molecules that the body produces to help fight infections.
Monoclonal antibodies are artificially produced in a laboratory and designed as possible medical treatments.
They are designed to be injected directly into the body, unlike vaccines which “train” the immune system itself to produce antibodies.

(December 28, 2020) Introducing COMIRNATY®, the EU Brand Name for Pfizer & BioNTech's COVID-19 Vaccine, Developed by Brand Institute
Brand Institute, the global leader in pharmaceutical and healthcare related name development,
is proud to announce its role in naming Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine: COMIRNATY® (koe mir' na tee).
The name was first announced by Swiss regulatory authority, Swissmedic.
Shortly after, it was included in the conditional marketing authorization published by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
“The name is coined from Covid-19 immunity, and then embeds the mRNA in the middle, which is the platform technology,
and as a whole the name is meant to evoke the word community,” Scott Piergrossi, Brand Institute president of operations and communications, said.

(December 28, 2020) Korea secures COVID-19 vaccines via deals with Janssen, Pfizer
The Korean government has concluded deals with global pharmaceutical giants Janssen of Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer
to purchase vaccines against COVID-19 for its population. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun announced the progress in a press release held on 24 Dec 2020.
"The deal with Janssen will bring in six million doses, or two million more than originally planned.
We will start administering them from next year's second quarter.
Government agreed to import 10 million vaccine doses from Pfizer from the third quarter next year.
Korean government has secured vaccines for ten million people from the COVAX facility along with another 34 million doses from pharmaceutical companies.

(December 28, 2020) Australia rolls out strategies for COVID-19 vaccine supply and distribution
Australian Government has announced that it has signed contracts with the companies to partner for safe distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to all Australians
from March next year and completion of the whole of the population in 2021.
The contracts cover three vital aspects of the vaccine rollout:
1. Distribution and logistics:
- DHL Supply Chain
- Linfox
2. Data tracking of vaccine doses as well as enabling overall program implementation monitoring:
- Accenture
3. The vaccine rollout partner:
- PwC
Data partner Accenture will design, develop, and implement a software solution to enable “point in time”
visibility of COVID-19 vaccine doses across the delivery chain. This will include receipt of the vaccine by health services,
vaccination of patients, and subsequent monitoring for adverse reactions. Australia Government has secured over 117 million doses
to cover the Australian population several times over.

(December 28, 2020) Novavax launches pivotal U.S. trial of dark horse COVID-19 vaccine after manufacturing delays
Novavax, a once-struggling biotech company that was rescued by $2 billion in funding
for its promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the U.S. government,
announced today the long-awaited start of its U.S. efficacy trial. Despite a nearly 30-year history making vaccines,
Novavax has never won regulatory approval for one of its candidates, and whether the pandemic will finally change that remains to be seen.
Novavax’s COVID-19 candidate is one of two protein subunit vaccines,
the other is made by the vaccine-making giant Sanofi Pasteur,
on which the U.S. government has bet billions of dollars,
and the first to enter a pivotal efficacy trial.

(December 28, 2020) 23andMe Raises More Than $80 Million in Equity Financing Round
DNA testing company 23andMe Inc. raised more than $80 million in equity in a financing round led by Sequoia Capital and NewView Capital.
According to Securities and Exchanges Commission filings, the company offered $85 million in equity and sold about $82.5 million.
Previously, the company had raised about $791 million. In recent years, 23andMe has begun moving beyond
telling individual consumers about their DNA and begun work developing therapeutics based on research into genetic information
its customers provide. For example, the company has used its data to find genetic differences
that can affect a person’s susceptibility to Covid-19.

(December 28, 2020) Man's fatal heart attack likely unlinked to vaccine he took 2 hours before
A 75-year-old man from Beit She’an died of a heart attack about two hours after being vaccinated
against the novel coronavirus on Monday morning, the Health Ministry reported.
In response to the report of those deaths, Israel’s Midaat Association said
when vaccines are administered to at-risk populations, “there may be unfortunate cases.

(December 28, 2020) NIH grants $1.5M to Soligenix
Soligenix Inc. reported today that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH),
has awarded the company a Direct to Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of around $1.5 million.
The grant is intended to support the manufacture, formulation, and characterization of COVID-19 and ebola virus vaccine candidates,
in conjunction with the CoVaccine HT adjuvant. The award will also support immune characterization of this emulsified adjuvant
with unique potency and compatibility with lyophilization strategies, in order to enable the thermostabilization of subunit vaccines.

(December 28, 2020) Karnataka health minister hints at police action against untraceable UK returnees
Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar on Monday hinted at stringent action
against those returnees from the United Kingdom who were untraceable and had switched off their mobile phones.
“I request the UK returnees to cooperate with us as responsible citizens. You have to get tested.
If you don’t get tested and switch off your phone, then it’s a crime in true sense,” Sudhakar told reporters here.
It could even be police action against them, the minister indicated.

(December 29, 2020) Indonesia donates $1 M to further CEPI’s vaccine research
The Government of Indonesia and Norway based CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations,
have announced that Indonesia will provide a financial contribution of $1 million to support CEPI’s
efforts to advance the development of vaccines against epidemic diseases. Indonesia has been actively participated
in fostering global solidarity and international cooperation for COVID-19 mitigation. Indonesia is part of COVAX,
the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator co-led by CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
and the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop, manufacture and equitably deliver up to 2 billion doses
of vaccine by the end of 2021 and end the acute phase of the pandemic.

(December 29, 2020) New Zeland to provide $75 M for Pacific and global COVID-19 vaccination support
New Zealand has announced $75 million of Official Development Assistance earmarked to support Pacific and global vaccine access and roll-out.
The approach will be to purchase sufficient vaccines to cover the Realm of New Zealand (Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands)
and our Polynesian neighbours (Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu) should their governments wish to take these up.
Included in the $75m support package, New Zealand plans to make a further $10m contribution to the COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment,
which is the key multilateral mechanism that has emerged to support equitable global access.

(December 30, 2020) Covid-19: Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine approved for use in UK
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, with the first doses due to be given on Monday.
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the new vaccine - enough to vaccinate 50 million people.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised two full doses
of the Oxford vaccine, with the second dose to be given four to 12 weeks after the first.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed the latest vaccine development as "a triumph"
for British science, adding: "We will now move to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible."

(December 30, 2020) Swiss nursing home resident reportedly dies after getting COVID-19 vaccine
A nursing home resident in Switzerland who was among the first in the country to be vaccinated against COVID-19 later died
— but officials did not indicate whether the death was related to the jab, according to reports.
“We are aware of the case,” an official in the canton of Lucerne told Reuters,
adding that the matter has been referred to Swiss drugs regulator Swissmedic.
Lucerne was the site of the first shot by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech
being administered in Switzerland primarily to the elderly.
A doctor at the nursing home had not been contacted by the vaccination team,
according to local news outlet zeitpunkt.ch.

(December 30, 2020) Pfizer, BioNTech SE to supply an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty to EU member states in 2021
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE announced they will supply an additional 100 million doses of Comirnaty,
the companies’ COVID-19 Vaccine, to the 27 European Union (EU) member states in 2021.
This announcement is a result of the European Commission’s decision to exercise
its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses under its Advanced Purchase Agreement
signed on November 11, 2020. This agreement brings the total number of doses to be delivered to the EU to 300 million.

(December 30, 2020) Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan nominated to the Board of GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance
Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has been nominated
by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) as a member on the GAVI Board.
The GAVI Board is responsible for strategic direction and policy-making,
oversees the operations of the Vaccine Alliance and monitors programme implementation.
With membership drawn from a range of partner organisations, as well as experts from the private sector,
the Board provides a forum for balanced strategic decision making, innovation and partner collaboration.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-lweala presently serves as Chair of the GAVI Alliance Board.

(December 30, 2020) Bolivia signs contract with Russia to acquire 5.2 million dosis of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
The Government of Bolivia signed this Wednesday an agreement with Russia
to acquire 5.2 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus.
He said that the vaccines they will acquire with Russia "are additional"
to those they will obtain with the COVID-19 Global Access to Vaccines Fund (Covax).
With this signature, Bolivia becomes the third Latin American country to sign an agreement
for the purchase of the drug, after Argentina, which has already begun vaccination, and Venezuela,
which is participating in phase III of its clinical trial and announced its acquisition on Tuesday.

(December 31, 2020) Alberta municipal affairs minister took Hawaii vacation, sources say
CBC News has learned that Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard spent time in Hawaii this month on a family vacation,
despite direction from both the federal and provincial governments to avoid non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Allard's press secretary, Justin Marshall, did not respond to repeated requests for clarification on whether she had been out of the country this month.
CBC News has confirmed with sources that the United Conservative Party MLA, who was appointed to the senior cabinet position in August, was in Hawaii
this month on a family vacation. Sources indicate she returned home on Wednesday.

(December 31, 2020) China approves first self-developed COVID-19 vaccine
China announced on Thursday that it had granted conditional marketing authorization for its first self-developed COVID-19 vaccine.
The inactivated vaccine, which got the approval from the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA),
is developed by the Beijing Biological Products Institute Co., Ltd.
under the China National Biotec Group (CNBG), which is affiliated with Sinopharm.
China approved the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines in June, targeting groups with high risks of infection.
On Dec. 15, China officially launched a vaccination program for this winter-spring period targeting a number of key groups,
including those engaged in handling imported cold-chain products, customs officers, medical workers and people working in public transport and fresh markets.

(December 31, 2020) Moderna to supply 40 M COVID-19 vaccine doses to South Korea
Moderna, Inc., a US based biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines,
today confirmed that the company is engaged in discussions with the government of South Korea
to potentially provide 40 million or more doses of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
to support South Korea’s aim of providing vaccines to the public as soon as possible.
Under the terms of the proposed agreement, distribution would begin in the second quarter of 2021.
The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine has not been approved or licensed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other health authority,
but FDA has authorized the vaccine for emergency use in individuals 18 years of age and older.

(December 31, 2020) Pluristem collaborates with Innovare R&D to expand phase II study of PLX cells to treat ARDS associated with COVID-19 in Mexico
Pluristem Therapeutics, a leading regenerative medicine company, announce it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Innovare R&D,
a Mexican pharmaceutical company, to expand its ongoing clinical programme of PLX cells
in the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) associated with COVID-19 in Mexico.
The phase II study in Mexico is subject to the approval of local authorities,
with the goal of being conducted under the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared protocol.
Innovare will fund the study in Mexico and will purchase PLX cells for the study from Pluristem.
Subject to potential positive clinical study results and Mexican regulatory approval for commercialization,
the agreement grants Innovare exclusive distribution rights in Mexico to supply PLX cells for treating severe COVID-19 cases complicated by ARDS.
All intellectual property and manufacturing rights remain with Pluristem.
Pluristem is currently conducting two phase II studies in ARDS associated with COVID-19 in the US, Europe and Israel,
an Expanded Access Program in the US and a per patient compassionate use programme in Israel.

(December 31, 2020) World Economic Forum report lauds Karnataka’s BBMP COVID-war room expertise along with six other cities
Karnataka’s BBMP (Bengaluru Bruhat Mahanagara Palike) COVID-war room has been appreciated by the World Economic Forum
for its leverage of technology to fight COVID-19 along with six others: Surat, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Tel Aviv, Lisbon and New York City.
In a report titled 'Technology and Data Governance in Cities released by the World Economic Forum indicated on how Bengaluru
was unprepared for the sudden growth of COVID-19 cases and had to quickly scale up to coordinate and offset the challenge.
B H Anil Kumar, former BBMP commissioner who is the face behind setting up this war room
had stated that just as the coronavirus disease broke out the city in early March,
Bengaluru was ill-prepared in terms of infrastructure to track the pandemic.
Corporate majors including Infosys, PWC, Quantella, ESRI India, CWC India and Microsoft chipped in their expertise.

(December 31, 2020) WHO grants emergency use approval for Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine
The World Health Organization on Thursday granted emergency validation to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,
paving the way for countries worldwide to quickly approve its import and distribution.
The decision "makes the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine the first to receive emergency validation from WHO
since the (novel coronavirus) outbreak began a year ago," WHO said in a statement.
Britain launched its inoculation drive with the US-German vaccine on December 8, with the United States, Canada and EU countries following suit.


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