Hua Medicine Ltd., of Shanghai, reviewed its 2020 accomplishments, including the completion of two phase III registration trials for dorzagliatin in China. The firm incurred about ¥367 million (US$56.3 million) in total expenditures, of which about ¥221 million was research and development expenses. A glucokinase activator, dorzagliatin is intended to treat diabetes.

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., of New York, signed definitive agreements to form a joint venture focused on the development of oral COVID-19 vaccines. The venture, Oravax Medical Inc., is based on Oramed's POD oral delivery technology and Gurugram, India-based Premas Biotech Pvt. Ltd.'s vaccine technology. The companies said they have invented an oral COVID-19 vaccine that has shown efficacy after a single dose in a pilot animal study.

Revive Therapeutics Ltd., of Toronto, disclosed positive results of a preclinical study evaluating the efficacy of psilocybin in the treatment of mild traumatic brain injury in a rodent model. The study was conducted at the National Health Research Institutes. It characterized the potential neuroreparative effect of psilocybin compared to being treated with a vehicle (saline). Psilocybin, given after injury, improved cognitive function, with no adverse events.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), of Moscow, and Stelis Pharma Pvt. Ltd., the biopharma division of Strides Pharma Ltd., of Bangalore, India, said they partnered to produce and supply a minimum of 200 million doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, which would be sufficient to vaccinate 100 million people. The parties intend to commence supplies from the third quarter of 2021. Stelis will also continue to work with RDIF to provide additional supply volumes beyond the initial agreement.

Vtv Therapeutics Inc., of High Point, N.C., started a mechanistic study exploring the effects of TTP-399 on ketone body formation during a period of insulin withdrawal in people with type 1 diabetes. The phase I study will test the hypothesis that treatment with the liver-selective glucokinase activator will not result in the increased production of ketones, a precursor to ketoacidosis, which can lead to hospitalization in patients with the disease.