DUBLIN – The EMA has activated a COVID-19 task force to coordinate and accelerate the European regulatory response to the pandemic. The task force is intended to take a lead role in shaping the development, authorization and post-approval surveillance of drugs and vaccines for treating or preventing COVID-19 infection.
The stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Senate March 26 on a vote of 96-0 does more than throw $2.2 trillion into the war against COVID-19. “This is not … a stimulus package. It is emergency relief,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor before the vote.
Business as usual only three months ago has transformed into health care industry overdrive as biopharma and med-tech companies scramble to test and scale-up treatments, vaccines and diagnostics to address COVID-19.
As the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, companies are scrambling to develop effective diagnostics and vaccines to contain the outbreak and reduce future threats. Among those is Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., which has been awarded a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to speed testing and scale of smart delivery device for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
LONDON – The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its COVID-19 R&D roadmap, highlighting the gaps in knowledge about the virus and setting out priorities for research. The organization is now calling on groups around the world to use the document – drawn up by 400 experts – to coordinate their efforts.
Rated the No. 1 most prepared country in the world to tackle an epidemic, the U.S. could see its preparedness put to the test as it responds to the growing COVID-19 outbreak. While the administration is pointing to that rating from a recent global survey to calm fears about the risk in the U.S., the coronavirus emergency is spotlighting cracks in the nation’s preparedness.
PERTH, Australia – As of Feb. 12, Australia’s Department of Health confirmed 15 cases of novel coronavirus in Australia (five in Queensland, four in New South Wales, four in Victoria and two in South Australia). Of the confirmed 15 cases, five people have recovered and the others are in stable condition.
HONG KONG – South Korea's major pharmaceutical company GC Pharma Corp., based in Yong-in, Gyeonggi-do, and the Cambridge, Mass.-based U.S. biotech Vaxess Technologies Inc., have partnered to globally commercialize a flu vaccine patch based on Vaxess' Mimix Smart Release Patch technology. The patch is designed to deliver medicines and vaccines through silk microneedles that dissolve at a precise rate.