During the first round of discussion at its two-day hearing on a World Trade Organization proposal to expand the intellectual property (IP) waiver from COVID-19 vaccines to diagnostics and therapies, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) got an earful from both sides of the debate.
CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd.’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, SYS-6006, has been included for emergency use by the NMPA, the company said on March 22, marking the first domestically developed COVID-19 mRNA vaccine approved for use in China.
Any decision on whether to expand a five-year World Trade Organization (WTO) waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines to diagnostics and therapies likely will be delayed longer than proponents had hoped. WTO members originally were scheduled to vote on expanding the waiver in December, but the deadline was extended indefinitely when key members, including the U.S., pushed for a delay.
Jiangsu Recbio Technology Co. Ltd. released phase II data showing its recombinant two-component COVID-19 vaccine Recov appeared more effective than Comirnaty (tozinameran), the mRNA vaccine developed by Biontech SE and Pfizer Inc., as a booster for users of inactivated vaccines.
Vaxxas Pty. Ltd. raised AU$34 million (US$23 million) to advance its needle-free COVID-19 vaccine program, which began in early November, and readouts from the study are expected in late February or early March, Vaxxas CEO David Hoey told BioWorld. The COVID-19 vaccine patch is based on the company’s high-density microarray patch technology that delivers Hexapro, a second-generation version of the spike protein used in all major U.S.-approved COVID-19 vaccines.
China recently approved four COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use in a span of two days. The nods were granted to Clover Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., Sinocelltech Group Ltd., Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co. Ltd. and Westvac Biopharma Co. Ltd. There is still no mRNA vaccine approved in the country.
The world is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, as both cases and deaths have remained consistently low in recent months, despite continuous mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Nevertheless, there is a shuffling of candidates in the arsenal as new variants bump once-effective therapies and the next generation of options enter the arena.
CSL Ltd. subsidiary CSL Seqirus signed a licensing and development deal with Arcturus Therapeutics Inc. to in-license Arcturus’ late-stage self-amplifying mRNA vaccine platform technology. Arcturus will receive $200 million up front and is eligible to receive more than $1.3 billion in development milestones and over $3 billion in commercial milestones.