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.
The latest mutation to the coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, has sparked a reaction by many national governments, but the expense associated with development of vaccines and diagnostics is considerable. Ron Klain, who served as the Obama administration’s coordinator for the response to the Ebola virus, said during an Aspen Institute seminar that drug makers took a hit in their efforts to develop a vaccine for the Ebola virus, and thus there is a need to de-risk these and other development efforts in the private sector.
Biopharma happenings in Asia-Pacific, such as deals and partnerships, grants, preclinical data and other news in brief, including: Alterity, Athenex, Aurigene Discovery, Beijing CC-Pharming, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bridge Biotherapeutics, China Grand, Clover, Curis, Ibio, Oncosec, Porton Pharma Solutions, Q Biomed, Recce.
HONG KONG – The recent coronavirus (2019-nCov) scare has led to a rush of demand for masks that could soon strain pharmaceuticals and med-tech companies alike. In Hong Kong, queues for surgical masks now snake around the block.
LONDON – As the death toll passed 1,000 and the number of confirmed cases reached 42,000, the World Health Organization on Feb. 11 convened 400 scientists at a global research and innovation forum to draw up an R&D blueprint for “pathogen X,” now officially named COVID-19.
BEIJING – Zhongshan-based Akeso Inc., which focuses on bispecific antibodies, is again seeking pre-revenue listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX), after its first IPO attempt failed to go through in December. The move comes at a time when analysts believe the coronavirus outbreak is weighing on the city’s IPO market.