LONDON – The U.K. is launching a £28 million (US$34.5 million) project to sequence the whole genome of every COVID-19 patient in the country treated in intensive care, with the aim of uncovering host genetic factors that lead some people to be more severely affected by the infection. The study will involve up to 20,000 people currently or previously treated in one of 170 intensive care units (ICUs), whose genomes will be compared to 15,000 people with a confirmed infection who had mild or moderate symptoms.
PERTH, Australia – Australian stem cell company Mesoblast Ltd. completed a capital raising of AU$138 million (US$90 million) to scale up manufacturing of its allogeneic cell therapy, remestemcel-L, to treat COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
CAJICA, Colombia – Previous research to develop vaccines for dengue and Zika virus could become the cornerstone for a vaccine against COVID-19, which the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is working on.
HONG KONG – Singapore-based Proteona Pte. Ltd. has started a partnership to characterize the clinical response to a new COVID-19 vaccine, with clinical trials soon to start at Flinders Medical Centre testing the candidate developed in collaboration with Adelaide, Australia-based Vaxine Pty Ltd.
HONG KONG – The Japanese government is tightening its grip on its listed companies, including those working on promising COVID-19 treatments. On May 8, the Japanese Ministry of Finance released a list of 518 companies that would be subject to stricter restrictions on receiving foreign investments.
If nothing else, the unfolding coronavirus has advanced the implementation of a wide variety of digital health tools. Panelists at the World Medical Innovation Forum on May 11 explored several current use cases.
Quanterix Corp., of Billerica, Mass., reported that researchers have developed a COVID-19 antibody test with 1,000 times the sensitivity of current tests using its Simoa bead-based immunoassay platform.
Abbott Laboratories received FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 molecular test, which will run on the company's new Alinity m system, as well as its COVID-19 antibody blood test, which will run on the Alinity i system. The two actions bring to five the number of COVID-19 tests developed by the Abbott Park, Ill.-based company to receive EUAs.