How severe a viral infection is depends on how much the virus is replicating, damaging cells as it does so, and on the response of the immune system. Or so one would think. “Some of the most severe cases of COVID-19 are happening in the absence of replicating virus,” Joseph Guarnieri told BioWorld. In work published in Science Translational Medicine on Aug. 9, 2023, Guarnieri and his colleagues have described how those severe cases unfold, even as there is no replicating virus to be found.
Lemonex Inc. announced that the IND application for its mRNA vaccine candidate LEM-mR203 has been approved by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) on July 21, 2023. The company plans to evaluate LEM-mR203 as potential treatment for COVID-19, with the planned phase I clinical trial being designed to assess its safety and immunogenicity in healthy adults at Seoul National University Hospital, Korea.
Novavax Inc. has signed off 6.5 million shares to SK Bioscience Co. Ltd. for an $85 million equity investment from the South Korean pharmaceutical firm, which also wrote off some of Novavax’s manufacturing liabilities, as part of their continuing vaccine alliance. Seongnam-si, South Korea-based SK Bioscience purchased Novavax shares at $13 each, reflecting a 59% premium over the 90-day trading value, to gain a 6.45% stake in the Gaithersburg, Md.-based mRNA vaccine company, an SK Bioscience spokesperson confirmed to BioWorld.
Researchers from Infex Therapeutics Ltd. have announced the nomination of a clinical candidate for its in-house developed COV-X program. The novel first-in-class small molecule is an oral pan-coronavirus papain-like protease (PLpro) inhibitor, which was selected based on preclinical data that demonstrated in vivo efficacy of the candidate a murine model of SARS-CoV-2.