In a flurry of catch-up following the coronavirus outbreak in China, a number of biopharma companies have announced development within the last few weeks to address the ever-spreading infection known as COVID-19.
In an effort to gain new insights about the novel coronavirus sweeping the globe, Boston-based Biofourmis Inc. is leveraging its artificial intelligence (AI)-driven remote monitoring platform to monitor Hong Kong patients diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19. The remote monitoring and disease surveillance program, which kicked off just a few days ago, is being administered by the University of Hong Kong and includes Biofourmis’ Hong Kong-based joint venture, Harmony Medical Inc.
The March 4 congressional hearing on the budget for the NIH was peppered with questions about the COVID-19 outbreak, although the general sentiment is that the agency will receive yet another boost in appropriations in fiscal 2021.
Vir Biotechnology Inc. and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. are expanding an infectious disease collaboration begun three years ago to take on the coronavirus. The effort now includes developing and commercializing RNAi therapies targeting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that triggers COVID-19, by developing siRNAs identified by Alnylam.
BEIJING – Beijing-based Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd. said it has initiated clinical trials of broad-spectrum antiviral favipiravir to treat COVID-19. China now has six clinical trials investigating the drug, originally developed for influenza and also tested against Ebola virus disease.
HONG KONG - India has made amendments to the export policy of certain active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and the formulations based on some specific APIs. In a note dated March 3, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade compiled a list of now restricted APIs and formulations that were previously free to export. It ranged from paracetamol and erythromycin salts to progesterone and vitamin B1, 6 and 12.