- Amid concerns of the second wave of COVID-19, experts are now saying that coronavirus is dangerous for the human brain as it can penetrate the brain and cause neural infection.
- China-based Sinovac Biotech to enter Phase 3 clinical trial soon for its vaccine candidate, CoronaVac.
- AstraZeneca signed an agreement with Catalent for COVID-19 vaccine packaging and finishing at Catalent’s manufacturing facility in Italy.
- Novavax raised nearly US$200 million for funding COVID-19 and flu vaccine endeavours.
- BioNTech to get €100 million from European Investment Bank for developing and manufacturing its COVID-19 vaccine.
Several healthcare companies and researchers across the globe are burning the midnight oil for finding a safe and effective vaccine/treatment for deadly novel coronavirus.
Meanwhile, some concerns related to a second wave have triggered a global dilemma. Some studies have demonstrated recently that the novel coronavirus not only affects human lungs, it can also penetrate to other organs of the human body.
Experts stated that the novel coronavirus could infect the human brain and replicate small neuronal spheres called as 'mini-brains' growing ten times within three days. Nevertheless, until now, it is not clear whether the virus causes the brain infection or is it due to any other secondary damage.
At present, there is an urgent need for a vaccine or treatment for this deadly virus which has created havoc around the world.
In this article, we will discuss five US-listed healthcare companies which are engaged in the development of COVID-19 vaccine:
Sinovac Biotech to Enter in Phase 3 Clinical Trial
China-based leading provider of biopharmaceutical products, Sinovac Biotech Ltd (NASDAQ:SVA) is focused on the R&D, manufacturing as well as commercialisation of vaccine for infectious diseases with significant unmet medical needs.
Sinovac is developing a vaccine named as CoronaVac that uses an inactive SARS-CoV-2 to generate an immune response against the active version of the virus.
On 13 June 2020, Sinovac declared positive preliminary outcomes from Phase 1/2 clinical study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate that demonstrated positive immunogenicity as well as safety profiles.
Moreover, Sinovac anticipates submitting a study report for Phase 2 trial and a clinical study protocol for Phase 3 to National Medical Products Administration of China in the foreseeable future and initiate the application of Phase 3 clinical study outside of China.
As per the previous disclosure on 11 June 2020, Sinovac revealed its partnership with Instituto Butantan in Brazil for planning and conducting a Phase 3 clinical trial. Sinovac and Instituto Butantan signed a collaboration agreement on clinical development for advancing the clinical trials of CoronaVac to Phase 3 clinical trials.
Sinovac also stated that it would share the complete data on the clinical trials with the public via academic publications.
Stock Information: On 15 June 2020, SVA ordinary shares last quoted at US$6.47 with a market cap of nearly US$639.9 million.
AstraZeneca signs an agreement with Catalent for COVID-19 vaccine finishing, packaging at the Italian plant
UK-based global science-led biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN) is into the discovery, development as well as commercialisation of prescription drugs, mainly for the treatment of ailments in the therapy areas of Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology.
On 15 June 2020, AstraZeneca and Catalent signed an agreement for manufacturing and supply of AZD1222, the vaccine candidate of the University of Oxford. With this agreement, Catalent Biologics will offer vial filling as well as packaging capacity to AstraZeneca at its manufacturing capacity in Italy.
AstraZeneca had earlier entered an agreement with Inclusive Vaccines Alliance of Europe for providing COVID-19 vaccine prepared by Oxford University, with supplies beginning by the end of 2020 in Europe.
Stock information: AZN stock closed the day’s trade at US$52.64 up by 2.27% on 15 June 2020. The stock has a market cap of nearly US$138.15 billion.
Novavax Raises US$200 Million to Fund COVID-19 and Flu Vaccine Efforts, Stock up 12%
On 15 June 2020, Novavax disclosed that the Company had signed an agreement to sell Series A Convertible preferred stock, convertible into approximately 4,388,852 shares of common stock, to an RA Capital Management investment fund in a private placement, at an effective purchase price per share of common stock equal to the closing price on 12 June 2020. Upon closing, Novavax will receive gross proceeds of approximately US$200 million.
Earlier, the Company had announced that it received funding worth US$60 million to aid the development and manufacturing of Novavax’s vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373.
Stock Information: On 15 June 2020, the share price of NVAX closed the day’s trade at US$51.07 climbed by 12.07% with a market cap of US$2.9 billion.
European Investment Bank to provide BioNTech €100 million to develop & manufacture COVID-19 vaccine
A next-generation immunotherapy company BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) is a pioneer in developing novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. The Company is currently developing vaccine candidate BNT162 in Germany for preventing COVID-19. The clinical trials for BNT162 are being conducted in collaboration with Pfizer.
The Company disclosed that it had signed a debt financing agreement of nearly €100 million with the EIB (European Investment Bank) to support the development of its COVID-19 vaccine program.
The deal will also permit BioNTech to increase its manufacturing facility to supply the vaccine quickly across the world in response to the pandemic.
Stock Information: On 15 June 2020, BNTX depository shares last quoted at US$50.85, up by 4.67%, with a market capitalisation of approximately US$11.5 billion.
Moderna to Commence Phase 3 Trials of its Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19 in July
NASDAQ-listed healthcare player Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) is pioneering mRNA therapeutics and vaccines for developing a novel generation of transformative treatments for a variety of disorders including infectious diseases, heart disorders, cancers and some rare diseases.
Moderna stated that the Company had finalised the Phase 3 clinical trials protocol based on feedback provided by the US FDA. This clinical trial will be a placebo-controlled, randomised study. Moderna stated that the trial is anticipated to enrol approximately 30k participants in the United States.
Moreover, the Phase 3 clinical trial for its vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 is projected to be conducted in partnership with NIAID, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Stock Information: Moderna’s share last quoted at US$66.57 climbed by 7.37% on 15 June 2020. The stock has nearly US$24.7 billion market capitalisation.