25 November 2020

• In August, Cell publishes evidence that a mutation in the coronavirus, G614, could be the cause of the global pandemic. The mutation became globally dominant over a one-month period, and is associated with having a higher viral load, leading researchers to suspect it is more infectious. Since then, additional evidence from research in people, hamsters and cultures have confirmed that the mutation does make coronavirus more contagious, although it does not cause more severe illness. Sources 1,2,3
• Xinhua Finance reports that Sinopharm has filed for approval for at least one of its two experimental coronavirus vaccines, which are under study in 10 countries is South America and the Middle East – although a senior executive at China National Biotec Group says that the company had not yet filed. No data have been published. Source
• In the US, there have been over 100,000 coronavirus cases for 22 consecutive days, and more than one million cases per week for the last two weeks. Sources 1,2
• BioNTech and Fosun Pharma launch a phase II trial of BNT162b2 (the vaccine it is co-developing with Pfizer), to see how it performs in China’s population. Source

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