29 April 2021

Coronavirus deaths in Brazil surpass 400,000.

• Coronavirus deaths in Brazil surpass 400,000. Source

• As coronavirus continues to run rampant in India, the country is running out of vaccines. State officials report  that their pleas for more vaccines have not been answered. So far, 26 million people — 1.8 percent of India’s population — have been fully vaccinated. Domestic manufactures produce tens of millions of doses a month, but it is a fraction of what’s needed, since  940 million adults will become eligible for shots on Saturday. Source

• An executive at BioNTech said the coronavirus vaccine it co-developed with Pfizer should be available in June to 12- to 15-year-olds in Europe.  Source

• As Pakistan faces a record-breaking COVID-19 death toll and an eleven percent positivity rate, the governments has sent soldiers to enforce restrictions and is warning that it may impose a lockdown if the epidemic worsens. Source

• Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan imposes a full lockdown until 17 May to control the coronavirus. Source

• Atea Pharmaceuticals announced the launch of  a 1,400- person phase III trial of AT-527, an oral polymerase inhibitor treatment for COVID-19 in people with mild-to-moderate cases who are not in the hospital. The drug is also being studied in phase II trials – one in people hospitalized with moderate COVID-19, and in outpatients with mild-to-moderate illness. Roche purchased ex-US rights to AT-527 for an upfront payment of $350 million, plus royalties and “undisclosed milestones.”  Source

• A pre-clinical trial of Celltrion’s monoclonal antibody regdanvimab  showed that it was effective against the B.1.351 coronavirus variant, although it was less effective against live virus; the company plans to develop “…a neutralizing antibody cocktail with CT-P59 against new emerging strains in the UK and South Africa.” Source

• Moderna issues a press release to announce new funding commitments that will allow it to increase supply at manufacturing facilities in Spain, Switzerland, and the US. Production could reach up to three billion doses of its coronavirus vaccine by 2022 (depending on combinations of 100 μg dose-vaccines, and potentially lower doses of boosters and pediatric vaccines). In addition, Moderna  is working on formulations of  a booster, mRNA-1273 and a next generation vaccine (mRNA-1283) that could extend refrigerated shelf life. Moderna also raised its 2021 manufacturing supply forecast from 600 million doses to between 800 million to 1 billion doses. Source

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