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Health News Roundup: Japan in deals with AstraZeneca, Novavax for COVID-19 vaccines; Swiss government signs agreement with Moderna and more

Devdiscourse news desk | Updated: 07-08-2020 18:41 IST | Created: 07-08-2020 18:29 IST
 Health News Roundup: Japan in deals with AstraZeneca, Novavax for COVID-19 vaccines; Swiss government signs agreement with Moderna  and more
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus right now: Grim forecast for U.S. Russia offers to supply Philippines with COVID-19 vaccine

Russia is willing to supply a coronavirus vaccine to the Philippines, or team up with a local firm to mass produce it, its ambassador to Manila said on Friday, as infections in the Southeast Asian nation surge. Russia is expecting regulatory approval for its first potential COVID-19 vaccine this month, with doses to be administered to frontline health workers first.

UK's Hikma making Gilead's COVID-19 drug remdesivir to increase supply

Britain's Hikma Pharmaceuticals said on Friday it has started manufacturing Gilead's antiviral drug remdesivir under contract in Portugal, as the U.S. company outsources to increase availability of the COVID-19 treatment. Remdesivir is one of only two medicines to have shown to help hospitalised COVID-19 patients in clinical trials, making it a front-runner treatment for the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

India's Serum Institute to get $150 million from Gates Foundation for COVID-19 vaccine

Serum Institute of India said on Friday it would receive $150 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI vaccines alliance to make 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for India and other emerging economies as early as 2021. The candidate vaccines, including those from AstraZeneca and Novavax, will be priced at $3 per dose and will be made available in 92 countries in GAVI's COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), the company said in a statement.

FDA accepts Biogen's application for Alzheimer's drug, decision due by March

Biogen Inc and Japan's Eisai Co Ltd said on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had accepted their marketing application for experimental Alzheimer's disease treatment aducanumab, with a decision due by March 7. Biogen's shares were up 10.7% at $307 before the bell.

Takeda to make Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Japan

Takeda Pharmaceutical will manufacture and sell up to 250 million doses of Novavax Inc's COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Japan every year, the two companies said on Friday. To ramp up production, Takeda will get funding from Japan's Health, Labour and Welfare ministry, the companies said.

Swiss government signs agreement with Moderna for COVID-19 vaccine

Switzerland has signed an agreement with Moderna to secure early access to the COVID-19 vaccine the U.S. biotech company is developing, the government said on Friday. Switzerland will get 4.5 million doses of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate 2.25 million people if as expected two doses are needed per patient.

India surges past 2 million coronavirus cases, angry health workers launch a strike

India, the country hardest hit in Asia by the coronavirus pandemic, reported on Friday a record daily jump in infections, taking its total number of cases over two million, as government struggled to contain the spread amid striking health workers. More than 3.5 million health workers, who have been the foot-soldiers in the Covid-19 detection efforts across India, embarked on a two-day strike from Friday to secure better wages and proper protective equipment.

Pfizer signs deal to manufacture Gilead's remdesivir for COVID-19

Pfizer Inc said on Friday it signed a multi-year agreement to manufacture Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral drug remdesivir for COVID-19 patients in a bid to ramp up its supply. The company would use its Kansas plant to manufacture the drug, it said.

Japan in deals with AstraZeneca, Novavax for COVID-19 vaccines

Japan plans to buy AstraZeneca Plc's experimental COVID-19 vaccine and fund a local company to manufacture Novavax's vaccine candidate, ramping up its stockpile plan as it battles surging infections. Japan will order 120 million doses of the experimental vaccine developed by the British pharmaceutical company, beginning with 30 million doses by March next year. It did not disclose purchase prices.


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