IFPMA Covid-19 Günlük Bülteni – 20 Mayıs
Please note that IFPMA is closed for public holidays and the next Covid-19 Update will resume on 25 May.
- Gilead is preparing to unveil its long-term commercial plan for the antiviral therapy, including its expectations on prices and profits.
- Eli Lilly acquired global, non-exclusive rights to several of Chugai Pharmaceutical antibody engineering technologies to apply in its R&D for COVID-19 treatments.
- Vaccine experts say Moderna did not produce data critical to assessing whether their COVID-19 vaccine is effective or not.
- In a lengthy statement, the US is insisting that it continues to demonstrate global leadership in the face of the pandemic given it committed more than $900 million in emergency health, humanitarian, economic, and development assistance to fight COVID-19.
- 60m people will be pushed into extreme poverty by the economic consequences of COVID-19, and current recovery efforts are not enough, David Malpass, President, World Bank, warned.
- The EU Commission has published recommendations for a coordinated response both in the short and long-term to the coronavirus pandemic tailored to each member state.
IP & ACCESS
- Wall Street Journal: Europe Falls Behind U.S. in Funding Coronavirus Vaccine—and Securing Access. As pharmaceutical giants edge closer to a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus, governments demanding access to any supplies are running up against a hard reality: the bill.
- Medical News: Countries that develop a coronavirus vaccine may not share it, health expert warns. Jane Halton, the former head of Australia’s health and finance departments said a vaccine nationalism event could spell trouble for countries that do not have the capability and facilities to develop their vaccines.
- News 18: Coronavirus Vaccine Once Developed will Be for ‘Global Public Good’, Says Top US Official. If the United States is the first to develop an effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus, it has to quickly share it with the world, the head of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, argues.
- Mondaq: Israel Accelerates Examination Of Patent Applications Relevant To The Fight Against Coronavirus. The Israeli Patent Office will now allow applicants to petition for accelerated examination of applications involving “testing, treatment, prevention, or eradication” of the Coronavirus at no charge.
- Scrip (Paywall): Gilead Ready To Unveil Remdesivir Price. Gilead is preparing to unveil its long-term commercial plan for the antiviral therapy, including its expectations on prices and profits.
- USAID: State Department: The United States Continues to Lead the Global Response to COVID-19. “The United States continues to demonstrate global leadership in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic,” the US state department has insisted. A lengthy press release (published the USAID website, but in the name of the department of state) says that, despite Donald Trump’s threats to permanently end US funding of the WHO, the US government is still distributing billions to countries and NGOs for coronavirus relief efforts.
- UN News: Stand in solidarity to preserve Africa’s hard-won progress, urges UN chief. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for global solidarity with Africa as an essential part of ending the coronavirus pandemic, saying international action is needed to help strengthen its health care systems and food supply and to avoid a financial crisis.
- Al Jazeera: African leaders say coronavirus aid falling short. Wealthy countries are failing Africa, with pledges of financial support and debt relief falling well short of the continent’s needs as it battles the coronavirus pandemic, several African presidents have said.
- Financial Times: For all its faults, the world needs the WHO. Opinion by the FT editorial board. As the world struggles to find treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, the WHO remains a vital co-ordination centre for information, advice and the evaluation of best practice. For all its faults, the WHO is still a respected voice in most of the world.
- Bloomberg: The U.S. Can’t Defeat Coronavirus Alone. Opinion by the Editorial board. It’s essential to coordinate with other countries on finding, manufacturing and distributing a Covid-19 vaccine.
- EU Commission: European Semester Spring Package: Recommendations for a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Commission adopted proposals for country-specific recommendations that require each Member State to take steps to strengthen the resilience of its national health system. The proposals for health recommendations are tailor-made to each Member State. They consider specific structural challenges related to the short-term resilience of the respective health system (e.g. sufficient availability of intensive care beds, personal protective equipment, and ventilators), and the access to and the effectiveness of health care. Among the longer-term issues highlighted are the working conditions of HCPs and shortages of health workers, as well as the insufficient financing of certain health system segments. High out-of-pocket payments and unmet needs for medical care for patients are also an issue. Additionally, in some Member States the crisis has shown an insufficient capacity of the primary care sector.
- EU Commission: EU allocates additional €50 million in humanitarian aid. The EU Commission announced an additional €50 million in humanitarian aid to help respond to the dramatic increase in humanitarian needs caused by the Coronavirus pandemic globally.
- The Hill: Lancet knocks Trump for ‘factually incorrect’ statement in letter warning of WHO funding cuts. The medical journal released a statement saying Trump’s claim that the journal published reports in December 2019 or earlier about a coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, were wrong.
SUPPLY & MANUFACTURING
- Politico (paywall)/ Interview in FAZ (in German): Bayer chief rejects idea of reshoring drug production to Europe. “I can only warn against a nationalization of supply chains,” chief of Germany’s Bayer Werner Baumann said, arguing that costs of the drug and active ingredient production would increase “significantly,” both for producers and for consumers as the costs are passed on.
GLOBAL ECONOMIC IMPACT
- Financial Times: Virus will push up to 60m into extreme poverty, World Bank warns. Up to 60m people will be pushed into extreme poverty by the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis, and current recovery efforts are not enough, David Malpass, president of the World Bank, has warned.
- The Guardian: WTO reports big slump in global trade as coronavirus takes toll. The WTO’s quarterly goods trade barometer, which provides real-time information on the trajectory of world merchandise trade relative to recent trends, slumped to 87.6 on a scale where anything below 100 indicates a downturn. Suggesting a sharp contraction in world trade extending into the second quarter of 2020, the reading was the lowest value on record since the indicator’s launch in July 2016.
- Business Insider: The coronavirus pandemic could cost the global economy a nightmarish $82 trillion over 5 years, a Cambridge study warns. In case of speedy recovery, an “optimistic loss” of $3.3 trillion is likely. But in the extreme event of an economic doomsday scenario, the global economy could lose $82 trillion in damages, the Centre for Risk Studies, the university said.
- The World Bank: 100 Countries Get Support in Response to COVID-19. The World Bank Group announced its emergency operations to fight COVID-19 have reached 100 developing countries. The Bank Group’s operational response will strengthen health systems, support the poorest households, and create supportive conditions to maintain livelihoods and jobs for those hit hardest.
TREATMENT & VACCINE DEVELOPMENT
- Scrip (Paywall): Lilly Licenses Chugai Antibody Tech To Develop COVID-19 Treatments. Eli Lilly acquired global, non-exclusive rights to several of Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. ’s antibody engineering technologies to apply in its research activities for COVID-19 treatments, along with rights to develop and market therapeutic antibodies using the technologies.
- The Guardian: UK bulk buys hydroxychloroquine as potential COVID-19 treatment. Hydroxychloroquine is being bought in bulk by the UK in case it does turn out to be an effective Covid-19 treatment.
Others – treatments
- Bloomberg: Japan’s Backing of Virus Drug Premature, Says Trial’s Lead Researcher. The lead researcher on a trial of the Japanese antiviral Avigan to treat Covid-19 said it’s too early to make a call on whether the drug works or not, and patients are still being enrolled.
- The Japan Times: Scientists in China believe new drug can stop pandemic ‘without vaccine’. A drug being tested by scientists at the Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the virus, researchers say.
- The Brussels Times: Belgium begins new drug trials on 50 COVID-19 patients. French biotechnology company Biophytis got the green light from the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products in Belgium to test their medicine Sarconeos.
Others – vaccines
- STAT News: Vaccine experts say Moderna didn’t produce data critical to assessing COVID-19 vaccine. Several vaccine experts concluded that, based on the information made available by Moderna, there’s really no way to know how impressive — or not — the vaccine may be.
- India Today: Inovio says coronavirus vaccine produces antibodies in mice, guinea pigs. Inovio began human testing of its vaccine in April. It says preliminary results from that trial are expected in June.
- Times of Now: Thailand coronavirus vaccine shows positive results in mice, may be ready next year. Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesman for the government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, revealed that Thailand will begin testing its vaccine in monkeys next week following positive trial results in mice, adding that the vaccine may be available for use by 2021.
- Live Mint: Bharat Biotech, Thomas Jefferson varsity to work on COVID vaccine. The novel vaccine was developed using an existing deactivated rabies vaccine as a vehicle for coronavirus proteins. The vaccine showed a strong antibody response in mice receiving the vaccine.
- Inquirer: Korean drug firms in early stage of coronavirus vaccine development. The Genexine consortium has successfully carried out an experiment of its vaccine candidate on monkeys, with consortium member Binex completing the production of a sample.
- The Conversation: Rapid home-based coronavirus tests are coming together in research labs. Opinion by Piyush K. Jain, Assistant Professor, University of Florida. The FDA has approved a few home sample collection kits but a number of researchers, are using the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR to make home tests. If they work, these tests could be very accurate and give people an answer in about an hour.
- EU Commission: EU-funded research project brings new rapid diagnostic to the market. Researchers involved with the “HG nCoV19 test” project, which was selected as one projects to receive funding from the Commission’s Research & Innovation Programme Horizon 2020, have obtained approval to put a new rapid point-of-care diagnostic for COVID-19 on the market.
GLOBAL HEALTH & SOCIAL IMPACT
- UNDP: COVID-19: Human development on course to decline this year for the first time since 1990. “The world has seen many crises over the past 30 years, including the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-09. Each has hit human development hard but, overall, development gains accrued globally year-on-year,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “COVID-19 – with its triple hit to health, education, and income – may change this trend.” Declines in fundamental areas of human development – education, health, and living standards – are being felt across most countries – rich and poor – in every region.
- The Guardian: Thousands of cancer patients could die early due to coronavirus delays, study finds. The pandemic will have “a terrible indirect impact on the lives of cancer patients” for months to come, on top of the devastation for families who have lost a loved one to COVID-19, according to research by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).
- Financial Times: Emerging countries lift lockdowns despite COVID-19 cases surge. Brazil, India and Indonesia are leading a group of middle and low-income economies that have begun to ease lockdowns despite rising coronavirus infection numbers, as pressure grows to reopen businesses and curb rising poverty.
- The Guardian: Europe should brace for second wave, says EU coronavirus chief. “The question is when and how big, that is the question in my view,” said Dr Andrea Ammon, director of ECDC.
- The Lancet: Epidemiology, clinical course, and outcomes of critically ill adults with COVID-19 in New York City: a prospective cohort study. This study found that critical illness among patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in New York City is common and associated with a high frequency of invasive mechanical ventilation, extrapulmonary organ dysfunction, and substantial in-hospital mortality.
- Bloomberg: China’s New Outbreak Shows Signs the Virus Could Be Changing. Chinese doctors are seeing the coronavirus manifest differently among patients in its new cluster of cases in the northeast region compared to the original outbreak in Wuhan, suggesting that the pathogen may be changing in unknown ways and complicating efforts to stamp it out.
WHO – COVID-19 UPDATE, 20 May
Statement by Dr Tedros during today’s media briefing here.
- The WHA saw an unprecedented solidarity and the passing of a historic resolution
- The resolution sets out a clear roadmap of the critical actions that must be taken to accelerate the response at national and international levels. If implemented, this will ensure a coherent, fairer response to save lives and livelihoods.
- Landmark resolution underlines the WHO’s key role in promoting access to safe and effective health technologies.
- The solidarity trials now include 3,000 patients in 320 hospitals across 17 countries.
- Dr Tedros welcomes member states commitments to lifting barriers to access of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics via four critical points from the resolution:
- The global priority of a fair distribution to all quality treatment and vaccines.
- Relevant international treaties should be harness where necessary including TRIPS agreement
- COVID-19 vaccines should be classified as a global public good
- Collaboration to promote both private sector and government-funded research and development should be encouraged. This includes open innovation across all relevant domains and the sharing of all relevant information with WHO.
- An important collaborative response to this resolution will be the COVID-19 technology platform proposed by Costa Rica, which we will launch on the 29th of May, which aims to lift access barriers to effective vaccines, medicines and other health products. We call on all countries to join this initiative.
- The WHO is supporting member states to ensure supply chains remain open and medical supplies reach health care workers.
- Ensuring health systems continue to function remains a high priority