IFPMA Covid-19 Günlük Bülteni – 28 Nisan

28.04.2020

Top news:

  • IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva urges policymakers to commit more money to recovery efforts from COVID-19.
  • The Steering Body of the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) announced the allocation of US$195.84 million to 64 of the world’s poorest countries with COVID-19 cases.
  • Oxford scientists now say that with an emergency approval from regulators, the first few million doses of their vaccine could be available by September.
  • Anticipation for Gilead’s clinical trial results are expected to be released this week.
  • The European Public Health Alliance has warned that shortages are now affecting medicines used to treat patients with COVID-19.

GLOBAL RESPONSE:

  • The World Bank: PEF Allocates US$195 Million to More than 60 Low-Income Countries to Fight COVID-19. The Steering Body of the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) announced the allocation of US$195.84 million to 64 of the world’s poorest countries with reported cases of COVID-19. Special attention will be given to areas with the most vulnerable populations, especially in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC IMPACT

  • Atlantic Council: IMF managing director urges more global action to soften coronavirus’ economic toll. As the global economy continues to absorb the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva urged policymakers to commit more money to recovery efforts. She further warned that “it can get worse if in the second half of the year there is still a significant lingering impact of the pandemic that forces either a return to lockdown.
  • Kyodo News: Economy of China’s original coronavirus epicenter down 39.2% in 1st quarter.  The economy of China’s Hubei Province, plunged 39.2% from a year earlier in the first quarter of 2020, official data showed. The economies of the country’s biggest commercial hub Shanghai, and the capital Beijing, also shrank 6.7 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively, in a sign of just how quickly the spread of the virus stifled business activities in the world’s second-largest economy.
  • Business Today: ‘Coronavirus lockdown had positive effect, now focus must be on economy,’ says Sajjan Jindal.  Sajjan Jindal, Chairman of JSW Group has said “The lockdown has had a positive effect in containing the virus. But it’s imperative to also move focus on economic well- being. We need to rise now to ensure that the economy does not fall into a slumber that will take huge efforts to awaken. The virus, while controlled, will be a threat till we find a vaccine. However, a depression in the economy is also a threat to this nation,” he said.
  • CNBC: The market is rebounding on hope for a treatment, new index tracking coronavirus-drug makers shows.  A new CNBC index that tracks the stock performance of companies working on a coronavirus cure shows just how closely the broader stock market rebound is pegged to a viable Covid-19 treatment or vaccine.

ACCESS & AFFORDABILITY

  • Khaleej Times: UAE to cover coronavirus treatment cost of workers. The UAE government will cover the diagnostic and treatment costs of workers with COVID-19, and the Emirates Red Crescent will fully support people infected with the virus and their families, as well as the families of those who died of the disease.

VACCINE/ TREATMENT DEVELOPMENT & DONATIONS

IFPMA Members

Others

  • Fox News: Experimental coronavirus treatment leronlimab has delivered ‘impressive’ early results, developer says. The experimental coronavirus treatment leronlimab has reduced the plasma viral load and restored the immune system of COVID-19 patients, according to data from a small group of patients.
  • New York Times: Scientists Race For a Coronavirus vaccine. Scientists at the university’s Jenner Institute proved in previous trials that similar inoculations — including one last year against an earlier coronavirus — were harmless to humans. The Oxford scientists now say that with an emergency approval from regulators, the first few million doses of their vaccine could be available by September if it proves to be effective.
  • New York Post: New idea to speed up coronavirus vaccine research is bold but dangerous. Some lawmakers and scientists believe that informed volunteers could be given vaccine candidates and then the coronavirus to see if the vaccine is effective at generating an immune response and preventing infection. The problem with COVID-19 is that researchers would have to infect a few hundred young, healthy volunteers with the virus and only some of them would be given the vaccine. Others would receive a placebo drug so that the results can be compared.

DIAGNOSTICS

  • Business Insider: India cancels Chinese rapid antibody test kit orders.  Even as the Indian Council of Medical Research cancelled the rapid antibody test kit order from one Chinese company, industry insiders say more accurate testing methods are getting evolved and may be considered by the country soon. The controversy around the efficacy and pricing of the rapid tests may change the way India now tests for the coronavirus.
  • Tehran Times: Iran donates 20,000 COVID-19 diagnostic kits to Afghanistan.  The diagnostic kits have been delivered to Afghanistan’s ambassador in Tehran and will be sent to Afghanistan on Wednesday, Fars news agency quoted an Afghan health official as saying.

IMPACT ON PHARMA

  • Swiss Info: Pandemic Hobbles Drugmakers in Recruiting for New Studies. A study evaluating a Novartis AG cholesterol drug stopped enlisting patients due to Covid-19, just the latest example of how the pandemic is hampering research across the industry. Novartis is far from alone as regulators around the world ask researchers to avoid in-person interactions and try to use telephone or video visits instead, and medical centres focus on tackling the coronavirus.
  • EU Commission: Coronavirus: Commission issues guidance to mitigate clinical trial disruption in the EU. The Commission has published guidance to ensure that clinical trials can continue taking place in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim is to mitigate the disruption of clinical research in Europe and therefore the negative effects of the pandemic, without compromising on quality and safety.

COVID-19 & AFRICA

  • Africa News: Africa CDC receives third donation of medical supplies from Jack Ma Foundation.  The Africa CDC received a third donation of medical equipment and supplies from the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The donation includes 4.6 million masks, 500,000 swabs and test kits, 300 ventilators, 200,000 sets of protective clothing, 200,000 face shields, 2,000 temperature guns, 100 body temperature scanners, and 500,000 pairs of gloves.
  • Africa News: Illumina partners with Africa CDC to strengthen sequencing capacity for COVID-19 surveillance in Africa.  Illumina, Inc. has donated sequencing systems and related consumables to the African Union Commission through the Africa CDC to strengthen SARS-CoV-2 sequencing capabilities and capacity in 10 African countries.
  • DW News: How Africa is bracing for pandemic’s impact. The successful fight against Ebola and other infectious diseases shows that it is not always a question of receiving a lot of international aid or huge sums of money. These would indeed be necessary if the number of infections increased and the crisis got out of hand. In the first phase of the coronavirus crisis, local communities, civil society organizations and village chiefs have managed to limit the spread.

EARNINGS & COVID-19

  • CNBC: Pfizer’s quarterly sales fall 8% as it races to develop coronavirus vaccine. Pfizer reported first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates and reaffirmed its full-year revenue guidance as the drugmaker works to develop a vaccine to prevent the coronavirus. The company’s total sales dropped 8% from a year ago to $12 billion, which was higher than the $11.8 billion expected by analysts.
  • Yahoo Finance: Merck sees $2.1 billion coronavirus hit to 2020 sales. Merck said it expects the coronavirus pandemic to reduce 2020 sales by more than $2 billion, and the U.S. drugmaker lowered its profit forecast as a big drop in doctors’ office visits during the outbreak will take a hefty toll, sending its shares down more than 3%.

EPIDEMIOLOGY

  • BBC News: Coronavirus immunity: Can you catch it twice? There have been reports of people appearing to have multiple coronavirus infections in a short space of time. However, the scientific consensus is that testing is the issue with patients being incorrectly told they were free of the virus.
  • The Guardian: Australian doctors on alert after Kawasaki disease in children linked to Covid-19 – The UK’s National Health Service alerted doctors that more than a dozen children had been left in intensive care after developing toxic shock syndrome. Before Covid-19 there would be about one case of Kawasaki disease reported in a child in Australia per day. Since the pandemic, emergency room presentations and general practitioner visits have dropped significantly as people stay inside and are less likely to catch many infections.

WHO – Daily COVID-19 update, 28 April

No media briefing by Dr Tedros today.