IFPMA Covid-19 Günlük Bülteni – 30 Nisan

30.04.2020

Top news:

  • Global biopharmaceutical industry highlighted its commitment to work with urgency to research and test potential COVID-19 treatments, without compromising safety and quality.
  • Dr Tedros reconvened the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee today with details being shared during tomorrow’ daily press briefing.
  • The WHO expressed concern by the community spread of the new coronavirus in a significant number of West African countries.
  • European Commission and Committee of the Regions announce 4 May COVID-19 pledge
  • Pfizer announces at IFPMA COVID-19 media briefing that it aims for 10-20 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by end-2020.  Other news of scaling up vaccine manufacturing: AstraZeneca (with University of Oxford) and Johnson & Johnson (with Catalent) respectively signed new deals to scale up the production and distribution of vaccine candidates globally.
  • The CEO of Gilead Sciences, Daniel O’Day, vows to create enough supply of Remdesivir for people all over the world.
  • GSK announced that the vast majority of its clinical trials face delays as it prioritises the fight against COVID-19.

GLOBAL RESPONSE

Listen to the full media briefing here.

MANUFACTURING & SUPPLY

ACCESS & IP

  • Geneva Health Files: Changes to the EU Proposal on COVID19 Response #WHA73. This blog analyses the EU draft proposal on COVID-19 Response for WHA73 and highlights the key changes the draft has gone through over the last few days in terms of the language on fundamental freedoms, IP, privacy matters, and stronger language for dealing with misinformation, among others. The author feels that the COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed strategies on improving access to medicines, some of which were unthinkable a few weeks ago.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC IMPACT

United States

  • The Guardian: Another 3.8 million Americans lose jobs as US unemployment continues to grow.  Another 3.8 million people lost their jobs in the US last week as the coronavirus pandemic continued to batter the economy. The pace of layoffs appears to be slowing, but in just six weeks an unprecedented 30 million Americans have now sought unemployment benefits and the numbers are still growing.

Europe

VACCINE/ TREATMENT DEVELOPMENT & DONATIONS

IFPMA Members

Others

  • The New York Times: At Least 89 Vaccines Are Being Developed. It May Not Matter. In an opinion piece by Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, he writes that if what took place during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic happens again, an effective and safe coronavirus vaccine will not be enough to stop the pandemic. Dr Berkley went on to say that although the first priority for any country, of course, is to protect its own citizens, countries must think globally when the world faces an infectious disease.
  • Business Today: Biocon developing vaccine, antibody cure and repurposed drugs against COVID-19. Bangalore-based Biocon is developing a novel customised non-replicating measles virus-based vaccine, a latest antigen therapy that can be commercialised quickly. Biocon is also developing two new generation repurposed drugs for treatment and an antibody diagnostic kit.
  • Bloomberg Quint: Strides Pharma Says It Launched Antiviral Drug That Shows Positive Effects In COVID-19 Treatment.  Strides Pharma Science Ltd. said it has developed and commercialised Favipiravir antiviral tablets and stressed that the drug has demonstrated positive outcomes in COVID-19 treatment globally. Favipiravir is an antiviral medication that was initially developed to treat influenza in Japan.

New R&D partnership

  • NIHR: National, collaborative platform launched to fast-track potential COVID-19 treatments. COVID-19 treatments could be fast-tracked through a new national clinical trial initiative involving the NIHR and its partners in industry and the UK government. This collaborative platform, known as ACCORD (Accelerating, COVID-19 Research & Development), aims to get an early indication of potential drug treatments’ effectiveness in treating coronavirus. If positive results are seen, these drugs will advance rapidly into the large-scale trials in progress across the country.

DIAGNOSTICS

  • Science Magazine: NIH launches competition to speed COVID-19 diagnostics.  The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a $1.5 billion initiative to speed breakthroughs in diagnostic tests. The program aims to increase the U.S. capacity for SARS-CoV-2 testing up to 100-fold by late summer, in time for the start of the flu season.

IMPACT ON CLINICAL TRAILS

  • The Telegraph: GSK delays non-Covid 19 clinical trials.GSK has admitted the vast majority of its clinical trials face delays as it prioritises the fight against COVID-19. Emma Walmsley, GSK chief executive, said around 87% of its clinical trials were expected to be delayed by between one and three months.“

IMPACT ON GLOBAL HEALTH

  • CNBC: Coronavirus could be causing new inflammatory condition in children, UK health officials warn.  Britain’s Paediatric Intensive Care Society said it has been alerted to a small number of critically ill children presenting with “an unusual clinical picture.” Many of the children with the new inflammatory disease, likened to Kawasaki disease and sepsis, had been diagnosed with Covid-19.
  • The Lancet: An Italian programme for COVID-19 infection in multiple sclerosis. For people with multiple sclerosis, the pandemic carries additional reasons for concern. Although emerging work suggests that some coexisting diseases, such as hypertension, might increase the severity of the COVID-19 infection, how less common conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, effect COVID-19 outcomes is still uncertain.

COVID-19 & AFRICA

WHO – COVID-19 update, 30 April

No media briefing today by Dr Tedros.

Reconvening of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee

  • WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reconvened the Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations (IHR) regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 today. This is the third meeting of the Committee.
  • The Committee will deliberate today and provide its views to the Director-General on Friday. The Committee’s statement will be issued Friday 1 May during the regularly scheduled virtual press conference, planned for 17:00 CEST. Dial-in details will be sent tomorrow, 1 May, ahead of the VPC.

WHO AFRO: Press conference – 30 April

  • Regional Director Dr. Moeti, said  “We are very concerned with the vulnerability of people living in conflict conditions, refugee camps & migrants which is the case with many people in the Sahel countries, WHO is working closely with partners to serve these people”.
  • Dr Michael Yao, Incident Manager of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said “The main challenge is access. It is critical for the team on the ground to structure the response, to set up facilities for testing and treatment”.