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THE ORPHAN DRUGS & RARE DISEASES CONFERENCE

GSK confirms deal to supply 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the EU

GlaxoSmithKline has confirmed a new COVID-19 vaccine supply deal to deliver 300 million doses of its candidate to the European Commission.

On the condition that the vaccine secures regulatory approval, all European Union member states will be eligible to access the therapy.

Under the terms of the agreement, the EU will also have the option to provide a proportion of the reserved doses to low and middle-income nations. The EU has also committed upfront funding to support the scale-up of the project.

AstraZeneca and Samsung Biologics partner up in $330m manufacturing and supply deal

AstraZeneca has announced a new global manufacturing and supply partnership with Samsung Biologics, said to be worth a potential $330.8 million.

As part of the deal, Samsung will offer its South Korea-based Plant 3 manufacturing facility to support large-scale drug substance production in support of AZ’s biologics portfolio. The plant, based in Incheon, is the largest single biomanufacturing facility in the world since opening in 2018. 

Clinical trials for Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine in India could start in the coming weeks

Photo by NIAID

Clinical trials testing Russia’s Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine in India could begin in the next few weeks, according to Indian pharma firm Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. 

CDC says its updated guidance stating coronavirus spreads through the air was posted in “error”

Photo by Daniel Mayer

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed its guidance that said coronavirus was transmitted through the air. 

Jason McDonald, a spokesman for the CDC, told CNN: “A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency's official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Once this process has been completed, the updated language will be posted.”

Positive five-year Keytruda survival data revealed at ESMO in metastatic, PD-L1+ non-small cell lung cancer

MSD took the opportunity at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020 to unveil new Phase 3 efficacy data for its anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in the first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients with PD-L1-positive tumours with no EGFR or ALK genomic aberrations.

Democratic Senators urge judge to reject Purdue Pharma’s proposal to pay CEO a bonus

Photo by Psiĥedelisto

Democratic US Senators are urging Judge Robert D. Drain to reject Purdue Pharma’s proposal to pay CEO and President Craig Landau a bonus of up to $3.5 million. 

This is being led by Senators Tammy Baldwin, Joe Manchin, Maggie Hassan, Tina Smith and Richard Blumenthal. 

India signs deal for 100m doses of Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine

Image credit: Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images

Russia has signed a deal with an Indian pharma firm to test and deliver 100 million doses of its controversial Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 to the nation’s citizens as it sees its death toll surge to overtake Brazil as the second-worst hit country on Earth after the US.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, signed the agreement with Indian firm Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, which will collaborate with Russia to test the vaccine in clinical trials and eventually help distribute it in India.

Lilly's baricitinib/remdesivir combo lowers recovery time in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, according to new data

Eli Lilly has unveiled promising new data from a study investigating the efficacy of baricitinib when combined with with Gilead’s antiviral therapy remdesivir in the treatment of patients hospitalised with COVID-19.

The study, launching on 8 May and sponsored by  the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), included over 1,000 participants in total receiving 4mg baricitinib in combination in combination with remdesivir.

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