AIM Members Lead Extraordinary Sprint Towards COVID Vaccine

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AIM Members Lead Extraordinary Sprint Towards COVID Vaccine

Economy News | May 6, 2020
By: Melissa Cromack

Longtime AIM member Pfizer Inc. announced yesterday that it has begun human clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine that could be available in October and would be made at the company’s facility in Andover.

The company says the accelerated trials of its BNT162 vaccine should allow production of millions of vaccine doses in 2020, increasing to hundreds of millions in 2021.

“The short, less than four-month timeframe in which we’ve been able to move from pre-clinical studies to human testing is extraordinary and further demonstrates our commitment to dedicating our best-in-class resources, from the lab to manufacturing and beyond, in the battle against COVID-19,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer.

Pfizer’s dramatic announcement is the latest in a series of unprecedented advances reported by AIM members as pharmaceutical and biosciences companies race to end the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus. The surge is compressing scientific and regulatory processes that once took years into a period of weeks.

“The intelligence and dedication of the researchers working on a COVID-19 vaccine is breathtaking. AIM is proud to count as members companies that are dedicating significant global resources to ending the current pandemic and allowing people to resume their loves,” said John Regan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the association.

The list of AIM members working on a COVID-19 vaccine or therapies includes:

GlaxoSmithKline announced in February that it will give the University of Queensland in Australia access to GSK’s vaccine adjuvant platform. The company has also given access to Clover Biopharmaceuticals Inc., which is using the tool in combination with its vaccine candidate, COVID-19 S-Trimer. GSK most recently partnered with Xiamen Innovox Biotech Co.

Johnson & Johnson is working with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop a novel vaccine candidate. In March, the company announced it had started pre-clinical testing on multiple candidates in Boston and later revealed that it had selected its lead vaccine candidate, with two back-ups.

Sanofi has collaborated with Translate Bio to combine its vaccine expertise with Translate’s mRNA platform to discover, design and manufacture several vaccine candidates against COVID-19. In February, Sanofi also said that it had begun working with BARDA to use its recombinant DNA platform to test a pre-clinical vaccine candidate for COVID-19.

In partnership with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Biogen has formed a consortium that will build and share a COVID-19 biobank. The biobank will help scientists study a large collection of de-identified biological and medical data to advance knowledge and search for potential vaccines and treatments.

Amgen has announced it is developing its already marketed psoriasis drug Otezla as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford announced an agreement for the global development and distribution of the University’s potential recombinant adenovirus vaccine aimed at preventing COVID-19 infection. The collaboration aims to bring to patients the potential vaccine known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, being developed by the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, at the University of Oxford. Under the agreement, AstraZeneca would be responsible for development and worldwide manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine.

Eli Lilly has signed an agreement with China-based biopharmaceutical firm Junshi Biosciences to jointly develop therapeutic antibodies to prevent and treat Covid-19.

MilliporeSigma is partnering with The Jenner Institute in the institute’s efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19. With patients enrolled for clinical trials for this vaccine, rapid development of the large-scale manufacturing process is a critical step in quickly and safely delivering it from the lab to patients.

Novartis said it reached agreement with the US Food and Drug Administration to launch a randomized, double-blind, placebo- controlled study that will recruit approximately 440 patients and use a supply of hydroxychloroquine to be donated by Novartis’ Sandoz generics and biosimilars division.

Novo Nordisk will is providing a free 90-day supply of insulin through its Diabetes Patient Assistance Program to eligible patients with diabetes who have lost their healthcare access due to COVID-19.