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Coronavirus company news summary – Sanofi, GSK sign vaccine access agreement with the EU – EMA approves dexamethasone for Covid-19

21 September 2020 

Russia has granted marketing authorisation for R-Pharm’s Covid-19 prescription drug, Coronavir, to treat outpatients with mild to moderate infection. The antiviral drug has become the first coronavirus drug to be rolled out in pharmacies in Russia. Coronavir’s approval was based on the final data obtained during a Phase III clinical trial performed in patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 in community and hospitalised settings.

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have signed an advanced purchase agreement with the European Commission (EC) to supply up to 300 million doses of their potential Covid-19 vaccine, following regulatory approval. The deal will enable the purchase of the vaccine for all the European Union (EU) Member States, which may choose to donate reserved doses to lower and middle-income markets. The companies will receive upfront funding to scale up their manufacturing capabilities in Europe.

Biotech firm Axon Neuroscience is set to introduce the world’s first independently-developed crowdfunded Covid-19 vaccine, ACvac1. In mice, the vaccine was able to trigger antibody production and blocked the replication of live virus. Based on the efficacy results, Axon has opened the vaccine project for investment from individuals and small investors. ACvac1 is schedule to enter clinical trials in the fourth quarter of this year.

The European Medicines Agency‘s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended that dexamethasone can be considered a treatment option for adult and adolescent Covid-19 patients needing oxygen therapy. The recommendation comes after review of results from the RECOVERY trial. The UK Government already authorised the use of dexamethasone to treat Covid-19 on the National Health Service (NHS) in June.

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