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Coronavirus company news summary – Takeda and CoVIg alliance to start late-stage clinical trials of plasma-based therapy – Moderna to seek emergency approval for vaccine in high-risk groups

18 September 2020 

BioNTech has agreed to acquire Novartis’s manufacturing facility in Marburg, Germany to expand its Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity by up to 750 million doses annually, once the site is completely operational. BioNTech expects production of up to 250 million doses of BNT162b2 in the first half of next year, based on drug substance and drug product manufacturing capabilities at the Novartis facility.

A plasma-based Covid-19 therapy developed by Takeda and its CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance partners is set commence late-stage clinical trials this month, reported Reuters. The trial is funded by the US’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and will enrol 500 participants from the US, UK, Argentina and Denmark.

Eli Lilly has entered into a global antibody manufacturing partnership with Amgen to boost the supply capacity available for its potential Covid-19 antibody therapies. Currently, Lilly is testing different neutralising antibodies to potentially prevent and treat the disease. The alliance with Amgen is meant to scale up manufacturing, if Lilly’s therapies are successful in clinical trials and obtain regulatory nod.

Moderna plans to seek emergency authorisation for the use of its Covid-19 vaccine in high-risk groups, if the vaccine shows at least 70% effectiveness, said Reuters citing the company’s chief executive. The vaccine candidate is currently in Phase III trial, which enrolled 25,296 participants so far. An interim analysis is expected to take place in October or November.

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