COVID-19 Drug Research Roundup
Below is a roundup of research activity on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
Sinovac has begun a phase 1clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, having completed enrollment of its first round of volunteers and begun dosing. The Chinese trial, which involves 144 adults, is being conducted in Jiangsu, a province north of Shanghai.
The International Vaccine Institute is teaming up with the Korea National Institute of Health on a phase 1/2 clinical trial of Inovio’s coronavirus vaccine candidate. The trial has received $6.9 million in funding from the Coalition for Economic Preparedness Innovation and will study 40 adults. It is being run in parallel with Inovio’s study, which began April 6.
Human clinical trials have begun for the University of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. It is receiving $24.6 million in funding from the UK government.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has formed a partnership with 16 drug companies to accelerate the development of coronavirus vaccines. The partners have committed to standardizing their preclinical evaluations openly to enable comparison and validation. AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Evotec, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, KSQ Therapeutics, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Takeda and Vir Biotechnology have agreed to be part of the partnership.
HHS has agreed to give Moderna up to $483 million to support its promising mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate. The drugmaker was the first to launch a coronavirus vaccine trial in the U.S., which it began in March, and is seen as a strong contender in the race to develop a vaccine.
Pfizer and BioNTech have received approval to conduct a phase 1/2 clinical trial of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Germany, the first coronavirus vaccine trial approved in that country. The trial will include 200 subjects aged 18 to 55, and an additional trial is planned for the U.S.
Eagle Pharmaceuticals plans to test its malignant hyperthermia drug Ryanodex (dantrolene sodium) in COVID-19 patients in a phase 2 clinical trial with the help of Hackensack University Medical Center.
NIH has formed a partnership with 16 drug companies to accelerate the development of coronavirus treatments. The partners have committed to standardizing their preclinical evaluations openly to enable comparison and validation. AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Evotec, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, KSQ Therapeutics, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Takeda and Vir Biotechnology have agreed to be part of the partnership.
Novartis said it will soon begin enrolling patients in a phase 3 clinical trial evaluating hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The large trial will include more than 440 patients across more than a dozen U.S. trial sites.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals plans to begin a global phase 3 trial of its monoclonal antibody Ultomiris (ravulizumab-cwvz) in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The trial will assess the drug in approximately 270 adults with severe pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Enrollment will begin in May in countries with high numbers of coronavirus patients.
OncoImmune has kicked off a phase 3 clinical trial of its experimental fusion protein CD24Fc as a potential coronavirus treatment with the help of the University of Maryland Baltimore Medical Center. The national trial will use at least 10 medical centers throughout the U.S.
Bayer and Canada’s Population Health Research Institute announced plans to launch a major clinical research program that aims to find a COVID-19 treatment. The program will involve two studies evaluating different combination therapies, including chloroquine and interferon beta-1b and chloroquine with azithromycin.