Healthcare Roundup – Moderna to supply 4.5M COVID-19 vaccine doses to Switzerland, Novavax inks deal with Takeda for COVID-19 vaccine in Japan

Published on: August 7, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

Moderna to supply 4.5M COVID-19 vaccine doses to Switzerland

The federal government of Switzerland has struck a deal with Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) to supply the country with 4.5M doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, if successfully developed. The value of the deal is not specified.

The Swiss government is also in talks with other vaccine companies and has already allocated CHF300M (nearly $330M) for purchases of COVID-19 vaccine.

Shares are up 2% premarket.

Novavax inks deal with Takeda for COVID-19 vaccine in Japan

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company (NYSE:TAK) enters into an agreement with Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) to develop, manufacture and commercialize the latter’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373, including its Matrix-M adjuvant, in Japan.

Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will provide funding to Takeda to support technology transfer, establishment of infrastructure and manufacturing scale-up. The company plans to build capacity to make over 250M doses per year.

Takeda will be responsible for regulatory filings as well.

Novavax will receive undisclosed milestone payments and a portion of sales proceeds. Additional details remain confidential.

NVAX and TAK are both up 2% premarket on light volume.

Gilead contracts Pfizer to make COVID drug remdesivir

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) inks a multiyear agreement with Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) to provide contract manufacturing services at its McPherson, KS facility to produce and supply COVID-19 antiviral Veklury (remdesivir).

CEO Albert Bourla says the action is part of the company’s five-point plan to commit resources to address the pandemic.

Financial terms are not disclosed.

PFE and GILD are both up 1% premarket on light volume.

Anpac up big on advancement of COVID-19 test

Ultra-thinly traded nano cap AnPac Bio-Medical Science Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:ANPC) rockets 114% premarket on robust volume in reaction to its announcement that it is validating its COVID-19 antibody test for commercial use in its San Jose, CA laboratory. The process should be completed in H2.

The FDA OK’d emergency use of the test last quarter.

CStone antibody successful in late-stage lung cancer study

A Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating CStone Pharmaceuticals’ (OTCPK:CSPHF) PD-L1 inhibitor CS1001 for the first-line treatment of metastatic squamous and nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) met the primary endpoint of progression-free survival (PFS).

Specifically, median PFS in the treatment arm (CS1001 + chemo) was 7.8 months compared to 4.9 months in the control arm (placebo + chemo) with 50% less risk of cancer progression (hazard ratio = 0.50) (p<0.0001).

No new safety signals were observed.

Development is ongoing.

CS1001 is an OmniAb-derived anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody that the company discovered using Ligand Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:LGND) OmniRat transgenic animal platform.

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