COVID-19 Update | April 3, 2020
April 3, 2020
As circumstances around coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to evolve quickly, the California Biotechnology Foundation wants to keep you informed about the progress being made by biotechnology researchers in California and across the nation to expand available testing, treat the virus and prevent its spread.
The following resources track what progress has been made as of April 3, 2020. Notable advancements include:
- Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc., and Eli Lilly and Company announced medical service volunteer programs to enable their employees to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
- Johnson & Johnson has partnered with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to fund over $1 billion in COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral treatment research.
- The FDA granted emergency use authorization to Abbott’s ID NOW COVID-19 test, which can deliver positive results in five minutes and negative results in thirteen.
- San Diego-based Arcturus Therapeutics is developing a vaccine using self-replicating RNA, partnering with Duke University and the National University of Singapore.
- Biotech Pioneer Amgen Joins Hunt for Coronavirus Drug
Wall Street Journal – April 2, 2020
Big biotech company Amgen Inc. is joining the race to discover new drugs that can treat the novel coronavirus, the latest drugmaker redirecting resources toward the pandemic.
- FDA Greenlights Clinical Trial For COVID-19 Coronavirus Treatment That ‘Flattens The Curve’ In Patients
Forbes – April 2, 2020
Therapeutics startup Celularity announced Thursday morning that it has received FDA clearance to begin a clinical trial of a proposed stem cell treatment against COVID-19.
- Medical Professionals Across Merck & Co. Inc., Pfizer Inc., and Eli Lilly and Company Activate to Support Health Systems, First Responders and Patients Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Pfizer – April 1, 2020
Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer Inc., and Eli Lilly and Company today announced medical service volunteer programs to enable employees who are licensed medical professionals to aid in the fight against COVID-19 while maintaining their base pay.
- To fight coronavirus, Fremont companies turn to make test kits, ventilators
San Francisco Chronicle – April 1, 2020
Within a week of the city’s changes, one company — BioGenex — secured the go-ahead to provide raw material to Roche labs to make COVID-19 tests.
- COVID-19 vaccine candidates: 6 front-runners
ABC News – March 31, 2020
While the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is well underway with over 40 hopeful candidates, only three have entered “Phase I” of clinical trials, the first of three stages of human testing before drug approval.
- Johnson & Johnson partners with BARDA to fund $1 billion in COVID-19 vaccine research
TechCrunch – March 30, 2020
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson is partnering with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund over $1 billion in COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral treatment research and development.
- CRISPR pioneer Doudna opens lab to run Covid-19 tests
STAT – March 30, 2020
A team of academic and industry researchers led by Jennifer Doudna, the researcher best known for her role in the discovery of the gene editing technology called CRISPR, has turned a 2,500-square-foot scientific laboratory into a facility for running medical tests to detect the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
- Local biotech company working to develop potential coronavirus vaccine
Fox 5 San Diego – March 30, 2020
In the global race to find a vaccine for coronavirus, there are only a few dozen companies — and two of the companies working to get to the finish line are in San Diego. One of those companies, Arcturus Therapeutics, is using a unique approach to build its vaccine through self-replicating RNA.
- Gilead CEO: ‘Working at unprecedented speed’ to snuff out COVID-19
San Francisco Business Journal – March 30, 2020
In an open letter published this weekend, Gilead Chairman and CEO Daniel O’Day explained why the Foster City-based company (NASDAQ: GILD) last week switched from individual “compassionate use” requests for its drug, called remdesivir.
- Study helps to identify medications which are safe to use in treatment of COVID-19
Science Daily – March 30, 2020
A recent study has found that there is no evidence for or against the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for patients with COVID-19. The study, led by researchers at King’s College London, also found other types of drugs, such as TNF blockers and JAK inhibitors safe to use.
- FDA issues emergency authorization of anti-malaria drug for coronavirus care
POLITICO – March 29, 2020
The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday issued an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, decades-old malaria drugs championed by President Donald Trump for coronavirus treatment despite scant evidence.
- Century-Old Vaccine Investigated as a Weapon Against Coronavirus
Bloomberg – March 29, 2020
The bacillus Calmette-Guerin, or BCG, shot has been used widely for about 100 years, with a growing appreciation for its off-target benefits. Not only is it a common immunotherapy for early-stage bladder cancer, it also seems to train the body’s first line of immune defense to better fight infections.
- Abbott’s Point-of-Care COVID-19 Test Detects Coronavirus in as Little as 5 Minutes
Biospace – March 28, 2020
Abbott’s new point-of-care test for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
- UC Davis researchers rushing to develop new treatments to stop coronavirus spread
Sacramento Bee – March 27, 2020
UC Davis doctors and researchers are rushing to develop treatments that will stop the new coronavirus, building on breakthroughs that helped them save the life of a Solano County woman who made headlines as the first U.S. citizen to contract COVID-19 through community spread.
- Known Drugs Being Tried Against the Coronavirus: Runner-Up Candidates
Science Translational Magazine – March 27, 2020
Commentator Derek Lowe discusses compounds that have not gotten as much media attention but which have been proposed as COVID-19 treatments.
- Big Pharma companies join forces for fightback against COVID-19
Fierce Biotech – March 27, 2020
Companies including Novartis and Pfizer are contributing to the joint response through actions including the sharing of proprietary compound libraries. The companies held a conference call with leaders at the Gates Foundation earlier this month, leading 15 businesses to commit to sharing parts of their compound libraries.
California Biotechnology Foundation will continue to monitor breaking news and provide updates weekly.
Stay informed on the latest news and trends on the economic and health benefits of this important industry by visiting the new CABiotech.org
If you have any questions about informational briefings contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or [email protected].