COVID-19 Update | April 30, 2021
April 30, 2021
The California Biotechnology Foundation is committed to keeping you up to date about COVID-19 testing, treatment and prevention advancements. The following resources track what progress has been made as of April 30, 2021. Notable advancements include:
- Pfizer began a clinical trial for a new oral drug to treat COVID-19 at the first sign of illness. The new drug could be available by the end of the year and will be able to be taken at home.
- Sanofi will help Moderna fill and finish vials of its COVID-19 vaccine, announcing an agreement to manufacture up to 200 million doses of the shot at a plant in New Jersey.
- The use ofJohnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines has resumed after US officials from the FDA and CDC decided that updated labeling would be sufficient to alert healthcare providers and the public to the risk of a rare side effect.
- Johnson & Johnson vaccine shipments to California resume as COVID-19 cases keep falling
Los Angeles Times – April 29, 2021
California is poised to receive almost 90,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week as U.S. officials resume supplies of the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine. The expected allocation of 87,800 doses would be the first direct federal shipment of J&J shots since the week of April 12.
- Moderna to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Production to Meet Rising Global Demand
Wall Street Journal – April 29, 2021
Moderna Inc. plans to boost production of COVID-19 vaccines and potentially triple its yearly output of doses in 2022, as the company seeks to meet rising global demand. The Cambridge, Mass., biotech company said it could produce up to three billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2022, compared with a projected output of up to one billion this year.
- Moderna Is Testing a New Version of Its COVID-19 Vaccine That Wouldn’t Require Ultra-Cold Storage
Time – April 29, 2021
To meet that need, and the needs of facilities in less-resourced countries that don’t have the freezer capabilities required to store the company’s vaccine currently, Bancel says that his scientists are studying a new version of the Moderna vaccine that won’t need to be frozen, and instead would simply need to be kept under refrigerated conditions for up to three months.
- How Pfizer Makes Its COVID-19 Vaccine
New York Times – April 28, 2021
Inside this facility in Chesterfield, Missouri, trillions of bacteria are producing tiny loops of DNA containing COVID-19 genes — the raw material for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. It’s the start of a complex manufacturing and testing process that takes 60 days and involves Pfizer facilities in three states. The result will be millions of doses of the vaccine, frozen and ready to ship.
- Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines 94% effective at preventing hospitalizations in elderly, CDC study shows
CNBC – April 28, 2021
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were found to be 94% effective at preventing hospitalizations among people ages 65 and over in a real-world study published by the CDC. The two-dose mRNA vaccines were also found in the study to be 64% effective at preventing hospitalizations in the elderly who received just one shot.
- Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines Appear Safe, Effective During Pregnancy
Medscape – April 28, 2021
The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines appear to be safe in pregnant patients, according to preliminary findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said pregnant people have an increased risk of being severely ill from COVID-19.
- Pfizer’s new at-home pill to treat COVID-19 could be available by end of the year, CEO hopes
CNBC – April 27, 2021
Pfizer’s experimental oral drug to treat COVID-19 at the first sign of illness could be available by the end of the year, CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC. The company, which developed the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. with German drugmaker BioNTech, began in March an early stage clinical trial testing a new antiviral therapy for the disease.
- The most promising COVID-19 vaccine you’ve never heard of
Politico – April 27, 2021
The COVID-19 vaccine developed Novavax entered late-stage clinical trials months after candidates from bigger names like Pfizer and Moderna. But the Novavax vaccine proved just as potent as those mRNA shots in a U.K. trial, and the company is now preparing to file for U.S. authorization in a matter of weeks.
- Sanofi to aid Moderna on final steps in manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine
BioPharma Dive – April 26, 2021
French drugmaker Sanofi will help Moderna fill and finish vials of its COVID-19 vaccine, announcing an agreement with the Massachusetts biotech to manufacture up to 200 million doses of the shot at a plant in New Jersey.
- FDA, CDC support resuming use of J&J vaccine after advisory panel vote
BioPharma Dive – April 23, 2021
A group of advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said vaccinations with Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 shot should be resumed in the U.S., deciding in a meeting that updated labeling would be sufficient to alert healthcare providers and the public to the risk of a rare but serious side effect.
Rely on California Biotechnology Foundation to monitor breaking news and provide updates on the latest advancements in COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.
Stay informed on the latest news and trends on the economic and health benefits of this 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].