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Market Research Report

Legacy of Drugmakers & Startups To Terminate Covid-19 (Focus On Companies Developing Coronavirus Vaccine/Drugs And Their Development Stages, Worldwide) : Detailed Market Research Study

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Current Scenario

Europe is now the epicenter of coronavirus pandemic

European countries are tightening restrictions, with France reducing internal travel between cities. Germany is to close its borders with France, Switzerland and Austria while Spain is in near total lockdown. Scientists racing to find a vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus are hoping a cutting-edge approach called “rapid response platforms” will quickly yield a breakthrough.

United States Hospitals Needs Drastic Action

Although the US is a rich economy, it doesn’t provide health care in hospitals. There are fewer beds relative to its population than most other pandemic struck countries like South Korea, Germany, France, Italy, China and Spain.

Favilavir, the first approved coronavirus drug in China

The National Medical Products Administration of China has sanctioned the use of Favilavir, an anti-viral drug, as a medication for coronavirus. The drug has reportedly shown efficacy in treating the disease with minimal side effects in a clinical trial involving 70 patients. The medical trial is being handled in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.


Pharma Companies Developing Coronavirus Vaccines/Drugs

  1. Gilead is conducting a randomized, controlled clinical trial in Wuhan, testing remdesivir as a treatment from mild to moderate forms of pneumonia in people with the virus.in March’2020, Gilead said a randomized, open-label Phase 3 trial will evaluate remdesivir in 400 patients infected with COVID-19. The trial is expected to start enrolling patients in March and results in May. Gilead's experimental drug remdesivir has been touted by public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the most promising antivirals to fight the new coronavirus strain.


  1. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has initiated a partnership with China-based Clover Biopharmaceuticals, in order to help develop its protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate (COVID-19 S-Trimer). In February’2020, GlaxoSmithKline said that Clover Biopharmaceuticals Inc., a Chinese biotechnology company, is also using adjuvant technology in combination with its vaccine candidate, COVID-19 S-Trimer, in preclinical studies. GSK will provide Clover with its pandemic adjuvant system for further evaluation of S-Trimer in preclinical studies, in hopes that Clover could potentially rapidly scale-up and produce large-quantities of a new coronavirus vaccine.


  1. Inovio joined the fight against coronavirus by creating a potential vaccine dubbed INO-4800 for the disease. On January 23, Inovio announced that it received a grant of up to USD 9.00 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop this vaccine candidate. These funds will support the company in the preclinical and clinical development stages of the process. On January 30, Inovio announced that it was partnering with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Co. to further advance the development of INO-4800.

  2. Goal of Partnership: The goal is two-fold. Firstly, Beijing Advaccine will run a phase 1 clinical trial of INO-4800 in China at the same time as Inovio goes through the preclinical and clinical phases of the development of the vaccine in the U.S. Secondly, Beijing Advaccine will seek to attract additional funding to help the process along. Inovio recently announced it was beginning human clinical trials in the U.S. next month.
  3. Pipeline Product Portfolio: Beyond its attempt to find a vaccine for COVID-19, Inovio's pipeline includes potential treatments against such conditions as prostate cancer and head and neck cancer. The company's VGX-3100, a potential treatment for precancers and cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), is currently in phase 3 testing.


  1. Vir Biotechnology: On January 22, the company announced it was screening its library of antibodies, some of which had previously been successful at neutralizing other coronaviruses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) to identify potential antibodies that can be effective against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Then, on February 12, Vir Biotechnology announced it identified two antibodies with the potential to be effective against SARS-Cov-2. Vir is partnering with other biotech companies to develop a treatment for COVID-19. The company entered into an agreement with China-based WuXi Biologics in its fight against the disease.

  2. As per the agreement, WuXi Biologics will conduct cell-line development, process and formulation development, and initial manufacturing for clinical development.If the antibodies are approved, WuXi Biologics will have the right to market the treatment in China, whereas Vir will sell it in the rest of the world.
  3. Vir is also partnering with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals to develop RNA interference (RNAi) treatments for SARS-CoV-2. According to Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, RNAi treatments have the potential to "silence" the genes that cause any disease, even those that can't be targeted by conventional treatments. Under the terms of the agreement, Vir will lead the development and commercialization of this potential treatment, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals will have the option to share in the profits (or the losses) from this program.
  4. Other than the prospective products for COVID-19, Vir's product pipeline includes potential treatments or vaccines for HIV, tuberculosis, and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). Its most advanced product, which is currently in phase 2 testing, is VIR-2218, a potential treatment for HBV.


  1. Johnson & Johnson has expanded its alliance with BARDA, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to boost the vaccine development program. Janssen (unit of J&J) and BARDA will co-fund R&D on the vaccine. J&J has embarked on similar vaccine development programs in the recent past. An Ebola vaccine developed using AdVac and PER.C6 is being tested in Africa, and J&J has also applied the technologies to the creation of prophylactics against Zika, HIV and respiratory syncytial virus.


  1. Biogazelle NV, a Contract Research Organization (CRO) dedicated in genomics and transcriptomics, has declared the launch of HTPathwaySeq and HTTargetSeq, two novel, cost-effective, high-throughput RNA sequencing and data analysis services. HTPathwaySeq creates in-depth information on drug mode of action, highlights molecular similarities between compounds and reveals potential compound-induced toxicities. Altogether, HTPathwaySeq offer critical data for candidate prioritization for additional drug development.


  1. Avian Coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) vaccine: The MIGAL Research Institute in Israel announced that an Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) vaccine developed to treat avian coronavirus has been modified to treat Covid-19. The vaccine has demonstrated efficacy in pre-clinical trials conducted by the Volcani Institute. The IBV vaccine was developed after four years of research and has high genetic similarity to the human coronavirus. The institute has genetically modified the vaccine to treat Covid-19 and will be available in the oral form. The institute is currently exploring potential partners for producing the vaccine in the next eight to ten weeks and obtaining the necessary safety approvals for in-vivo testing.


  1. CEL-SCI is developing immunotherapy against Covid-19 using its proprietary LEAPS peptide technology, which utilises conserved areas of the coronavirus proteins to generate T-cell responses and reduce viral load. The technology can also be used to develop immunotherapeutic peptides with both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. The peptides developed using this technology can help in reducing tissue damage from inflammation caused due to lung infection, which is a major cause of mortality in elderly patients.


  1. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has announced plans to develop a plasma-derived therapy against coronavirus. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) therapy will be designed to treat high-risk patients. The H-IG therapy includes concentrated pathogen-specific antibodies derived from plasma of recovered patients. These antibodies have the potential to generate an immune response when injected into a new patient.


  1. Heat Biologics has announced plans to develop a vaccine to treat or prevent coronavirus infection using its proprietary gp96 vaccine platform. The technology is capable of reprogramming live cells to produce antigens that can bind to the gp96 protein and generate an immune response against those antigens.


  1. Pfizer announced that it has identified certain under development antiviral compounds that may be effective in treating coronavirus. The company is planning to partner with a third party to screen and identify potential compounds by the end of March and begin testing in April.


  1. Mateon Therapeutics has launched an antiviral response programme to develop coronavirus treatments using its therapeutic and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms. It has also established a division, which will adopt a multi-modal approach to developing Covid-19 treatments as well as other future zootonic outbreaks.


  1. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has identified several vaccine targets, which can be developed as a treatment for coronavirus. Researchers at the university have identified B-cell and T-cell epitopes, which are capable of generating an immune response against the SARS virus and a similar response against the coronavirus. Some of the epitopes identified may be capable of generating an immune response specifically against Covid-19.


  1. Generex has announced that it is developing a COVID-19 vaccine following a contract from a Chinese consortium comprising of China Technology Exchange, Beijing Zhonghua Investment Fund Management, Biology Institute of Shandong Academy of Sciences and Sinotek-Advocates International Industry Development. The company will utilise its Ii-Key immune system activation technology to produce a Covid-19 peptide for human clinical trials. Generex will receive an upfront payment of USD 1 million to commence the groundwork for the vaccine development and USD 5 million licensing fee for its Ii-Key technology. It is also eligible to receive a 20% royalty on every dose of vaccine produced under the contract.


  1. Zydus Cadila announced the launch of an accelerated research programme to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 using two novel approaches. The first approach includes the development of a DNA vaccine against the viral membrane protein of the virus, while a live attenuated recombinant measles virus (rMV) vectored vaccine will be developed in the second approach. The rMV-based vaccine works by inducing specific neutralising antibodies, which will provide protection from the coronavirus infection.


  1. Enanta Pharmaceuticals:The Massachusetts-based biotech, Liver specialist Enanta Pharmaceuticals is joining the coronavirus camp with other players. Company will soon launch a discovery program to seek out new drugs to treat COVID-19, and it will plumb its library of antiviral compounds for candidates that show promise against the disease. Enanta collaborated with AbbVie on two antivirals that eventually became part of the Big Pharma’s hepatitis C treatments Viekira Pak and its follow-up Mavyret.

  2. Enanta’s pipeline product portfolioincludes programs in multiple liver issues/diseases: hepatitis B, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and primary biliary cholangitis. Enanta is also working to treat the respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus. Like bundle of biotech giants, Enanta joins a group of biotech companies working on new treatments for COVID-19 including Vir Biotechnology, which identified two monoclonal antibodies that bind to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. The company is digging into the ability of those antibodies—or other antibodies—to ward off or treat COVID-19.


  1. NanoViricides: a clinical-stage company, is working on developing a treatment for nCoV-2019 using its nanoviricide® technology. The company’s technology is used to develop ligands that can bind to the virus in the same way as a cognate receptor and attack various points of the virus.


  1. ImmunoPrecise Antibodies: has launched a vaccine and therapeutic antibody programme to develop a vaccine as well as antibodies against Covid-19. The company will use its B Cell Select and DeepDisplay discovery platforms to therapeutic compounds against the coronavirus.


  1. Researchers at Columbia University have been awarded a USD 2.1 million grant by the Jack Ma Foundation to develop a coronavirus cure. Four different teams at the university will adopt various approaches towards the development of a vaccine against coronavirus.


  1. Tulane University has launched a research programme to identify a potential medicine for coronavirus in the form of a vaccine. The university will utilise a grant from the Brown Foundation to carry out the research activities.


  1. Serum Institute of India (SII) is collaborating with Codagenix, a US-based biopharmaceutical company, to develop a coronavirus cure using a vaccine strain similar to the original virus. The vaccine is currently in the pre-clinical testing phase, while human trials are expected to commence in the next six months. SII is expected to launch the vaccine in the market by early 2022.


  1. Southwest Research Institute is using its virtual screening called Rhodium to identify potential drug candidates for treating coronavirus from more than two million drug compounds. The most promising compounds will be identified for further development.

For the full set of information on COVID19 drugs developing companies, related partnerships and fundings, contact us here.

Novel Coronavirus Drugs/Vaccines in Various Stages Of Development, Globally

  1.  TNX-1800: Tonix Pharmaceuticals has partnered with Southern Research, a non-profit research organisation, to develop a coronavirus vaccine named TNX-1800.  The vaccine is a tailored horsepox virus developed using Tonix’s proprietary horsepox vaccine platform.


  1. Brilacidin: Innovation Pharmaceuticals announced that it is evaluating Brilacidin, a defensin mimetic drug candidate, as a potential treatment for coronavirus. Brilacidin has shown antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties in several clinical trials. The company is planning to explore research collaborations and seek federal grants to develop the coronavirus drug. It is already investigating the drug for inflammatory bowel disease and oral mucositis in cancer patients. Innovation has signed two material transfer agreements with a university in the US and biocontainment labs in the US for evaluation of Brilacidin as a treatment for Covid-19.


  1. VAAST: Vaxart is developing an oral recombinant vaccine in tablet formulation using its proprietary oral vaccine platform, VAAST.The company plans to develop vaccines based on the published genome of 2019-nCOV to be tested in pre-clinical models for mucosal and systemic immune responses.


  1. Leronlimab: CytoDyn is examining leronlimab (PRO 140), a CCR5 antagonist, as a potential coronavirus drug.The drug is already being investigated in phase two clinical trials as a treatment for HIV and has been awarded fast-track approval status by the United States Food and Drug Administration.


  1. Galidesivir: Biocryst Pharma, antiviral drug Galidesivir (BCX4430) has shown broad-spectrum activity against a wide range of pathogens including coronavirus. It is a nucleoside RNA polymerase inhibitor that disrupts the process of viral replication. The drug has already shown survival benefits in patients against deadly viruses such as Ebola, Zika, Marburg, and Yellow fever. It is currently in progressive development stage under the Animal Rule to combat multiple potential viral threats including coronaviruses, flaviviruses filoviruses, paramyxoviruses, togaviruses, bunyaviruses, and arenaviruses.


  1. Actemra: China approved the use of Roche’s Actemra for the treatment of severe complications related to coronavirus. Drugs like Actemra have the ability to prevent cytokine storms or overreaction of the immune system, which is considered as the main reason behind organ failure leading to death in some coronavirus patients. Actemra is also being evaluated in a clinical trial in China, which is expected to enroll 188 coronavirus patients. The clinical trial is expected to be conducted until May 10.


  1. Intranasal Coronavirus Vaccine: Altimmune’s intranasal coronavirus vaccine is being developed based on a vaccine technology platform that is similar to NasoVAX, an influenza vaccine.


  1. INO-4800: Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology has collaborated to advance the development of the former’s vaccine, INO-4800, as a novel coronavirus vaccine. The company has started pre-clinical testing for clinical product manufacturing. The vaccine development is supported by a USD 9 million grant from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).


  1. NP-120 (Ifenprodil): Ifenprodil is an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NDMA) receptor glutamate receptor antagonist sold under the brand name Cerocal and Algernon Pharmaceuticals is exploring its NP-120 (Ifenprodil) as a potential treatment for Covid-19.


  1. APN01: It is a drug candidate developed by APEIRON Biologics and being tested in China in a phase one pilot trial. APN01 is based on research conducted by a professor at the University of British Columbia for treating SARS.  According to research, ACE2 protein was the main receptor for the SARS virus.


  1. mRNA-1273 Vaccine:  Moderna and the Vaccine Research Center (a unit of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)) collaborated to develop a vaccine for coronavirus that targets the Spike (S) protein of the coronavirus. The first vials of the vaccine have been manufactured at Moderna’s Massachusetts manufacturing plant and shipped to NIAID for phase one clinical trial, which is scheduled to start in April.


  1. Avian Coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) Vaccine: The MIGAL Research Institute in Israel announced that an Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) vaccine developed to treat avian coronavirus has been modified to treat Covid-19. The vaccine has demonstrated efficacy in pre-clinical trials conducted by the Volcani Institute. The IBV vaccine was developed after four years of research and has high genetic similarity to the human coronavirus. The institute has genetically modified the vaccine to treat Covid-19 and will be available in the oral form. The institute is currently exploring potential partners for producing the vaccine in the next eight to ten weeks and obtaining the necessary safety approvals for in-vivo testing.


  1. Recombinant subunit vaccine: Clover Biopharmaceuticals is developing a recombinant subunit vaccine using its patented Trimer-Tag© technology. The company is developing the vaccine based on the trimeric S protein (S-Trimer) of the Covid-19 coronavirus, which is responsible for binding with the host cell and causing a viral infection. Clover is also partnering with GSK to develop a vaccine using the latter’s pandemic adjuvant system.


  1. Linear DNA Vaccine: Applied DNA Sciences’ subsidiary LineaRx and Takis Biotech formed a joint venture on 07 February to develop a linear DNA vaccine as a treatment for coronavirus. The JV will use Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing technology to develop the vaccine. The PCR technology offers several advantages including high purity, increased production speed, and absence of antibiotics and bacterial contaminants. Further, the vaccine gene developed through this technology can be effective without being inserted into the patient’s genome. The design for four DNA vaccine candidates is expected to be produced using the PCR technology for carrying out animal testing. The design of one of the vaccine candidates is based on the entire spike gene of the coronavirus, while the remaining are designed based on the antigenic portions of the protein.


Repurposing Older Drugs To Fight Against Covid-19

  • Major players, like Sanofi and Regeneron, are remodelling/repurposing the older drugs, while others pharma giants are into developing brand-new treatments.

  • AbbVie is working with health authorities to test its HIV medicine Kaletra/Aluvia in patients who have contracted the coronavirus

  • While Sanofi and Regeneron are preparing to pit rheumatoid arthritis med Kevzara against COVID-19.

  • Gilead’s remdesivir, which fell short against Ebola, is showing promise against the coronavirus, with a Chinese firm mass-producing copies of the antiviral.

An HIV protease inhibitor, lopinavir is being studied along with ritonavir for the treatment of MERS and SARS coronaviruses. The remodelled drug is already accepted for the treatment of HIV under the trade name Kaletra. The combination is listed in the WHO list of essential medicines. Lopinavir is believed to act on the intracellular processes of coronavirus replication and demonstrated reduced mortality in the non-human primates (NHP) model of the MERS. Lopinavir/ritonavir in combination with ribavirin showed reduced fatality rate and milder disease course during an open clinical trial in patients in the 2003 SARS outbreak. Cipla is also allegedly planning to remodel its human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drug LOPIMUNE, which is a combination of protease inhibitors Lopinavir and Ritonavir, for the treatment of coronavirus. A licensed generic of Kaletra, LOPIMUNE is currently available in packs of 60 tablets each, containing 200mg of Lopinavir and 50mg of Ritonavir. Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, donated its PREZCOBIX® HIV medication (darunavir/cobicistat) for use in research activities aimed at finding a treatment for Covid-19. Darunavir is a protease inhibitor marketed by Janssen. Anecdotal reports suggest darunavir as potentially having antiviral activity against Covid-19. It is, however, currently approved only for use with a boosting agent, and in combination with other antiretrovirals, for the treatment of HIV-1. Janssen has no in vitro or clinical data to support the use of darunavir as a treatment for Covid-19, as the drug is in the process of being assessed in vitro for any promising bustle against the coronavirus. Further, Janssen has partnered with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to expedite the development of a Covid-19 treatment.


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Legacy of Drugmakers & Startups To Terminate Covid-19 (Focus On Companies Developing Coronavirus Vaccine/Drugs And Their Development Stages, Worldwide) : Detailed Market Research Study

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