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National University of Singapore and Monash University to Co-develop COVID-19 vaccine.

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Monash University in Australia are developing a COVID-19 vaccine that could be expected for clinical trials by the end of 2021. 

The vaccine candidate, Clec9A-RBD was modified from a cancer drug and has undergone animal studies. Researchers are now hoping to conduct clinical trials in both Singapore and Australia.

Known as a fusion protein vaccine, it is made by combining an antibody that targets parts of the immune system with an antigen, which induces an immune response to protect against a chosen pathogen.

The researchers are currently seeking approval and funding to further their research, and intend to approach the health authorities in both countries in the coming months.

(Source: The Straits Times, 2020)

The European Medicines Agency are reported to have been in contact with over 30 COVID-19 vaccine developers.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been reported in contact with 38 vaccine developers for potential COVID-19 treatment.

The World Health Organisation have listed 38 candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation, including shots developed in China and Russia. Another 149 candidates are in pre-clinical evaluation.

Vaccines are required to be authorised by EMA before they can be used in the European Union to ensure that it follows established standards. Currently, there is no COVID-19 vaccine has been authorised in Europe.

(Source: Channel News Asia, 2020)

Bharat Biotech Seals COVID-19 Licensing Deal With Washington University School of Medicine.

Bharat Biotech has recently sealed a licensing deal with Washington University School of Medicine for a single dose intranasal vaccine for COVID-19.

Bharat Biotech owns the right of distribution in all markets except for the United States, Japan, and Europe.

The phase-I trials, which will check the safety profile of the vaccine candidate in humans, will take place in the university’s vaccine and treatment evaluation unit in the United States.

Upon obtaining the required regulatory approval, Bharat Biotech will pursue further stages of clinical trials in the country and undertake large scale manufacture of the vaccine at its GMP facility located in Hyderabad.

According to the Bharat Biotech, this intranasal vaccine candidate has shown unprecedented levels of protection in animal models.

The latest deal expands Bharat Biotech’s portfolio of vaccines that are being developed and are in various stages of clinical development.

(Source: The Hindustan Times, 2020)