Farasat Bokhari via The Conversation | The Biden administration has now agreed to back a proposal to suspend intellectual property protection for COVID vaccines. This is a break from US government’s long-held position on strong intellectual property protection, which has also been supported by many research-intensive countries in western Europe as well and the pharmaceutical industry.
“The slow vaccination process and the fear of a lagged recovery will continue to cause a reduction in risk assets,” say analysts at Link Securities, although it is true that “sooner or later, vaccination will take effect and one must be positioned for the day after,” say the experts at Intermoney. Between both feelings, the Covid-19 vaccination campaign is one month since it started in the EU. Figures are still far from the rates needed to achieve the immunization objectives. Spain would have to multiply by 5.6x the current rate of daily doses administered.
The surprising speed with which two small biotech firms have developed vaccines for Covid-19 puts pressure on regulators to make sure they are safe and on large pharmaceutical companies to produce them at scale and “acceptable” profit margins. “Who would want to be in the shoes of the Federal Drug Administration or the European Medicines Authority today given that the health and economic wellbeing of the planet is riding on whether it is safe to approve the BioNTech and Moderna vaccines,” says Olaf Tölke, head of corporates ratings at Scope.
US biotech firm Moderna and Spanish laboratory Rovi announced a collaboration agreement to carry out the filling and finishing of a candidate vaccine for Covid-19 (mRNA-1273) outside the US. ROVI will carry out the phases of vial filling and completion. Thus it will acquire a new production line and the necessary equipment for formulation, filling, inspection and labelling, as well as the additional personnel required.The new line would be owned by Rovi, but Moderna will make the investment.
There has been a setback in the progress of a treatment to cure Covid-19. It was learned that remdesivir (Gilead’s antiviral) had not shown sufficient clinical improvement in the first clinical trial and even had important side effects. According to the company, these conclusions are associated with the trial that had to be stopped in China due to a lack of patients.