To view this newsletter in your browser click here: ExampleEMarketingEmailWebpageLink  

Newsletter Header April 28, 2020


The Bilateral Chamber will continue to provide our members and stakeholders with relevant, timely information to help you navigate through these unprecedented times. During this time of global crisis and the war on the COVID-19 pandemic, global healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology heroes are working tirelessly to successfully develop therapeutic drugs and a viable vaccine to treat the devastating effects of the COVID-19 disease.

These healthcare professionals and their predecessors have saved our global society from further loss of life during many pandemics of the past. Just in the last century, healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology heroes have battled the Spanish Flu (1918-1920), the H2N2 Flu (1957-1958), H3N2 Flu (1968-1970), SARS (2002-2003), H1N1 Swine Flu (2009-2010), MERS (2012 - present), West African Ebola (2014-2016) and now COVID-19, not to mention the number of lives they saved by developing vaccines for Smallpox, Polio and other diseases.

As social distancing and government-mandated stay at home orders are beginning to have success in “flattening the curve” of the spread of COVID-19, global healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology heroes are, once again, working vigorously to save our global society from this new unseen enemy. This newsletter will focus on these extraordinary doctors, researchers, scientists, and their support staff and their incredible race against time to develop a viable COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have any questions or would like to share helpful resources, please feel free to contact us at

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

April 28, 2020 live coronavirus map
Taken as of April 28th, 2020 @10:30 AM CST.

To view the live update of the COVID-19 Global Cases, Click here.


India Today: Coronavirus vaccines Enter Human Trials: An Overview of Where We Stand
Earth with mask According to the World Health Organisation's global database of research into the novel coronavirus, there are currently seven vaccine candidates being tried on humans. This report looks at those prospects (with a special mention for efforts being made in India) and gives a brief overview of the race to develop a novel coronavirus vaccine.

University of Minnesota: WHO, Partners Unveil Massive COVID-19 Vaccine, Treatment Effort
needle and medicine The World Health Organization (WHO)—backed by several world leaders and global health groups—today launched an initiative to fast-track the development and scale-up of COVID-19 vaccines and drugs and make them available to nations who need them the most.

Reuters: World leaders launch plan to speed COVID-19 drugs, vaccine
World leaders pledged on Friday to accelerate work on tests, drugs and vaccines against COVID-19 and to share them around the globe, but the United States did not take part in the launch of the World Health Organization (WHO) initiative.


Politico: The Drugs and Treatments That Could Stop Covid-19
With coronavirus infections and deaths mounting in the United States, the race to find treatments and vaccines is accelerating. There are now 72 registered clinical trials ongoing in the U.S. and abroad, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Here’s a rundown of how this process is taking shape, and the key results expected in the coming months.

PhRMA: Member Company Efforts to Combat Coronavirus Outbreak
PhRMA, an organization that represents the U.S.’s leading biopharmaceutical research companies, outlines their member companies’ efforts to detect, prevent and treat the Coronavirus outbreak.

Baylor, Texas Children’s Hospital Speed Up COVID-19 Vaccine Development by Building on SARS Effort
The National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital are developing a vaccine for the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic by building on work that was already underway on another type of coronavirus, the research hospital announced April 9.

Texas Medical Center: New Hope For an Old Drug to Treat COVID-19
A drug scientists once believed could be a magic bullet against the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak is making a comeback. According to results published in the New England Journal of Medicine, two-thirds of COVID-19 patients improved after taking Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir drug.

Business Wire: Entos Pharmaceuticals Is Developing a DNA Vaccine Against COVID-19 Using Its Fusogenix Nanomedicine Platform
Entos Pharmaceuticals (Entos), a healthcare biotechnology company that develops next generation nucleic acid medicines using the Fusogenix drug delivery platform, announced their development of a Fusogenix DNA vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infections. Unlike traditional vaccines, a DNA-based vaccine involves the direct introduction of a plasmid encoding the antigen(s) against which an immune response is sought and relies on the production of the target antigen in the patient’s own cells.

Business Alabama: UAB, Altimmune Inc. Testing COVID-19 Vaccine
lab examination
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is partnering with biopharmaceutical company Altimmune Inc. for preclinical testing of a potential vaccine to prevent COVID-19 disease. The testing at UAB will investigate immune responses to the vaccine in mice, a key step before the Maryland-based
Altimmune can launch a phase 1 human safety and immunogenicity trial in patients later this year. The vaccine, created by Altimmune and called AdCOVID, is a single-dose vaccine candidate that can be delivered by intranasal spray.

BioSpace: Medicago Develops Plant-Based Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate
Canada’s Medicago announced it has successfully produced a Virus-Like Particle (VLP) of the coronavirus just 20 days after obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 gene. The company is now focused on developing a vaccine for COVID-19, the virus caused by SARS-CoV-2.

Pharmaceutical Technology: Covid-19: OyaGen Assesses Candidate; Airway Files for Testing
US-based biotechnology firm OyaGen has announced positive findings from collaborative research of a drug candidate, OYA1, for Covid-19 treatment. The research was conducted in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Integrated Research Facility.

Biopharmaceutical company Airway Therapeutics filed with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to assess AT-100 (rhSP-D) for Covid-19 treatment. AT-100 is an engineered version of an endogenous protein.

Xconomy National: Inovio Begins Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Tests in Healthy Volunteers
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, one of the biotechs developing a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, has received the FDA’s OK to start testing its candidate in healthy volunteers.

European Pharmaceutical Review: BARDA to Give Moderna up to $483 million for COVID-19 Vaccine Development
examining vaccine
Biotech company, Moderna Inc., has announced that the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has agreed to donate up to $483 million to the company to accelerate the development of its mRNA vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, is an mRNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 encoding for a prefusion stabilised form of the Spike (S) protein.

Newswise: Southern Research, Tonix Team to Develop Potential Vaccine Against New Coronavirus
Southern Research announced today that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with New York-based Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, to support the development of a vaccine, TNX-1800, against the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, based on Tonix’s proprietary horsepox vaccine platform.

GlobeNewswire: Vaxart Announces Positive Pre-Clinical Data for its Oral COVID-19 Vaccine Program
Vaxart, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing oral recombinant vaccines that are administered by tablet rather than by injection, announced that it has obtained positive pre-clinical results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidates, with several of the vaccine candidates generating immune responses in all tested animals after a single dose.


Pharmaceutical Technology: Israeli Researchers Near Covid-19 Vaccine Development
Needle injection
Scientists at MIGAL Research Institute in Israel expect to start producing a Covid-19 vaccine based on their avian coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) vaccine. The team developed the IBV vaccine after four years of research, funded by the country’s Ministry of Science & Technology and conducted in alliance with the Ministry of Agriculture.
The researchers discovered a potential Covid-19 vaccine candidate as a by-product of the IBV vaccine. They made genetic alterations to adapt the IBV vaccine to the human strain of the novel coronavirus.

AL - Monitor: Egypt Joins Worldwide Race for Coronavirus Cure
Egypt, the first country to develop a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 will win international recognition and likely profit financially as the novel coronavirus has been causing massive human casualties and economic losses since December 2019. Egypt appears to have joined the race for a cure, with Cairo University claiming April 6 to have developed a treatment protocol for the coronavirus that is now awaiting approval from the Ministry of Health and Population.

HPN: Oxford University’s COVID-19 Vaccine Proceeds to Clinical Safety Testing
The vaccine platform in question has previously produced vaccine candidates for use against pathogens like influenza, Chikungunya, and Zika. A version made for MERs is currently undergoing a second clinical study in Saudi Arabia.

Gulf Times: Qatar Affirms Support for Vaccine Trials for Covid-19
A senior official of the Qatar Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has affirmed Qatar’s willingness to participate in the international efforts for the vaccine development against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). “Qatar will be happy to participate in any international clinical trials for the vaccine development for Covid-19. What is needed is global collaboration and we need to unite on an international level to fight Covid-19 as well as such other diseases that might emerge in the future,” said Dr Salih Ali al-Marri, Assistant Minister of Health Affairs, MoPH.


University of Oxford: Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Programme Opens for Clinical Trial Recruitment
Testube test
University of Oxford (England) researchers working in an unprecedented vaccine development effort to prevent COVID-19 have started screening healthy volunteers (aged 18-55) for their upcoming ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine trial in the Thames Valley Region.

Roivant Sciences: Roivant Doses First Patient in Pivotal BREATHE Clinical Trial Evaluating Gimsilumab in COVID-19 Patients for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Roivant Sciences (Basel, Switzerland) announced that the first patient was dosed at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia in an adaptive, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center pivotal trial evaluating the impact of intravenous (IV) treatment with gimsilumab on mortality in COVID-19 patients with lung injury or ARDS. Dosing will commence at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and other trial sites imminently.

Pharma Phorum: Apeiron Starts Mid-stage Trial of Drug that Blocks Coronavirus
Apeiron Biologics has been cleared to start a European phase 2 trial of a drug that it says could stop COVID-19 entering cells, blocking the infection. The drug – called APN01 – is already in an investigator-led clinical trial in China in 24 patients with severe coronavirus infections that started in February. Now, Austria-based Apeiron has been given a green light to run its own trials in Austria, Germany and Denmark, with the Austrian government providing “significant” funding, according to the company.

Business Wire: AJ Vaccines To Develop Vaccine for COVID-19
Developing a vaccine
Danish vaccine manufacturer AJ Vaccines has initiated the development of a new vaccine, effective for protection against coronavirus COVID-19. The vaccine candidate will use technology to raise strong immune responses while being well tolerated and to meet potential global demand in 2021.

DW: Germany to Start First Coronavirus Vaccine Trial
German Health Minister Jens Spahn has announced the first clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine. The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), the regulatory authority which helps develop and authorizes vaccines in Germany, has given the go-ahead for the first clinical trial of BNT162b1, a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Nature: African Nations Missing from Coronavirus Trials
The World Health Organization says it wants many more African nations to participate in its SOLIDARITY trial, a global study of four potential COVID-19 treatments. The call comes as a new international consortium of researchers urges faster action on clinical research in countries with weak health systems — and offers to help coordinate the process so that researchers from Africa can more easily join.

Science Magazine: South Africa Hopes its Battle with HIV and TB Helped Prepare it for COVID-19
helping the community The Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa, which normally focuses on HIV and TB, has redeployed its entire infrastructure and staff to fight the pandemic. It has made its mobile clinics, community workers, and labs available for
coronavirus testing, and its researchers will help run a trial to see whether chloroquine can protect health care workers.

IOL: Cape Town Trial Begins Next Week - Can BCG Shot Prevent Covid-19 infection?
A “suit of armour” against Covid-19 is the aim of a groundbreaking South African clinical trial that will vaccinate its first participant at Tygerberg Hospital early next week.
If successful the experiment, using a cheap 100-year-old TB vaccine, will transform a small band of unknown Cape Town researchers into superheroes.


BBC News: Coronavirus: How India Will Play a Major Role in a Covid-19 Vaccine
examine lab US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last fortnight that India and the US were working together to develop vaccines against the coronavirus. They have worked on stopping dengue, enteric diseases, influenza and TB in their tracks.
Trials of a dengue vaccine are planned in the near future. India is among the largest manufacturers of generic drugs and vaccines in the world. It is home to half a dozen major vaccine makers and a host of smaller ones, making doses against polio, meningitis, pneumonia, rotavirus, BCG, measles, mumps and rubella, among other diseases.

The Print: Made-in-India Covid-19 Vaccine Could Be Ready in a Year
There will be a “Made-in-India” coronavirus vaccine within the year, Biocon co-founder and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has said. She believes plasma therapy is a sureshot mechanism to help treat Covid-19, as it was even used during the Spanish Flu in 1918.

The Nation: China to Conduct Clinical Trials of COVID-19 Vaccines in Pakistan
The China National Institute of Health (NIH) in collaboration with China has decided to conduct clinical trials of inactivated novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines in Pakistan.

IPS: BCG Vaccine Fighting Coronavirus in South Asia
Numerous studies in many parts of the world have linked the BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) vaccination, widely used in the developing world with fewer Coronavirus cases. This is good news for countries that have universal BCG vaccination in tropical Asia and Africa. In South Asia, the vaccine has been universally used for decades. India and Pakistan started using BCG in 1948 and in Sri Lanka, BCG vaccination became mandatory in 1949, according to the Ministry of Health epidemiology unit.


Business Wire: Dynavax and Clover Biopharmaceuticals Announce Research Collaboration to Evaluate Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine Candidate with CpG 1018 Adjuvant
Dynavax Technologies Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel vaccines, and Clover Biopharmaceuticals, a China-based global clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel and transformative biologic therapies, today announced that they have entered into a research collaboration to develop a vaccine candidate to prevent COVID-19. Clover is advancing evaluation of its protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate (COVID-19 S-Trimer) in preclinical studies.

Takeda: Takeda Initiates Development of a Plasma-Derived Therapy for COVID-19
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) will share with members of the United States Congress that it is initiating the development of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal hyperimmune globulin (H-IG) to treat high-risk individuals with COVID-19, while also studying whether Takeda’s currently marketed and pipeline products may be effective treatments for infected patients.

Kyodo News: Japan to Approve Remdesivir for Coronavirus Patients in May​
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that Japan will soon approve the anti-viral drug remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus patients, in what will be the country's first such decision amid the pandemic.

The Star: Vietnam to Study Effectiveness of Tuberculosis Vaccine in Fighting Covid-19
test tubes
Up to 800 Vietnamese frontline healthcare workers have agreed to take part in a clinical trial designed to test the effectiveness of a tuberculosis vaccine against Covid-19. The participants will be given at random a dose of Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine – developed a hundred years ago to combat
tuberculosis – to confirm reports suggesting the vaccine might provide protection against the worst effects of the novel strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), as the entire world is desperate for treatment method against the unprecedented pandemic.

The Jakarta Post: Indonesia’s Bio Farma to Start Pre-clinical Trial for COVID-19 Vaccine in 2021
nurse testing vaccine
State-owned pharmaceutical holding company Indonesia’s PT Bio Farma is hoping to start a pre-clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine by 2021.

BioSpace: Arcturus Reports Positive Preclinical Data for its COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate
Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc., a leading clinical-stage messenger RNA medicines company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics for rare diseases and vaccines, today announced positive immunogenicity data from its preclinical study for the Company’s COVID-19 Vaccine. These data for LUNAR-COV19 were measured by Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore.

Bangkok Post: Human Trials of Vaccine in Thailand in 4 Months
Human trials of a Covid-19 vaccine in Thailand are expected to begin within the next four months, according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC). The announcement follows an initial agreement by the Ministry of Public Health to cooperate with Chinese pharmaceutical companies in the development of a vaccine.

CNN Philippines: Philippines' Duterte Increases Reward Money for COVID-19 Vaccine Development
The reward for Filipino scientists who could develop the vaccine against coronavirus disease has been increased fivefold. In March, the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology said it was eyeing to launch a trial which aims to find a COVID-19 vaccine or drug in the country.

Philippine News Agency: PH Keen to Join Russia-led Clinical Trials for Covid-19 Vaccine
The Philippines is interested in participating in Russia-led clinical trials for a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine, Russian Ambassador to Manila Igor Khovaev said.

Business PH Biotech Group to Launch COVID19 Treatment by Q3 2020
IG Biotech Group, a coalition of biotech and pharmaceutical experts, aims to bring to the Philippines an antibody-based prevention and treatment for COVID-19 by the third quarter of 2020.

Malay Mail: Three Ministries in Collaboration Towards Acquiring Covid-19 Vaccine
Three ministries, namely the Malaysian Foreign Ministry, Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (Mosti) as well as Health Ministry (MOH) would be collaborating to ensure Malaysia take proactive measures to acquire the vaccine for Covid-19.

Anadolu Agency: Australian Lab to Hold Anti-COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
A research lab in Australia has announced clinical trials for a possible vaccine against COVID-19. This initial CEPI investment will support Clover Australia in its efforts to initiate a phase 1 clinical trial in Australia of its COVID-19 S-Trimer vaccine candidate. This innovative vaccine candidate is based on Clover Biopharmaceutical’s proprietary Trimer-Tag© vaccine technology platform, which is a novel way to produce the spike proteins of the COVID-19 virus in a native trimeric form for use in a vaccine.

Yahoo Finance: CEPI Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Development Partnership With Clover Biopharmaceuticals’ Australian Subsidiary
CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, today announced a ninth worldwide collaboration to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

South China Morning Post: China Could Have Covid-19 Vaccine ‘Ready for Public Use Early Next Year’
China may have a vaccine against the deadly Covid-19 for emergency use by September and for the general public early next year, a top Chinese public health expert has said. Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told China Global Television Network, that vaccines
currently at phase two or three of clinical trials could be available by the time of a potential second wave of outbreaks.

San Diego Union-Tribune: Inovio Pharmaceuticals Gets Funding for Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine in South Korea
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, which developed a vaccine candidate to fight COVID-19 at its San Diego lab, has received $6.9 million in funding to launch a clinical trial in South Korea. The Korean study will be the second trial for Inovio’s proposed DNA-based vaccine for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.


The Yucatan Times: Mexico is Already Testing Its Own Covid-19 Vaccine
Lab in Mexico
In the field of prevention, the work of Mexican molecular medicine researcher Laura Palomares stands out. And today, her team is developing a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, based on the work they have been doing in recent years against dengue and zika.

Buenos Aires Times: Scientists in Argentina Decipher complete Genome of SARS-Cov-2
Testing in South America Scientists and technicians at the Argentina National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes (ANLIS), Doctor Carlos G. Malbrán (more commonly known as the ANLIS-Malbrán Institute) have managed to successfully sequence the complete genome of SARS COV-2, the virus that causes the Covid-19 coronavirus disease.

2018 May Newsletter footer -03

To make sure you receive future emails,
please add to your address book or safe list.

If you no longer want to receive emails from the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce,
please Opt-Out.