16 April 2020

Japan’s Fujifilm has expanded manufacturing capacity to boost production of its influenza drug Avigan that is being assessed to potentially treat Covid-19. Fujifilm estimates to increase the production up to 100,000 treatment courses by July 2020 and then to 300,000 treatment courses by September.

Roivant Sciences has dosed the first participant in the BREATHE clinical trial of monoclonal antibody gimsilumab to treat Covid-19 patients with lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Dosing occurred at Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, but the trial will also be conducted at other sites.

Gilead Sciences has suspended a clinical trial assessing remdesivir for Covid-19 treatment in China due to lack of eligible patients. In the US government-run ClinicalTrials.gov website, the company updated the trial’s status as ‘Suspended (the epidemic of COVID-19 has been controlled well at present, no eligible patients can be recruitted.)’

Vanda Pharmaceuticals has partnered with Northwell Health to conduct a Phase III clinical trial of NK-1R antagonist tradipitant to treat severe Covid-19 pneumonia. Tradipitant is also currently in clinical development for gastroparesis, motion sickness and atopic dermatitis.

A vaccine candidate developed in China to protect from Covid-19 infection has entered Phase II clinical trial, reported Xinhua news agency citing a Ministry of Science and Technology official. The vaccine candidate, which has been created by a research firm affiliated to the Institute of Military Medicine under the Academy of Military Sciences, is said to have completed Phase I last month.