Press review

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Spain's Rovi to participate in manufacture of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine

MADRID, 10 July (APM) - Madrid-based Rovi has announced collaboration outside the U.S. in the fill-finish manufacturing of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine candidate, it is widely reported on Friday.
Daily newspaper ABC quotes a company statement as saying that under the agreement, the company will provide vial filling and packaging capacity by procuring a new production line and equipment for compounding, filling, automatic visual inspection and labelling to support the production of "hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine candidate intended in principle to supply markets outside of the U.S. starting in early 2021".
Rovi will also hire additional staff required to support manufacturing operations and production, ABC reports.
As soon as the news was disclosed, the firm's shares went up from "minor losses" to a 7% rise, financial newspapers Expansión and Cinco Días report.
The company's Phase II study of the vaccine candidate, known as mRNA-1273, completed enrolment on 8 July. The Phase III study is expected to begin this month with approximately 30,000 volunteers, Expansión notes.
Medical journal Acta Sanitaria quotes a Thursday statement from Spanish regulator AEMPS as saying that the health ministry and the regulator itself have been involved in talks with a number of manufacturers in an attempt to include the country in specific production processes of Covid-19 vaccine candidates. There are no vaccine manufacturing plants in Spain. (APMHE 67946)
AEMPS said that packaging of vaccines is a crucial production step and that Spain has a "great capacity" to carry out this activity, with various specialised plants, the journal adds.
Daily newspapers La Razón, El País, El Español, La Vanguardia, financial newspapers El Economista, Cinco Días, Europa Press agency, medical journals Diario Médico, Redacción Médica and Gaceta Médica also carry the story.
In a previous story, published on Saturday, Expansión quoted a Spanish researcher as saying that it is unlikely that the first Covid-19 vaccine will "defeat" the virus, because "rush and science do not mix well".

Cardiologists demand easier access to direct oral anticoagulants after pandemic

Spanish Cardiology Society (SEC) president Ángel Cequier has said easier access to direct oral anticoagulants, also known as DOACs or NOACs, should be maintained once the Covid-19 pandemic passes, medical journal Gaceta Médica reported on Thursday.
The society has previously thanked autonomous regions where restrictions on the use of these medicines were suspended to facilitate treatment without physical contact between doctors and patients, the journal noted. (APMHE 66768)
The recently announced national plan for the promotion of cardiovascular health does not specify whether the restrictions will be maintained, but Cequier told the journal that the most reasonable move would be to keep allowing patients who need these drugs to access their treatments without restrictions.
Cequier said a number of regional healthcare authorities have consulted SEC on the matter. Its position is that, as safety measures still need to be enforced, including virtual consults with cardiologists, they have asked the ministry to keep allowing easier access to NOACs, the journal added.

Novartis says it contributed €4.6 billion to Spain's economy

Novartis has published a study which says its contribution to the Spanish economy in 2019 was €4.6 billion, daily newspaper La Razón, financial newspaper Expansión and medical journal Acta Sanitaria reported on Thursday.
According to the firm, its direct contribution to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) was €1.1 billion. To this sum, employment and salaries, benefits from a total of 77 innovative medicines and health benefits for patients were added, resulting in the total estimated contribution. Exports and environmental impact of the company's activities in the country were deducted, Expansión reported.
In a streamed presentation, Novartis executives said the company invested €98.5 million in R&D projects in Spain, the financial added.

German government invests in Covid-19 vaccine developer

Germany has acquired a 23% stake in CureVac, a local biotech which is developing a Covid-19 vaccine in a €300 million operation, daily newspaper ABC reported on Saturday. (APMHE 67759)
The operation will be performed through public investment bank KfW, the newspaper said.

Pharma alliance to tackle antimicrobial resistance

More than 20 pharma companies represented by pharma trade body IFPMA have announced the launch of a fund to encourage development of innovative antibiotics, medical journal Redacción Médica reported on Thursday (APMHE 68110)
The AMR Action Fund has already raised $1 billion, the newspaper reported.

Gilead to start trial of inhaled remdesivir

Gilead Sciences has announced it will start a trial to assess the safety and efficacy of an inhaled version of remdesivir, medical journal Redacción Médica reported on Thursday. (APMHE 67863)
The plan is to make the drug available in outpatient settings. It is currently approved by the U.S. FDA and the EU in its intravenous formulation for hospitalised patients, the journal noted.
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