Press review

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French biotech OSE Immunotherapeutics to begin Phase I/II Covid-19 vaccine trial by early 2021

Country : Brazil, Europe, India, Mexico, South America, U.S.

Keywords :
PARIS, 21 Aug (APM) - French biotech OSE Immunotherapeutics plans to start Phase I and II clinical trials on its Covid-19 candidate from the end of 2020 or early 2021, Les Echos reported on Tuesday (p13).
The company announced positive preclinical results for CoVepiT using the same technology developed by OSE in oncology, for lung cancer.
CoVepiT is intended to work by arming memory T lymphocytes against cells infected by Covid-19.
The French biotech hopes to attract public funds or partnerships with big pharmaceutical companies.

Sanofi acquires U.S. biotech Principia Biopharma

Sanofi announced the acquisition of U.S. biotech Principia Biopharma, for $3.68 billion (€3.10 billion) (APMHE 68559), boosting its capabilities in the field of multiple sclerosis, Les Echos (p13) and Le Figaro (p19) reported on Tuesday.
The French pharma giant has partnered with Principia since 2017 on the development and commercialisation of the BTK '168 inhibitor, a small molecule capable of blocking inflammation in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Sanofi intends to develop BTK '168 as the first oral treatment against multiple sclerosis.
The deal should be finalised in the fourth quarter of 2020.

J&J to acquire Momenta for $6.5 billion

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will buy U.S. biotech Momenta Pharmaceuticals, specialised in autoimmune diseases, for $6.5 billion (€5.4 billions) (APMHE 68591), les Echos (p11) and Le Figaro (p21) reported on Thursday.
J&J will purchase all shares at a price of $52.50 per unit.
It is the biggest buyout of the year in the health sector.

Roche and Regeneron team-up against Covid-19

Roche and Regeneron announced that they will join forces in the fight against Covid-19 (APMHE 68587), reported Les Echos (p14) on Thursday.
They intend to "develop, manufacture and distribute Regn-Cov2", a combination of two experimental antiviral antibodies developed by Regeneron.
The antibody is being studied in two Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of Covid-19, and a Phase III trial for prevention.
The rest of these clinical trials should be funded and carried out by the two companies.
Regeneron will be in charge of the distribution and sales of Regn-Cov2 in the U.S.. Roche will take care of distribution to the rest of the world.

$9.4 billion raised by biotechs since January

Biotech company initial public offerings (IPOs) have raised a record amount of $9.4 billion on the U.S. stock market since the beginning of the year, said Les Echos on Monday (p21).
According to Dealogic, it is beats 2018 when $6.5 billion was raised - up until now the the best year. The 2020 total thus far is three times more than the annual average of the last ten years.
The same trend is observed with capital increases, with listed biotechs raising more than a record $32 billion this year.
This enthusiasm is partly due to the Covid-19 vaccine race.

Three Covid-19 vaccines under testing in India

Three Covid-19 vaccines are being tested in India by Zydus Cadila, Bharat Biotech International and Serum Institute of India, Les Echos (p5) et l’Humanité (p3) reported on Tuesday.
Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, began the production of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford even before the end of clinical trials.

Mexico and Argentina intend to provide vaccines to South America

Mexico and Argentina are teaming up with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to provide the necessary production for South America, L'Humanité reported on Tuesday (p2-3).
Brazil has entered into a separate agreement with producers for its own needs.
According to the newspaper, Europe should draw inspiration from this joint initiative.
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