Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. We start this week with AstraZeneca, which revealed it aims to have a COVID-19-neutralizing antibody in the clinic in the next three to five months. AstraZeneca's compatriot GlaxoSmithKline also shared an update on its COVID-19 activities. GSK added Xiamen Innovax Biotech to the list of organizations it is working with on a COVID-19 vaccine. While those are just two of the many initiatives targeting COVID-19, Wellcome is worried about a funding shortfall. Wellcome wants businesses to commit $8 billion this month to keep programs moving forward quickly. Researchers working outside of COVID-19 are faring worse still, with Cancer Research UK responding to the pandemic with deep cuts. Away from COVID-19, Evotec entered the gene therapy space through a deal with Takeda. And more. — Nick Taylor
1. AstraZeneca targets summer start for COVID-19 antibody trial
AstraZeneca has outlined its multipronged approach to the development of antibodies against the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus. The Big Pharma is applying its own discovery capabilities to the task and helping to evaluate candidates identified by academic partners in China and the U.S.
2. GSK allies with Innovax for COVID-19 vaccine R&D project
GlaxoSmithKline has teamed up with Xiamen Innovax Biotech to evaluate a vaccine against the novel coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement gives Innovax access to a GSK adjuvant to enhance the immune response triggered by its recombinant protein-based vaccine.
3. Wellcome targets $8B raise in weeks to fix COVID-19 funding gap
Wellcome is calling on businesses to invest in an $8 billion (€7 billion) fund focused on reducing cases of COVID-19 to zero as soon as possible. Almost half the money is earmarked for the development of drugs and vaccines that Wellcome sees as the “world’s best exit strategy” from the pandemic.
4. COVID-19 claims Cancer Research UK funding cuts, forecasting major shortfall
Cancer Research UK (CRUK) said it has been forced to take “the difficult decision” to make deep funding cuts across its grants and institutes as the fallout from the pandemic continues to affect all areas of biomedical research.
Evotec has allied with Takeda to expand into gene therapy research. The move sees Evotec establish a 20-person team in Austria, the focal point of Takeda’s gene therapy operation, and sign up to work on programs for its Japanese partner.
And more articles of note>>