This week in drug discovery (14-18 February) 

News round-up by DDW’s Megan Thomas for 14-18 February, 2022 

This week, DDW rounds up updates, approvals, research and trials which will enable scientists to make life-saving developments in the drug discovery industry. 

1. Trial launched of HIV vaccine antigens delivered through mRNA technology 

IAVI and Moderna have dosed the first patients in a clinical trial of experimental HIV vaccine antigens at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. 

2. Moderna receives full FDA approval for Covid-19 vaccine Spikevax  

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the Biologics License Application for Moderna’s Spikevax, an mRNA vaccine for prevention of Covid-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older. 

3. SARS-CoV-2 human challenge studies are safe in healthy young adults 

Open Orphan has released the results from its Covid-19 characterisation study, which was a partnership between hVIVO, Imperial College London, the Vaccine Taskforce and Department of Health and Social Care, and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.  

4. Collaboration powers metabolomic enriched population health studies 

Metabolon has collaborated with the FinnGen study in Finland to provide metabolomics data for population health studies to improve understanding of human health. 

5. AstraZeneca drug for SLE patients approved in the EU 

AstraZeneca’s Saphnelo (anifrolumab) has been approved in the European Union as an add-on therapy for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe, active autoantibody-positive systemic lupus erythematosus, despite receiving standard therapy.  

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