This week in drug discovery (14-18 March) 

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

Research, trial results and breakthroughs in treatments continue to take the spotlight in the drug discovery industry this week. Here are five key news stories from this period. 

1. Needle-free intranasal Covid-19 vaccine gets green-lit for Phase II trials 

Oragenics has entered into an agreement with KBI Biopharma for the process transfer, process optimisation and cGMP manufacturing of the company’s intranasal vaccine candidate NT-CoV2-1, which is expressed in a proprietary CHO cell line.  

2. Research shows social media can improve vaccination rates 

New research from the International Longevity Centre (ILC) in London, UK, finds that social media advertising can be a cost-effective way of engaging older people in deprived communities with vaccination. 

3. Actigen leads potential breakthrough in Hunter syndrome treatment 

Actigen has initiated a clinical development programme for GNR-055, a potentially breakthrough treatment for the life-limiting, rare disease mucopolysaccharidosis II (MPS II) (also known as Hunter syndrome). 

4. Ilya Pharma closes €8.5 million to advance its clinical programmes 

Ilya Pharma, a clinical stage immunotherapy company, has closed a €8.5 million funding round, which will be used to advance the company’s portfolio of three first-in-class immunotherapies for skin and mucosal diseases.  

5. Treatment for invasive candidiasis awarded Promising Innovation Medicine designation 

The UK’s MHRA has granted Mundipharma and Cidara Therapeutics’ rezafungin Promising Innovative Medicine (PIM) designation for the treatment of invasive candidiasis. Invasive candidiasis is a severe, life-threatening systemic Candida infection of the bloodstream and/or deep/visceral tissues. 

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