This week in drug discovery (15-19 November) 

News round-up by DDW’s Megan Thomas for 15-19 November 

As the world emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, DDW’s Megan Thomas has rounded up five stories which show how the drug discovery industry has used what it has learnt over the last two years to innovate for the future, as well as how it continues to look for ways to make the virus more manageable and less deadly. 

1. Beximco Pharma introduces an oral antiviral drug for Covid-19 treatment 

Beximco Pharmaceuticals has launched a generic molnupiravir, an oral antiviral drug for symptomatic Covid-19 patients developed by Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, following Emergency Use Authorisation by the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), the regulatory authority in Bangladesh.   

2. How will this anti-viral nasal spray protect against Covid-19? 

Birmingham Biotech and the University of Birmingham have signed a licensing agreement to commercialise a novel anti-viral nasal spray that protects against Covid-19. The formulation was engineered by Professor Liam Grover, from the university’s Healthcare Technologies Institute, and a team of researchers who also collaborated on its testing. 

3. CN Bio and iiCON announce Covid-19 research collaboration 

CN Bio has entered a research collaboration with the Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON) to validate the next generation of Covid-19 research tools. 

4. Evonik eyes Canadian opportunities in Covid-19 fight 

Evonik met with a delegation of representatives from Canada at its site in Darmstadt to discuss competencies in lipid nanoparticles at Evonik’s Vancouver laboratories and evaluate future collaboration opportunities.   

5. T-cell vaccines may offer “significant benefits” over current Covid-19 vaccines 

Emergex Vaccines has announced that it has received the necessary regulatory approvals to initiate a Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the safety and tolerability of its vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2. 

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