Labiotech.eu’s Coverage of the Covid-19 Coronavirus

Like many others, the biopharma industry has been shaken by the rapid rise of the coronavirus outbreak. But unlike any other industry, biopharma can solve the growing threat through science and innovation.

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In Depth

The European Fight Against The Covid-19 Coronavirus

coronavirus biotech newsAs coronavirus disease sweeps the globe, a number of European healthcare organizations are stepping up to meet challenges in producing vaccines and diagnostics. All players in the scramble to develop Covid-19 vaccines are at the preclinical stage. It’s hard to say who is winning the race for a vaccine, but research supported by big pharma is getting the most attention. Read our analysis.

How Will Coronavirus Impact Drug Pipelines?

coronavirus drug pipelineAs the coronavirus pandemic rages, drug development is becoming harder than ever, if arguably even more important. What is the extent of the issue, and how can companies protect their pipelines? Read our analysis.

Could mRNA Vaccines Fulfill Their Potential Against Coronavirus?

mRNA drug coronavirusOf the many types of vaccine technology in development to tackle Covid-19, RNA — particularly that based on messenger RNA (mRNA) — is one of the frontrunners. Read our analysis.

How has Coronavirus Affected Europe’s Biotech Stocks?

covid-19 coronavirus biotech stocks

The information flow about the coronavirus pandemic is truly electrifying, with big public market swings in the life sciences industry. That said, exactly what sort of impact is the disease known as Covid-19 having on biotech stocks? Read our analysis.

Will Covid-19 Change the Face of Vaccine Development?

covid-19 coronavirus vaccine

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The unprecedented scale of the current Covid-19 pandemic has led to a vaccine ‘race’ the like of which has never been seen before. This may change the face of vaccine development forever. Read our analysis.

Could Cell Therapy Target the Symptoms of Severe Covid-19?

cell therapy covid-19 coronavirus

The excessive inflammatory response seen in the most serious cases of Covid-19, along with shortages of ventilators, has caused a healthcare crisis in many countries around the world. Could cell therapy provide an answer to this dilemma? Read our analysis.

 

How Immuno-Oncology Contributes to the Fight Against Covid-19

Immuno-oncology Covid-19

As the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps the world, cancer research is proving a valuable resource for developing new treatments for infectious diseases by harnessing the power of the immune system. Read our analysis.

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Artificial Intelligence: A Superpower in the Fight Against Covid-19

biotech online course coursera edx

The rapid spread of Covid-19 around the world has left drug developers with limited time to identify drug candidates to fight the virus. Amid this crisis, artificial intelligence has proven its value as a tool to make drug discovery faster and cost-effective. Read our analysis.

 


Guides

Need Funding to Fight Coronavirus? These Initiatives Have You Covered

Initiatives are springing up around the world that can support European startups in the search for new methods of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. We summarised them in this article to save you time! Read the guide.

How Are Biotech VC Investments Changing with Covid-19?

covid-19 vc biotech

Covid-19 has been dominating the news for weeks on end, but what impact is the current pandemic having on biotech VC investments? Some key figures working in the field in Europe discussed their recent experiences, as well as advice for startups navigating this new funding challenge. Read the guide.

 


Interviews

Investing in the Microbiome in the Age of Covid-19 and Beyond

Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO, Seventure, interview

For Isabelle de Cremoux, CEO and Managing Partner at Seventure Partners, 2020 was going to be an important year for microbiome research. However, the global coronavirus pandemic arrived, presenting one of the greatest unforeseen challenges in human history. Read the interview.

 

Democratized DNA Synthesis: A Game-Changer Against Covid-19

thomas ybert covid-19 dna synthesis thumbDNA synthesis is one of the pillars of Covid-19 research that has suffered supply disruptions during lockdowns. Thomas Ybert, CEO of DNA Script, discusses the French company’s plans to protect research from future disruptions by giving every lab the ability to synthesize its own DNA molecules. Read the interview.

 

Changing Attitudes on Vaccine and Public Health Investment

Glenn Rockman thumbnail

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed vaccines and public health to the forefront of people’s minds. Investment and research in these areas have rocketed in recent months, but will such interest continue long into the future? Glenn Rockman, founder and Managing Partner of Adjuvant Capital, a VC firm investing in the infectious disease area, believes it will. Read the interview.


Covid-19 in the news

05/08/2020 – Oxford Nanopore’s Portable Covid-19 Test Launched in UK

UK biotech Oxford Nanopore has launched a portable test that can detect both Covid-19 and seasonal flu viruses in saliva or swabs in a little over an hour.

30/07/2020 – Llama-Derived Nanobodies Join the Fight Against Covid-19

Newly-launched Belgian startup ExeVir Bio will develop ‘nanobodies’ that bind very precisely to key areas of the Covid-19 virus and other coronaviruses after raking in €23M in Series A.

29/07/2020 – Covid-19 Forces Gene Therapy Companies to Shift Strategy

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, gene therapy companies are suffering, with clinical trials delayed and investors remaining cautious in an increasingly volatile market. Yet many have set their sights on what could potentially turn into a gold mine: applying their technology to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

22/07/2020 – Inhaled Treatment Reduces Severe Covid-19 Risk by 79%

An experimental Covid-19 treatment that is delivered directly to the lungs via a nebulizer reduced the risk of mortality and the need for mechanical ventilation in a phase II trial.

17/07/2020 – Russian Hackers Launch Cyber Attack on Covid-19 Vaccine Developers

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the UK stated this week that several organizations involved in Covid-19 vaccine development in the UK, US, and Canada have been targeted in a cyberattack by a Russian hacking group known as APT29.

08/07/2020 – Remdesivir Becomes the First Covid-19 Treatment Approved in Europe

Remdesivir has received a one-year conditional marketing authorization from the European Commission due to the urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has infected at least 2.5 million people in Europe, and killed more than 500,000.

08/07/2020 – Osivax Raises €32M to Develop Universal Coronavirus and Influenza Vaccines

Osivax, a Lyon-based biotechnology company, secured €17.5M from the European Innovation Council and €15.1M from Bpifrance. The funding will be used to develop vaccines that protect from all current – and even future – flu and coronavirus outbreaks.

08/07/2020 – Remdesivir Becomes the First Covid-19 Treatment Approved in Europe

Remdesivir has received a one-year conditional marketing authorization from the European Commission due to the urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has infected at least 2.5 million people in Europe, and killed more than 500,000.

07/07/2020 – UK Launches Clinical Trial Platform to Speed up Covid-19 Drug Development

Researchers in the UK have set up a drug testing platform to bridge the gap between preclinical testing and large-scale trials for drugs being tested to treat Covid-19.

28/05/2020MSD Enters Covid-19 Vaccine Race by Acquiring Themis Bioscience

The US-based big pharma MSD has entered the race to be the first to develop an effective vaccine for Covid-19 by acquiring Austrian biotech Themis Bioscience and its vaccine technology for an undisclosed amount. Read more.

14/05/2020EU Initiative Pumps up Funding for Covid-19 Research to €117M 

The funding will go towards eight research projects that have been selected out of 144 proposals received by the EU’s Innovative Medicines Initiative. Read more.

11/05/2020Italian Pharma Getting Back to Normal With Two Biotech Acquisitions

Despite the country being hard hit with Covid-19, Italian pharma seems to be getting back to business as usual with two oncology-related biotech acquisitions in the last week. Read more.

07/05/2020EU Pitches Into €7.4B Fund Supporting Covid-19 Treatments & Vaccines

The Coronavirus Global Response pledging event is the beginning of a global fundraising marathon organized by the European Union and G20 nations in response to a World Health Organization call. Read more.

29/04/2020 – Pluristem Scores €50M From EIB to Develop Covid-19 Cell Therapy

The partners plan to sign the funding agreement at the end of April and Pluristem will initially receive €20M followed by two further installments totaling up to €30M. Read more.

24/04/2020 – First Volunteers Dosed with European Coronavirus Vaccine

The first European vaccine for coronavirus disease to enter clinical trials has been administered to UK volunteers in a project led by the University of Oxford. Read more.

10/04/2020 – Coronavirus Pandemic Bites into European Cancer Research

The UK funder Cancer Research UK and Swedish oncology biotech Alligator Bioscience have independently announced cuts to payroll and research costs due to the coronavirus disease pandemic. Read more.

06/04/2020 – UK Biotech’s Arthritis Drug Enters Study in Coronavirus Patients

The UK company Izana Bioscience is freely providing its phase III-ready anti-inflammatory antibody namilumab in a compassionate use program for the treatment of patients with coronavirus disease in Italy. Read more.

03/04/2020 – UK-US Initiative to Screen Drugs Using AI for Coronavirus Treatments

The UK company Exscientia will use its AI-driven drug discovery platform to examine a collection of 15,000 potential coronavirus disease treatments in collaboration with the US research institute Calibr and the non-profit synchrotron company Diamond Light Source. Read more.

02/04/2020 – Swiss and German Team to Develop Inhaled mRNA Coronavirus Treatment

The Swiss antibody specialist Neurimmune and the German RNA biotech Ethris are collaborating to develop inhaled messenger RNA (mRNA) antibodies that can treat the catastrophic respiratory effects of coronavirus disease, also known as Covid-19. Read more.

26/03/2020 – Novacyt Launches Two-Hour Coronavirus Test After FDA Approval

The test received an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA, which means it can only be used for the detection of the Covid-19 coronavirus in certified labs, and only during the national state of emergency. Read more.

20/03/2020 – Themis and Institut Pasteur Join Coronavirus Vaccine Hunt

The collaboration will be led by the Parisian Institut Pasteur, whose vaccine technology — in this case modifying a measles virus vector to carry coronavirus antigens — is licensed to Themis. Themis will speed up the research by providing scaling and manufacturing muscle. Read more.

17/03/2020 – CureVac Receives €80M from EU to Fund Coronavirus Vaccine Amid US Dispute

The money was awarded to help CureVac quickly scale up the production of its candidate Covid-19 vaccine. It came one day after allegations from the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag claiming that US President Donald Trump intended to acquire the vaccine for exclusive use in the US. Read more.

17/03/2020 – BioNTech Confirms Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Collaboration

BioNTech has jumped to the front of the queue of European companies trying to get a vaccine for the coronavirus to market with an announcement of clinical testing at the end of next month and a big Chinese investment. Read more.

16/03/2020 – Coronavirus Delays Sensorion’s Hearing Loss Phase II Trial

The clinical trial is designed to test Sensorion’s lead candidate drug in people with sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a rare disorder where the patient can go deaf within several days. The trial results were to be released late 2020, but the company now expects to release them in mid-2021. Read more.


BONUS! New to remote work? Read our advice:

How Remote Working Helps Us Become a Productive and Happy Team

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