Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, OTC birth control pill, and other top news this week
Are you interested in the pharma world? We are too! Below you will find the top pharmaceutical industry news to catch you up on the latest happenings in this ever-evolving sector. This week we will take a look at the latest COVID-19 vaccine entrant by Novavax, large savings for China with a win for generic drug manufacturers at the expense of pharma giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca, the possibility of an over-the-counter abortion pill, Sanofi’s support for low-income countries and CureVac’s claims of intellectual property infringement by BioNTech.
New COVID-19 vaccine for the U.S.
The latest COVID-19 vaccine entrant in the U.S. is set to be Novavax’s protein-based vaccine. With analysts predicting a $4-$5 billion revenue for Novavax this year and efficacy of over 90% against prevention against symptomatic disease, the future for the latest COVID-19 shot looks positive. The Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has given the green light to the vaccine, making a total of 4 U.S. vaccines. The Novavax shot can be an alternative for those that do not wish to receive an mRNA-based COVID vaccine.
Generic drugmakers offer discounts and win contracts in China
Much to the dismay of pharmaceutical heavyweights Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Roche and Novartis, generic drug manufacturers discounted their drugs by almost 50% in a recent bid for contracts for supply to Chinese public hospitals. Only four original drug producers were able to secure any contracts which include Astellas, Pfizer, Almirall and Bracco. However, this was only possible after they had slashed prices for their respective drugs- Tygacil, Mycamine, Kestine, and Isovue by almost 70%.
French pharma company seeking FDA approval for OTC birth control pills
A French pharmaceutical company HRA Pharma has sought Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for an over-the-counter (OTC) birth control pill. This would be the first time the hormone treatment would become available for sale without a doctor’s prescription. The company stated that the birth control pill has been used by American women for 5 decades and it is time to make it more accessible. HRA is seeking OTCapproval for its progesterone-only pill, or minipill, named Opill.
Sanofi’s pharmaceutical support for low-income countries; a sustainable effort or a one-off?
Sanofi is expanding on its fund for low-income countries, which is designated for healthcare startups in deserving regions. The aim is to provide people of low income with healthcare treatment through their own local startups with Sanofi’s investment. Sanofi has created a separate company for this purpose named Impact and is currently serving 150,000 individuals. The company hopes to grow this number into the millions but stressed that this fund will not continue to function forever but should serve as the basis of a sustainable model of healthcare delivery.
mRNA rights; CureVac accuses BioNTech of patent infringement
CureVac has accused BioNTech of patent infringement of mRNA technology and has chosen to opt for a legal battle against the company. CureVac stated that they felt that with stability in the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the right time to pursue the matter. The company does not want to disrupt the manufacturing or use of the first-to-market COVID-19 vaccine by BioNTech and Pfizer, but seeks “fair compensation” for the use of their mRNA technology. The company has not yet revealed if it will seek the same from Moderna.