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 Global Health Technologies Coalition 


R&D News Roundup: January 9, 2022


Top News in R&D

Pharma’s ambitious antibiotic venture fund makes another investment
STAT (1/5)

The AMR Action Fund has announced its second investment, this one of US$7.5 million in European biotech company BioVerys, which is developing an antibiotic (about to enter phase 2 trials), to combat hospital-acquired pneumonia, pneumonia associated with ventilators, and blood stream infections originating from pneumonia. The investment underlines the fund’s role in filling massive gaps in the need for new antibiotics to address the growing challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The fund, which was created by several of the world’s largest drug companies, works as a venture capital fund with the goal of generating four new antibiotics over ten years. It first invested last year in two small American biotech companies also working towards therapies that can address drug-resistant infections.

Canada confirms poliovirus detected in wastewater
Precision Vaccines (1/5)

The Pan American Health Organization has confirmed that vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 has been detected in wastewater samples in Canada, joining the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel as high-income countries that have detected the virus in wastewater. The Canadian National Microbiology Laboratory, which detected the virus through retrospective wastewater tests, will test archived samples from September and October 2022 through the end of February 2023 to obtain more details about the spread of the virus. This news comes as a reminder that as we enter 2023, new polioviruses, including vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2, continue to emerge around the world.

China CDC contends Omicron BA.5.2 and BF.7 are main SARS-CoV2 variants circulating – but WHO pressures for more genome sharing
Health Policy Watch (1/4), additional coverage from Reuters (1/5)

In the midst of China’s severe COVID-19 outbreak, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is expressing concern about possible underreporting and underrepresenting of data, and urging the country to use all available COVID-19 vaccines, including mRNA vaccines that have been shown to be more effective than Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines. This concern comes following the release of a report by WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution that found, through working with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been no new variants circulating in the country. Full and transparent data sharing on cases, deaths, hospitalizations, and comprehensive, real-time viral sequencing are essential for WHO’s efforts to carry out risk assessments for China and around the world, as well as to understand the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and the emergence of mutations of variants of concern.



News from GHTC

COVID-19 still a focus for infectious disease test developers in 2022, but ceded some ground
360Dx (1/5), features FIND, Becton Dickinson, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

AstraZeneca, Sanofi tee up 3-way RSV battle in 2023 as FDA signals expedited review for antibody
Fierce Pharma (1/5), features Johnson & Johnson

Antibody drugs could target infectious diseases—if costs come down
The Washington Post (1/3), features Medicines for Malaria Venture



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