Top News in R&D





 Global Health Technologies Coalition 


R&D News Roundup: May 22, 2023


Top News in R&D

Injectable HIV-prevention drug to be made in South Africa for the first time
The Guardian (5/18)

Last week, Indian drug company Cipla confirmed that a generic version of the HIV prophylaxis long-acting cabotegravir (CAB-LA) will be manufactured at its plants in South Africa for the first time, which could potentially offer millions of people at risk of HIV infection in Africa access to the groundbreaking drug. CAB-LA is a two-monthly jab that is easier to take regularly and has also been found to work better than the daily HIV prevention pill, which is currently available for free in South Africa and several other countries on the continent. The introduction of generic manufacturers into the market for HIV drugs has the potential to dramatically reduce medicine prices, which are often out of reach for low- and middle-income countries, even at prices discounted by the manufacturers that hold the original patents.

IAVI and Biofabri sign deal for TB vaccine candidate development
Pharmaceutical Technology (5/18), features IAVI

IAVI and Zendal Group’s subsidiary Biofabri have signed an expanded deal to develop MTBVAC, the only live, attenuated mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) vaccine in the pipeline. The developers are targeting the vaccine for use in adults and adolescents and are aiming for the candidate to be more effective and potentially longer lasting than the bacillus Calmette-Guérin, or BCG, vaccine that is currently in use to prevent TB in newborns. IAVI is planning to commence a trial for the MTBVAC in 2024 after sufficient funding is secured. The deal also includes support for advancing MTBVAC for infants following Biofabri commencing a phase 3 trial of MTBVAC in neonates last year.

Universal flu vaccine based on mRNA tech to be tested by National Institutes of Health
CNBC (5/15)

Last week, the US National Institutes of Health announced that they are beginning to enroll patients in an early-stage clinical trial testing an mRNA universal flu vaccine that is aimed at protecting against a wide variety of strains of the flu and providing long-term immunity. The shot, designed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will test whether the shot is safe and produces an immune response in 50 healthy adult volunteers. If proved to be safe and effective, a universal flu vaccine could eliminate the need for scientists and vaccine manufacturers to predict the dominant flu strain and produce shots in advance of prime flu season, as well as reduce the risk of illness and hospitalization, particularly when the shots available are not well matched to the dominant circulating strains.



News from GHTC



Highlights From the Week

WHO launches global network to detect and prevent infectious disease threats
World Health Organization news release (5/20)

The chemistry of mosquito attraction
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (5/19)

Moderna, looking beyond vaccines, guides first mRNA protein replacement therapy past early clinical test
Fierce Biotech (5/19)

Half the world is at risk of dengue. Why is there no universal way to prevent it?
Vox (5/18)

The CDC is worried about a mpox rebound and urges people to get vaccinated
NPR (5/18)

Bavarian Nordic's Jynneos vaccine up to 86% effective against mpox: CDC
Fierce Pharma (5/18)

Opinion: It’s time to end AIDS: Why EU should fund search for HIV vaccine
Health Policy Watch (5/18)

Opinion: Iterative hypothesis testing in HIV vaccine research: moving towards success
Journal of the International AIDS Society (5/17)

Study: Giving an antibiotic to household contacts of people with leprosy slashes chances of spread
STAT (5/17)

Pfizer RSV vaccine seen as effective against severe disease, FDA documents say
STAT (5/16)

WHO congratulates Benin and Mali for eliminating trachoma as a public health problem
World Health Organization news release (5/16)

A once-forgotten antibiotic could be a new weapon against drug-resistant infections
Popular Science (5/16)

The bat lands
Reuters (5/16)

Opinion: Bird flu could become the next human pandemic – and politicians aren’t paying attention
The Guardian (5/16)

Biden nominates Monica Bertagnolli to head NIH
STAT (5/15)

New WHO report highlights progress, but also remaining gaps, in ensuring a robust pipeline of antibiotic treatments to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
World Health Organization news release (5/15)

Opinion: What it will take to enable anti-microbial resistance tests for STIs
Forbes (5/15)

When will we have a gonorrhea vaccine?
The Body (5/15)

Could dual CRISPR gene editing cure HIV?
POZ (5/15)

Tecovirimat for Monkeypox infection shows clinical benefit in patients with, without HIV
Pharmacy Times (5/15)



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