Week In Review: CICC Capital Closes $229 Million China Fund For Biologics

Moderna (MRNA) shipped its first batch of mRNA-1273, a coronavirus vaccine, for a US Phase I clinical trial scheduled for April (see story). The company prepared the candidate in 42 days from initial sequencing of the virus, which it called an "indoor record." It described mRNA-1273 as an mRNA vaccine that encodes for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein. Moderna, a Cambridge, MA company developing messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, said manufacturing of the initial batch was underwritten by Oslo's Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Clover Biopharma of Chengdu entered into a research collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to test its COVID-19 vaccine candidate with GSK's pandemic adjuvant system (see story). Using its Trimer-Tag© technology, Clover has produced a S-Trimer subunit vaccine that resembles the native trimeric viral spike. It works by preventing entry of the virus into cells. Paired with an adjuvant, Clover's vaccine could be dosed at lower levels, allowing vaccinations for more people. GSK apparently has several adjuvants to offer. Clover claims to have one of the largest commercial-scale cGMP biomanufacturing capabilities in China.

AmCham Shanghai’s Healthcare Committee held a conference call to discuss the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic on China healthcare businesses (see story). Ten executives participated in the call, noting (among other issues) that distribution has been adversely affected, staff shortages are widespread, patient visits to hospitals are paradoxically lower, and revenues would be affected in the first quarter and possibly beyond. The discussion was moderated by ChinaBio's Greg Scott, the Chair of AmCham Shanghai’s Healthcare Committee, and participating companies included big pharmas, private hospitals, medical devices, diagnostics and medical supply companies. AmCham Shanghai printed a summary of the discussion, which ChinaBio® Today has reprinted with their permission.

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