Coronavirus news roundup 09/04/2020

As the number of coronavirus cases in the world exceeds 1.4 million, the pharma industry is pushing to find new drugs, therapies and tests in the effort to bring the pandemic under control.

We round up the latest R&D, digital health, events and business stories about coronavirus over the past week.

  • Former health minister and leading clinician Lord Ara Darzi has compared some pharma companies to “toilet roll profiteers” for failing to share data on potential drugs and vaccines for COVID-19.
  • Apeiron Biologics has been cleared to start a European phase 2 trial of a drug that it says could stop COVID-19 entering cells, blocking the infection.
  • GlaxoSmithKline has announced plans to collaborate with China’s Xiamen Innovex on a potential vaccine to treat the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  • Pharma bad boy Martin Shkreli has asked authorities to let him out of prison, saying that he could be the man to save the world from coronavirus.
  • Cancer Research UK has cut funding to its research activities, as the charity faces a cut to its income by up to a quarter in the next financial year because of the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.
  • US-based Inovio has become the third biotech to begin clinical development of a vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  • A mental health app for young people has seen a spike of 168% during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak – and as a result of the increased demand is now freely available to young people across the UK.
  • UK health secretary Matt Hancock has asked pharma and biotech firms to help the country find antibody tests that work against COVID-19 in a bid to find an exit strategy from the lockdown that is crippling the country’s economy.

pharmaphorum, in partnership with IQVIA will be taking a deep dive into the impact of COVID-19 on UK and Ireland pharma and biotech. Tune into our webinar on 23 April, 12.30pm BST.

Feature image courtesy of Rocky Mountain Laboratories/NIH