Coronavirus company news summary – ODP, US DOD sign contract for critical API production

29 September 2020 (Last Updated September 30th, 2020 07:19)

29 September

Biotechnology company INOVIO has announced a partial clinical hold on its Covid-19 vaccine candidate’s planned Phase 2/3 trial. The hold on INOVIO's Investigational New Drug Application (IND) for the Phase 2/3 trial follows after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised additional questions about the trial. The company noted that the development is not due to the occurrence of any adverse events associated with the ongoing expanded Phase 1 study of the vaccine candidate. The company is rapidly advancing its Covid-19 vaccine candidate INO-4800, including its CELLECTRA 2000 delivery device.

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded a contract to On Demand Pharmaceuticals (ODP) to develop domestic production of critical active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Under the $20m award, the company will work on fully developing its proprietary Pharmacy on Demand technology that was initially built using funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The contract will see the expansion of onshore production of three critical APIs that will form the building blocks for final formulated medicines. These will support the treatment of critically ill US service members and Covid-19 patients. The award was signed on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Ohio National Guard has announced that it will continue to support a food bank operation in the state. Around 350 guardsmen are assisting about 14 food banks and warehouses throughout Ohio. More than 43 million pounds of food were packed and over 50 million pounds of food have been distributed since mid-March. The guard also assisted in providing more than 700,000 meals to citizens in need. Ohio Association of Foodbanks executive director Lisa Hamler-Fugitt said: "We are so deeply thankful that the Ohio National Guard will extend its support of this mission for the next three months as we plan together for what's to come in 2021."