Oz vaccine set for late-stage clinical trials
A Covid-19 vaccine in development by Australia's University of Queensland (UQ) was declared ready to progress to later-stage clinical trials ahead of schedule on Friday, following promising Phase 1 results.
Regulatory approval was being sought for the vaccine to progress to Phase 3 clinical trials before the end of the year, with a timeline for widespread distribution to occur in late 2021, reports Xinhua news agency.
Co-leader of the UQ vaccine project and leading Australian virologist, Professor Paul Young said that Phase 1 clinical trials had shown the vaccine to be safe and effective at eliciting an antibody response.
EU announces $118m grant to COVAX
The European Union (EU) announced to grant 100 million euros ($118 million) to COVAX, a UN-backed global facility to ensure effective and equitable access to coronavirus vaccines.
The grant support to Gavi, the main partner of COVAX, will complement the 400 million euros of bank guarantees the EU has earlier made to the vaccine alliance through the European Investment Bank.
In addition to the 500-million-euro contribution made by the bloc, some EU member states have announced contributions as well.
To date, a total of 184 countries and economies have joined COVAX, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
OCD drug for COVID
Scientists have found that a drug commonly used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, if taken within seven days of first symptoms of COVID-19, may reduce the risk for respiratory deterioration, an advance that might lead to a new treatment strategy for the novel coronavirus infection.
The study, published in the journal JAMA, noted that none of the 80 patients who took the antidepressant fluvoxamine met the respiratory deterioration criteria -- compared to an 8.3 per cent rate in the 72 patients who took a dummy pill (placebo).
"The results of the fluvoxamine trial are encouraging and warrant a further evaluation in a larger study. A treatment that can prevent lung problems in people with mild symptoms of COVID-19 is desperately needed," said study co-author Carolyn Machamer from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the US.