Great early news from the BIA Antibody Taskforce project. IONTAS has announced today they’ve identified potent SARS-CoV2 neutralising antibodies that can block COVID-19 infection at doses as low as 20pM in pseudoviral assays and 100pM in live coronavirus assays. The announcement shows just some of the great early work that has developed from the BIA coalition convened by Dr Jane Osbourn OBE, expect more in the coming weeks.
Amidst the increasingly concerning picture of rising infection rates in the UK, our sector continues to pioneer long-term solutions to COVID-19. The UK Vaccine Taskforce announced that the Government has secured supply of 60 million doses of Valneva’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, with options for more between 2022 and 2025. This will be made at Valneva’s UK manufacturing facility in Livingston and the Government is supporting the scale-up of this facility in Scotland. Valneva’s inactivated, adjuvanted, two-dose vaccine candidate is scheduled to enter its first clinical studies this December.
The BIA-MHRA Regulatory Innovation Conference will take place this Thursday. Our virtual conference will enable you to listen to MHRA and industry expert speakers, join discussion groups and connect with the wider regulatory community at this pivotal time for medicines regulation in the UK and around the world. Take a look at the programme and register here.
Last week a new important report by an international commission of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the U.K.’s Royal Society said human embryos whose genomes have been edited should not be used to create a pregnancy until it is established that precise genomic changes can be made reliably without introducing undesired changes — a criterion they assess has not yet been met by any genome editing technology.
Heading into autumn, the BIA has a brilliant selection of upcoming virtual events. From webinars and conferences to networking opportunities, there is something for everyone - take a look at our events calendar here.
Fantastic news last week from BIA member MSD as they announced plans to build a £1bn UK research hub in central London, which will strengthen the Kings Cross ‘knowledge quarter’ and build on the already existing world-class life sciences research base in the UK capital.
As governments gradually begin to reduce restrictions and businesses start to open up again, many research institutions are considering how best to get important research back up and running, whilst minimising physical contact and protecting the health and wellbeing of team members.
Securing access to vaccine candidates whilst strengthening the UK life science sector continued last week as the UK Government inked a new deal to secure a further 90 million COVID vaccine candidate doses.