Coronavirus Notebook: EU In More Vaccine Talks, HTA Rolling Reviews, and RECOVERY’s UK Expansion
The European Commission is in talks to buy vaccines from CureVac and Moderna, amid concerns over “vaccine nationalism” and lack of transparency. Meanwhile the EU health technology assessment network has begun publishing “rolling collaborative reviews” of potential COVID-19 therapies, and two more firms have announced progress with monoclonal antibodies.
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Regulatory flexibilities combined with experience in cell and gene therapy and the wider use of technologies such as AI could help to keep the post-Brexit UK at the forefront of innovation in the life sciences. A UK regulatory conference will be discussing these and other key issues next week.
Convalescent plasma has taken another battering as a potential treatment for coronavirus patients, after a UK drug safety body agreed with a US expert panel that there was not yet enough evidence to recommend its use in COVID-19 patients.
The UK government is proposing to take the "very unusual step" of making COVID-19 vaccines available before they are licensed. The international COVAX initiative is now supporting nine vaccines, and the EU and AstraZeneca have firmed up a vaccine purchase agreement.