CureVac jumps into coronavirus vaccine race; EMA backs raft of drugs, including Novo Nordisk, Esperion compounds

→ You can add CureVac to the list of new players to jump into the latest effort to contain a pandemic. The mRNA company has joined the global crew already on board with the public-private Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which is adding up to $8.3 million to rapidly develop, manufacture and test a new vaccine for the coronavirus 2019-nCoV. The German biotech is the latest biotech to see if new tech can address a scary virus that evidently kills some 3% to 4% of the people who are infected by it. Others, including Moderna and Vir, are also using new tech developed over the last decade to see if they can come up with a quick way to stop the spread of the Wuhan virus, which is rattling populations around the world.

→ It’s Brexit day in the UK — Britain will formally divorce the European Union later today, and the transition period will kickoff. The EMA, which recently has adopted Amsterdam as its new home, remains in charge of ‘pharmaceutical law’ in the UK — that means pharmaceutical companies can continue to carry out activities in the UK until the end of 2020.

Leaving the EU is strongly negative for the UK pharma industry, a poll of 334 GlobalData readers suggested. “Results show a pessimism from the sector, with 35% of the 334 voters stating leaving the EU will be strongly negative for the pharma industry,” GlobalData wrote. “However, the vote was not fully conclusive, with 20% of respondents stating they were strongly positive about the impact of Brexit on the pharma industry – this is consistent with the majority of pharma industry professionals saying a Conservative Party government would be best for the sector in a December Pharmaceutical Technology poll.”

→ The EMA also issued a raft of recommendations on Friday, including backing the approval of Novo Nordisk’s oral formulation of semaglutide for diabetes and Esperion‘s bempedoic acid for cholesterol.

→ Chinese cancer screening company AnPac Bio-Medical Science has jumped on the Nasdaq after raising $16 million by pricing its IPO at $12 per share. The company, which is listed under $ANPC, has one headquarter in Zhejiang and another in San Jose.

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