Current winners of the Covid-19 vaccine race previewed plans for their windfalls at last week’s 40th J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, which took place virtually for the second consecutive year.

Moderna trumpeted $17.5 billion in 2021 Covid-19 product sales and sounded an optimistic note about the year ahead, claiming $18.5 billion in advance purchase agreements for vaccine or booster doses for delivery in 2022. Also, CEO Stéphane Bancel embraced the goal of bringing to market a “pan…

The state of the fight: 

A booster dose of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin increased neutralizing antibodies up to 265-fold.
  WHO added therapies from Eli Lilly and GSK/Vir to its list of recommended Covid-19 treatments.
  Novartis will pay over $162 million to in-license Molecular Partners’ ensovibep antiviral candidate.



Two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine reduced the risk of Covid-19 hospitalization by 94% among adolescents ages 12…

The state of the fight: 

India granted Biological E’s Corbevax—a low-cost, patent-free vaccine—its first regulatory authorization.
  A J&J booster was 85% effective against hospitalization in South Africa during the Omicron wave.
  India authorized molnupiravir but omitted the antiviral from its recommended clinical protocol on safety concerns.



Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin generated “superior antibody responses” in children…

Pfizer and BioNTech will jointly develop a third mRNA-based vaccine using Pfizer’s antigen technology and BioNTech’s mRNA platform—this time against shingles.

Under deal terms announced Wednesday, BioNTech will lock up $75 million in cash and an equity investment of $150 million from Pfizer. The German company could also earn milestone payments worth up to $200 million and a share of the profits, according to a joint press release. Pfizer, meanwhile, will get $25 million upfront from…

The state of the fight: 

Oral antivirals from Pfizer and Merck notched U.S. FDA authorizations.
  Earlier use of remdesivir cut the risk of death or hospitalization by 87% in a new study.
  The Novavax vaccine secured a second WHO Emergency Use Listing.


The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine starts waning in protection against serious illness within three months of the second dose, according to cohort studies in Brazil and Scotland published…

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) are lobbying the U.S. government to force Pfizer and Moderna to share their Covid-19 mRNA technology with developing country vaccine manufacturers, the organizations said last week.

In an open letter, the activist groups quoted a December report by researchers from MSF and AccessIBSA that identified 100 manufacturers across Africa, Asia and Latin America with the “technical requirements and quality standards to manufacture…

The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended approval of Pfizer’s 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in adults, the company announced last week. Prevnar 20—to be marketed in Europe as Apexxnar—scored its U.S. FDA nod in June.

Pfizer remains locked in a next-gen PCV race with Merck, whose 15-valent shot crossed the regulatory finish line after Pfizer’s in the U.S. but took first place in the E.U.

The state of the fight: 

WHO issued an Emergency Use Listing for Serum Institute of India’s version of Novavax’s vaccine.
  The U.S. CDC recommended mRNA-based vaccines over J&J’s.
  Data on the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody therapies against the Omicron variant began pouring in.


A U.S. CDC advisory panel recommended mRNA-based vaccines over the J&J jab, citing blood clot side effects stemming from the single-dose…

Reportedly flush with Covid-19 vaccine revenues, Pfizer will shell out approximately $6.7 billion in cash to buy San Diego-based Arena Pharmaceuticals, the companies announced Monday. The acquisition will boost Pfizer’s Inflammation and Immunology program, the press release said.

Pfizer will also invest $68.5 million to build a gene therapy manufacturing facility in North Carolina, the New York-headquartered company announced Wednesday.


The African Union and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention convened regional and international stakeholders in Rwanda last week to discuss progress on boosting vaccine manufacturing on the continent.

A joint communiqué underscored successes to date, saying the Partnership for Africa Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) had struck deals between multinational and local companies and established WHO training and manufacturing “hubs.” However, the session also recognized stiff…