The Health September 2022 - Page 7

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SEPTEMBER , 2022 | THE HEALTH

07

Moderna sues Pfizer , BioNTech for patent infringement

MODERNA said it was suing rival vaccine makers Pfizer and BioNTech , alleging the partners infringed on its patents in developing their Covid-19 shot that has been administered to hundreds of millions worldwide .
The lawsuits filed in US district court in Massachusetts and in a regional court in Dusseldorf , Germany , set up a showdown between the leading manufacturers of Covid-19 shots that are a key tool in the fight against the disease .
“ Moderna believes that Pfizer
and BioNTech ’ s Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty infringes patents Moderna filed between 2010 and 2016 covering Moderna ’ s foundational mRNA technology ,” the company said in a statement on Aug 26 , 2022 .
“ This groundbreaking technology was critical to developing Moderna ’ s own mRNA Covid-19 vaccine , Spikevax . Pfizer and BioNTech copied this technology , without Moderna ’ s permission , to make Comirnaty ,” Moderna added .
The mRNA technology used in the
Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech shots differs from traditional vaccines , which rely on injecting weakened or dead virus forms to allow the immune system to recognise it and build antibodies .
Instead , mRNA vaccines deliver instructions to cells to build a harmless piece of the spike protein found on the
virus ’ s surface that causes Covid-19 . After creating this spike protein , cells can recognise and fight the actual virus .
The vaccines have repeatedly been the subject of inaccurate claims that they are dangerous , but health authorities say they are safe and effective .

CanSino ’ s inhaled Covid vaccine approved

IIT-G inks MoU with health tech firm for NE cancer research

KARKINOS Healthcare Private Limited ( KHPL ) and the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati ( IIT-G ) signed a memorandum of understanding ( MoU ) on Sept 2 , 2022 , for research collaboration on cancer diagnostics in the Northeast .
A Centre of Advanced Research on Diagnostics in Cancer ( C-CARD ), the first of its type with an IIT , would be established at IIT-G under the terms of the agreement with the Mumbairegistered healthcare technology company , according to a statement from the institute recently .
KHPL will set up the centre on the institute ’ s property and manage its operations there .
Its main objective will be to research cutting-edge and reasonably priced diagnostics for non-communicable diseases , particularly cancer , for patients across the country .
“ IIT Guwahati aspires to strengthen its research and development arsenal and there is no better way to highlight the same in establishing C-CARD by KHPL , in the heart of our institute ,” said IIT-G director T . G . Sitharam during the MoU signing ceremony .
“ In the near future , we envision extending this centre of excellence with the activities of the Assam Advanced Healthcare Innovation Institute – the upcoming multispeciality hospital at IIT Guwahati to inculcate next-generation scientific and technological innovations in the area of healthcare .”
The MoU signing was a part of the 29th foundation day celebration of IIT-Guwahati recently .
A comprehensive cancer atlas for the Northeast will be prepared as part of the initiatives outlined in the agreement , which also calls for the establishment of next-generation sequencing ( NGS ) and whole genome sequencing ( WGS ) facilities as well as large-scale oncodiagnostic services in collaboration with Assam Cancer Care Hospitals throughout the State .
Other initiatives include developing high-end data analytics capability using AI and ML techniques , thorough genomic landscape identification for highquality informatics for research and development , and capacity development through academic collaboration on clinical excellence and partnerships with biotech and pharma majors .
In the near future , IIT Guwahati and KHPL will work together on research projects in the fields of molecular biology , cell biology , genomics , proteomics , diagnostics , therapeutics , bioinformatics , data science , entrepreneurship development , and other multidisciplinary and translational fields as a part of this initiative .
KPHL CEO R . Venkataramanan said : “ Assam has made giant strides in cancer care and Karkinos is pleased to further these efforts and partner with IIT-G in bringing cutting-edge cancer diagnostics and advanced research to the people of Northeast . We see this as the first phase of a long and wide-ranging partnership that will redefine cancer care in the region and beyond .”
THE RECENTLY created Covid-19 developed by CanSino Biologics Inc . has been given the go-ahead for emergency use as a booster by China ’ s medicines authority , potentially helping its business .
The National Medical Products Administration has given the go-ahead for CanSino ’ s adenovirus-vectored Covid-19 vaccine ’ s inhaled formulation , the company announced in a filing on Sept 4 , 2022 .
“ The approval will positively impact the company ’ s performance if the vaccine is subsequently purchased and used by relevant government agencies ,” CanSino said .
The company cautioned , however , that rival vaccines in China that had already received government approval or are going through clinical trials would present it with stiff competition .
Livzon Pharmaceutical Group Inc . said recently that China had authorised the Covid-19 vaccine , one of just two new anti-disease medications the nation had approved for emergency use as a booster in more than a year .
CanSino also said it was uncertain when its vaccine would be able to go to market , since additional administrative approvals are still needed . Sales would depend on the Covid-19 situation at home and abroad and China ’ s vaccination rate .
Covid outbreaks have recently increased in China . Shenzhen , a major tech hub in the south , imposed a weekend lockdown recently and Chengdu , a major city of 21 million people in the southwest , did the same .
Compared to the 1,988 new cases reported the day before , mainland China reported 1,848 new coronavirus cases on Sept 3 . These cases included both symptomatic and asymptomatic illnesses . – The Health