US biotech firm contracted to deliver 10 million doses of coronavirus vaccine candidate
From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen
Novavax, Inc., a Maryland-based biotech company, said Thursday it landed a major US Department of Defense contract to make its coronavirus vaccine candidate.
The Defense Department will provide up to $60 million in funding for the vaccine, which goes by the experimental name NVX-COV2373. The company will make several of the components in the US.
Novavax will deliver 10 million doses to the Department of Defense in 2020 that could be used in late-stage clinical trials or under an Emergency Use Authorization if the US Food and Drug Administration approves the vaccine.
How far away is the vaccine?: Novavax started a Phase I safety trial with volunteers in May. Those results are expected by July. If successful, Novavax will test in a larger number of patients.
Novavax is ahead of several competitors, including Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi and Merck, that are developing a vaccine but are yet started clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization.
Pharmaceutical companies Moderna and AstraZeneca have candidates in clinical trials.
1:37 a.m. ET, June 5, 2020
Mexico announces a record increase in new coronavirus cases for the third straight day
From CNN's Matt Rivers in Mexico City
Mexico health officials said Thursday they had confirmed a record 4,442 new cases -- bringing the overall number of infections in the country to 105,680.
It marked the largest daily increase in new coronavirus cases for the third straight day
Mexico also recorded 816 additional deaths, taking the total toll to 12,545.
12:39 a.m. ET, June 5, 2020
It's 1.30 a.m. in Brasilia and 12.30 p.m. in Hong Kong. Here are today's top coronavirus headlines
Global infections top 6.6 million: A total of 6,635,004 cases of Covid-19 have been reported worldwide, including at least 391,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Brazil death toll surpasses Italy: The South American country now has the third-highest number of coronavirus fatalities in the world, behind the US and the United Kingdom. Brazil's health ministry reported 34,021 deaths as of Thursday.
Mexico records largest rise yet: Mexico has more than 105,600 total cases after 4,442 new infections were reported Thursday -- its largest single-day increase to date.
Study into Trump drug withdrawn: Research disputing the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus has been retracted after questions were raised over the data. Hydroxychloroquine was recommended as a "game-changer" by US President Donald Trump.
US forecast worsens: A forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects more than 127,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the country by June 27.
Face masks mandatory in UK: Everyone on public transport in the UK will have to wear face coverings from June 15, the government announced Thursday.
12:09 a.m. ET, June 5, 2020
Brazil passes Italy's coronavirus death toll with another daily record
From journalist Rodrigo Pedroso in Sao Paulo, CNN’s Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo, and CNN’s Taylor Barnes in Atlanta
Brazil registered a record 1,473 more coronavirus-related fatalities in the 24 hours to Thursday, its health ministry reported, with the country’s death toll now at 34,021.
Brazil now has the third-highest death toll worldwide, behind the United States and the United Kingdom.
The health ministry also said it registered 30,925 new coronavirus cases over the previous 24 hours, increasing the nationwide total to 614,941.
Senior health ministry official Eduardo Macário acknowledged that the country is facing difficulties even measuring the extent of coronavirus contagion.
“The government has been working to reduce under-reporting, expanding the testing capacity,” he said at a press conference.
11:39 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
A common heartburn drug may have helped 10 patients at home with coronavirus
From CNN Health’s Elizabeth Cohen
It's a common, over-the-counter drug used for treating heartburn -- yet famotidine may have given relief to patients with the novel coronavirus.
Ten patients home sick with Covid-19 took famotidine, the active ingredient in Pepcid, and in all 10 cases, their symptoms improved, according to a study published Thursday. None were hospitalized, and all survived.
“All patients noticed a rapid improvement in their condition within 24 to 48 hours of starting famotidine,” according to the report, published Thursday in the medical journal Gut. “These findings suggest that famotidine may affect the course of COVID-19.”
Pharma giant promises 300 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine candidate by year's end
From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen
AstraZeneca announced Thursday that it will make 300 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate from Oxford University scientists by the end of 2020.
The UK pharma giant signed what it is calling a “landmark” $750 million deal with the Vaccine Alliance Gavi and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
CEPI will manufacture the vaccine while Gavi will lead the procurement efforts.
The company also made a licensing deal with India’s Serum Institute to make 1 billion doses of the vaccine available in India, as well as developing countries.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the World Health Organization’s Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, will make sure that the vaccine is fairly distributed across the world.
Wait ... a vaccine already?: Typically, companies wait to start the manufacturing process until after it is known the vaccine is safe and works. But with the threat of the pandemic, several drug companies have accelerated this process.
The Oxford vaccine is currently being tested in about 10,000 adult volunteers.
The company said on its website that it realizes the vaccine may not work, but at no profit, it is “committed to progressing the clinical programme with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk” and will make sure that it is available to people around the world “including to those in countries with the lowest means.”
10:49 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
Patients with high blood pressure are twice as likely to die from coronavirus: study
From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox
Coronavirus patients with high blood pressure are twice as likely to die from the infection, a new international study found.
High blood pressure has been known to worsen the risk of serious symptoms, but the study -- published in the European Heart Journal -- shows just how bad the risk is.
The international team of researchers, led by Fei Li and Ling Tao of the department of cardiology at Xijing Hospital in Xi'an, China, studied the records of 2,866 patients treated in Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak emerged.
Just under 30% of them had high blood pressure.
"Soon after we started to treat COVID-19 patients in early February in Wuhan, we noticed that nearly half of the patients who died had high blood pressure, which was a much higher percentage compared to those with only mild COVID-19 symptoms,” Tao said in a statement.
The team found that 4% of patients with high blood pressure died, compared to 1.1% of those without high blood pressure.
After some adjustments for differences among the patients, that worked out to a doubled risk of dying for the patients with high blood pressure. And 7.9% of patients who had stopped taking their blood pressure medications died.
10:48 p.m. ET, June 4, 2020
More than 5,000 people have died from coronavirus in Peru
From CNN’s Taylor Barnes in Atlanta
Peru reported 137 new coronavirus-related deaths Thursday – raising the national death toll to 5,031, according to the country’s health ministry.
The total number of cases rose to 183,198, an increase of 4,284 from the previous day.
Peru has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in Latin America, after Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.