COVID-19: Roundup 22 May

22 May 2020

22 May

Here is our weekly roundup on the latest research and scientific efforts against the coronavirus.



INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA will be donating sufficient polypropylene to make injected-molded headbands for 20,000 medical face shields. INEOS will be partnering with Herman Miller Cares, a Michigan-based company, which has repurposed resources to make the headbands to support front line workers. Using raw materials from INEOS, the components of the face shields are 100% recyclable and reusable.

Keisha Benjamin, INEOS Polypropylene Business Manager, said  ‘Although we are starting to see the beginning stages of reopening for some states, with decreased levels of COVID-19 infections, the need for these face shields continues to increase as previously postponed surgeries are rescheduled.’

Read more here.



Moderna has announced positive interim phase 1 data for its mRNA vaccine, allowing Moderna to move ahead with a phase 3 trial which is expected to begin in July.


In the phase 1 trial, there were 15 patients in each dose group, who all had an antibody response to the vaccine by day 15. The antibody levels reached the same or similar level as seen in recovered covid-19 patients.


A group of eight patients in the 25 mcg and 100 mcg dose groups were found to have neutralising antibodies to covid-19 – these antibodies could bind to and inactivate the virus. Based on this evidence, Moderna supports taking both of these doses to phase 3.


Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer at Moderna, said ‘With today’s positive interim Phase 1 data and the positive data in the mouse challenge model, the Moderna team continues to focus on moving as fast and as safely possible to start our pivotal Phase 3 study in July and, if successful, file a BLA.’


Read more here.




DSM has launched an open collaborative platform, UNITE4COVID, to provide solutions for healthcare professionals in their fight against coronavirus.

This platform makes finding approved covid-19 solutions easier for healthcare professionals, as well as organizations, institutions and companies looking to protect their patients, employees and customers. As well as this, manufacturing companies can better connect to a network of solution providers to share ideas and capacity.

Hugo da Silva, VP Additive Manufacturing at DSM said ‘By bringing together organizations with different manufacturing competencies and matching them with the needs of the organizations in vital sectors, we can offer effective solutions more quickly. It’s by collaborating that we’ll make the biggest impact in beating COVID-19 and saving lives.’

Read more here.

celonic logo

Airway Therapeutics and Celonic Group

Airway Therapeutics has announced a new collaboration with Celonic Group to produce AT-100, a new recombinant protein, as a therapeutic candidate against covid-19. It is expected that AT-100  will stop the inflammation and injury caused by respiratory diseases driven by infection.

Whilst Airway has developed a manufacturing process for AT-100, Celonic will be responsible for process optimisation and to scale-up the production of a GMP batch for clinical study in covid-19 patients.

Vikalp Mohan, Chief Operating Officer of Celonic said, ‘Swift strategic alignment and operational flexibility have been the hallmark of a highly collaborative partnership between Airway and Celonic. We are honored to have this opportunity to leverage our advanced perfusion cell culture manufacturing expertise to help realize the therapeutic potential of AT-100.’

Read more here.

Biovectra logo


BioVectra has scaled up the production of Dithiothreitol (DTT), a specialized protein processing and diagnostic reagent, used in some of the leading covid-19 diagnostic test kits. DTT works by extracting nucleic acids from patient samples, which are then tested for the COVID-19 virus sequences.

Read more here.

honeywell logo


The UK government has agreed a deal with technology company Honeywell to manufacture more than 70 million face masks for frontline workers.

Over an 18-month period, FFP2 and FFP3 masks will be manufactured at Honeywell’s site in Scotland, with production set to begin as early in July. Each month some 4.5 million masks will roll off the production line to be distributed to the NHS and social care workers. The production line will lead to the creation of 450 jobs. 

Read more here.



The U.S. Health Department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has given AstraZeneca more than $1 billion to develop the University of Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine.

The vaccine, now known as AZD1222, developed by the University of Oxford and licenced to Astrazeneca is set to proceed to phase III of the vaccine trial with 30,000 participants in the United States. 

Astrazeneca initially agreed to supply at least 400 million doses of the vaccine and expects to secure manufacturing capacity for one billion doses, with first deliveries due to begin in September. 

AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said, ‘We would like to thank the US and UK governments for their substantial support to accelerate the development and production of the vaccine.’

AstraZeneca added that it recognised that the vaccine may not work but is committed to progressing the clinical program with speed and scaling up manufacturing at risk.

Read more here.

Coronavirus banner

Keep up to date on the response from the chemical industry and the scientific community to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. SCI will be covering key coronavirus research and reporting news from trusted sources so that you have the coronavirus latest.
Show me news from
All themes
All categories
All years
search by