Covid-19 roundup: European governments push to renegotiate vaccine contracts — report; As PhII data disappoint, PureTech pulls long Covid program
Before the first Covid-19 vaccines became available, countries scrambled to secure access to the shots, clamoring for supply deals. But as supply now far outstrips demand, governments in the European Union are pushing to renegotiate those deals.
Existing contracts would oblige them to buy vaccines that will just go to waste, they argue.
EU health ministers are meeting to discuss the issue, Reuters reported, citing comments French minister Brigitte Bourgignon made to reporters.
Most of these purchase agreements would involve Pfizer and BioNTech, which have already shipped more than a billion doses of their partnered mRNA vaccine worldwide.
Poland is the leading country in this attempt to revise contracts and reduce required orders, Reuters added, as it still has more than 30 million shots in stock and is on the hook to buy another 70 million under contractual agreements. The country has a population of about 38 million, about 60% of whom are fully vaccinated.
Pfizer said it’s made changes to delivery schedules to adapt. But it’s unclear what solution the ministers will be looking for — or how they plan to enforce it.
As PhII data disappoint, PureTech pulls long Covid program
PureTech is throwing in the towel on efforts to develop its lead drug, LYT-100, for long Covid after a Phase II study suggested there was no treatment effect.
“Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, we identified a potential application for LYT-100 given the hypothesis that inflammation and fibrosis may play a role in prolonging respiratory symptoms experienced by many patients,” CEO Daphne Zohar said in a statement. “We undertook this exploratory study, guided by a desire to address this emerging need, while further expanding the safety and tolerability data for our LYT-100 development program at large.”
What the results do support, according to the company, is continued development in other indications due to its “improved tolerability.”
The trial enrolled 177 patients with the average age of 55 who continued to have respiratory complications following hospitalization for severe acute Covid-19 infection.
For the primary efficacy endpoint, investigators looked at a three-month change from baseline on the six-minute walk test distance, and couldn’t see a difference between drug and placebo.
LYT-100 is a selectively deuterated form of pirfenidone, an anti-inflammatory drug that’s used to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. PureTech will be starting a registration-enabling program for the same disease later this month.