Wellcome looks for backers of an $8B-plus Covid-19 fund; ReNeuron signs on another pharma partner
→ The nonprofit Wellcome is looking to raise $8 billion to fund the development of new drugs and vaccines that can fight Covid-19. The UK organization says that represents just a fraction of the money that’s been set aside to safeguard economies and would go a long way to funding an effective R&D campaign while scaling up manufacturing alongside the effort. Dubbed Covid-Zero, they’re hoping to have at least $8 billion in the fund by the end of this month. “Businesses and governments are rightly concerned with tackling immediate concerns – how to support staff, keep trading and bolster economies. But we also need a way out of this pandemic as fast as possible,” noted Jeremy Farrar, who runs Wellcome.
→ London-based stem cell player ReNeuron has inked a research deal with an unnamed pharma company around its exosome technology as a novel delivery vehicle. “ReNeuron’s exosomes are derived from its CTX neural stem cell line and have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and to be manufactured at scale,” the biotech wrote, adding that it is tasked with manufacturing exosomes and then loading them with gene silencing sequences.