Ukrainian legislation should enable pharmaceutical manufacturers to buy a license for the production of a COVID-19 vaccine, which can be developed by foreign companies, Head of the supervisory board of JSC Farmak (Kyiv) Filya Zhebrovska has said.
“Ukrainian legislation should provide an opportunity so that we can buy or use a license, possibly pay royalties, so that we have the opportunity to produce this vaccine,” the company’s press service reported, quoting her as saying.
Zhebrovska said that the possibility of buying a license to produce a COVID-19 vaccine at Ukrainian production facilities will reduce the price of this vaccine by 15-20% compared with the purchase of the finished product.
As reported, Farmak does not rule out the possibility of joining a consortium, which the European Investment Bank (EIB), together with WHO, created to develop the COVID-19 vaccine. The EIB allocated EUR 7.6 billion to this consortium.
In the middle of May, Farmak, as part of international research, began the third phase of clinical trials of the Amizon drug (Enisamium) in fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine.
Farmak is the leader in the pharmaceutical market with a share of 5.9% in monetary terms. The company annually reinvests of approximately 95% of the profits in its development.
Farmak is a member of the Manufacturers of Medications of Ukraine association.
According to the public register, the ultimate beneficial owner of PJSC Farmak is Zhebrovska, who holds 80% of shares in the company.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said that a trend in number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country is optimistic, however one should not be careless about the infection. The president’s press service said that on Tuesday, during a regular meeting on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine, the head of state was informed that the number of new COVID-19 cases in Ukraine in the past 24 hours was 260 and 356 patients have recovered.
“The coronavirus epidemic has forced us all to make new decisions and accept new living conditions. All countries in the world have revised their approaches. Today’s trend in the number of those who fell ill and those who recovered inspires hope that we have passed the first challenges with dignity. However, this does not mean that we should be careless with coronavirus infection. We will do everything to guarantee the safety of Ukrainians,” Zelensky said.
Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine Oleksiy Chernyshov informed the president that so far almost all regions have paid 300% bonuses to medical workers who worked with COVID-19 patients in March. Three regions will resolve this issue in the coming days.
Also, some regions have already started paying bonuses for April, and by the end of the week the Cabinet of Ministers expects a significant increase in the number of agreements with the National Health Service, which is necessary to make these payments.
The biopharmaceutical company Biopharma begins to conduct EIA (enzyme immunoassay) tests for availability of COVID-19 antibody assay for all plasma donors, EIA testing will identify those who have the disease in a latent form.
“Biopharma purchased 12,000 EIA tests manufactured by Roche and on May 18 we will begin testing donors for antibodies on our hardware base,” Kostiantyn Yefymenko, the co-owner of the company, said on his Facebook page.
He recalled that Biopharma has begun collecting plasma from donors who have undergone COVID-19.
“The first liters of such plasma have already been prepared, and our team is doing a very difficult job. We understood that it would not be easy. Very difficult,” he wrote.
Yefymenko noted that the number of potential donors is very limited. So, out of 4,700 people who recovered (at the time of publishing the post of Yefymenko) in Ukraine, 40% are older than 60 years and cannot be donors, 20% cannot be donors according to their indications.
“There remain 1,800 people in a large, forty-million country, who need to be found, and not all, but volunteers who are ready to become a donor,” he explained.
As reported, Biopharma has begun the development of a hyperimmune immunoglobulin based on plasma of people who had COVID-19, this drug can be effective for specific treatment of COVID-19.
Biopharma is a Ukrainian biotechnology company, the only plant in Eastern Europe that has modern technology, has been manufacturing and developing drugs from donated plasma for almost 50 years.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has included all airports in the Kyiv and Chernivtsi regions in the list of airports located in the affected areas with a high risk of transmission of COVID-19 infection.
According to a message published on the EASA website on May 12, the list of risky airports was developed in coordination with EASA member states and is based on information from the World Health Organization, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and other reputable public health institutes.
The updated list takes effect on May 14. In total, airports from 32 countries of the world, including in the United States, Russia and Great Britain, were included in the risk list.
Double liability company Interchem, a pharmaceutical company based in Odesa, has received the permit of the Health Ministry of Ukraine for conducting clinical testing of antiviral medicine Amixin for effectiveness in treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Director General of the company Anatoliy Reder told Interfax-Ukraine that a respective decree of the Health Ministry was signed on May 14.
He also said that the company requested the consideration of the application on clinical trials of Amixin due to the fact that the medicine had previously shown its effectiveness against a number of dangerous viral infections. During preclinical trials, it was proved that tilorone (the active substance of Amixin medicine) has antiviral activity against a number of strains of ordinary coronaviruses.
Several international research centers have already conducted and are carrying out testing of tilorone against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
“As we can see, not only do we consider Amixin as a potentially effective medicine against COVID-19, but also researchers abroad,” he said.
Reder said that, in particular, such trials were conducted at the Institut Pasteur Korea (South Korea), and in two research centers in the United States as well.
“Based on the data of preclinical trials showing the highly effective antiviral effect of tilorone against SARS-CoV-2, we applied to the Health Ministry for approval of the third phase of clinical testing to expand the range of use of Amixin medicine and obtain evidence on its efficiency and safety for treating patients with COVID-19 infection,” he said.
According to Reder, clinical trials of Amixin will be conducted by research centers in three cities of Ukraine. In general, a trial may take three to four months from the moment the Health Ministry gave a permit for conducting it to the pharmaceutical company.
“The duration of the clinical trial will primarily depend on the speed of patient enrollment. At this stage, it is planned to include more than 60 volunteers in the study who, according to the severity of the disease, will be on self-isolation and undergo outpatient treatment,” he said.
Reder said that the research doctors who confirmed their readiness to conduct this trial are highly motivated, first of all, by their scientific interest and the opportunity to make their contribution to the search for a solution, which is so urgent for the whole world of medical and social problem that the new coronavirus has become.
Interchem is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the country.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers of Ukraine register clinical trials of medicines for the treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19), Health Minister Maksym Stepanov has said.
“There are internal enterprises that register clinical trials of medicines, which they produce in our country. Currently, they are Farmak, Borschahivsky Chemical Pharmaceutical Plant, Darnitsa pharmaceutical company, Biopharma and Interchem. They are trying to create medicines to treat COVID-19, including symptomatic ones. For example, Darnitsa brought in a substance for the production of hydroxychloroquine, while Biopharma registered a clinical trial of Bioven,” he said during a press briefing in Kyiv on Wednesday, May 13.