✦ Eli Lilly & Co. is making a direct equity investment in MiNA Therapeutics Limited, a company that describes itself as “the pioneer in small activating RNA therapeutics.” Lilly’s investment of $15 million comes roughly two months after the companies agreed to work together on developing novel drug candidates using MiNA’s proprietary small activating RNA (saRNA) technology platform. The smaller firm said it will use the proceeds from Lilly’s investment to advance and expand its internal pipeline of saRNA therapeutics, “which is initially focused on immuno-oncology and genetic diseases.”
✦ CureVac N.V. revealed the results of a Phase 2b/3 study of its coronavirus vaccine candidate, saying it demonstrated an overall efficacy of 48% against COVID-19 of any severity. That falls short of the 50% efficacy threshold set by the World Health Organization “to ensure that a widely deployed COVID-19 vaccine is effective,” although the German biopharmaceutical firm emphasized that the vaccine was 53% effective in the 18 to 60 age group against disease of any severity and across all 15 identified strains. The vaccine was 77% effective against moderate to severe disease for that age group and provided 100% protection against hospitalization and death in that cohort.