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In this issue of GOLD, we’re taking a look at the top news stories that have emerged during the past few months, which we believe are having the most profound impact on the pharmaceutical industry. As can be seen below, the COVID-19 pandemic is front and centre, but notable collaborations, acquisitions, and appointments are still taking place behind the scenes.

11 February

The World Health Organization (WHO) names the new strain of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

26 February

Gilead Sciences launches clinical trial studies into their Investigational Antiviral Ebola Drug, Remdesivir, for the treatment of COVID-19.

28 February

Merck KGaA enter into a partnership with the German technology company AMCM, who have developed 3D printed tablets, which Merck would like to test for use in digitised clinical trials of the future.

02 March

Gilead announces its acquisition of Forty-Seven, Inc. for $4.9 billion, a move to strength their immuno-oncology R&D portfolio. 

03 March

Thermo Fisher expands its diagnostic capabilities with a $11.5 billion takeover of Qiagen, a diagnostics test manufacturer who are currently developing testing kits for COVID-19.

13 March

AstraZeneca appoints their Senior Vice President of Global Respiratory and Immunology, Tom Keith-Roach, to head the UK branch as President.

16 March

The first human clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine takes place: Moderna’s mRNA-1273, which uses a genetic form of the virus’ genome.

17 March

AbbVie strikes a deal with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to move ahead with its $63 billion pending acquisition of Allergan, potentially rendering AbbVie the fourth-largest global drug maker.

18 March

NICE appoints their Deputy Chief Executive, Gillian Leng, as the new Chief Executive, succeeding their long-standing CEO, Sir Andrew Dillion.

19 March

Eli Lilly, Johnson and Johnson, Roche, Sanofi, and Takeda all state the industry’s commitment to combatting COVID-19, promising affordable therapies and global access once available.

26 March

Takeda enters a rare disease collaboration with exosome therapeutics company, Evox, pledging $882 million of funding as a part of the deal.

07 April

GSK buys a $250 million stake in Vir Biotechnology in order to accelerate the work of their platform, which is being used to identify antibody candidates for a COVID-19 vaccine.

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