Keeping tabs on Covid-19: Pro bono legal advice offered for vaccine developments, rehydration solution to relieve respiratory symptoms launched and innovative material to protect keyworkers promoted

Pharma IQ provides its weekly round-up on everything new from the pharma industry as it offers its resources in the global fight to curb the Covid-19 pandemic

The UK government announced plans to extended lockdown for “at least” three more weeks on 16 April.

UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab said, "We still don't have the infection rate down as far as we need to and if we rush to relax the measures that we have in place we would risk wasting all the sacrifices and all the progress that has been made so far."

In light of the new lockdown measures in the UK, Pharma IQ present a round-up of innovative solutions to combat Covid-19.

European law firm offers pro bono legal advice to pharma companies fighting the coronavirus

Fieldfisher is providing pro bono legal assistance to pharma companies fighting the coronavirus. Companies eligible for the scheme include those repurposing medicines and developing vaccines, as well regulatory bodies that are fast tracking medical devices and diagnostics to market.

In the UK, the initiative is being led by Janita Good, Head of the UK at Fieldfisher’s life sciences sector group. In a commitment to support the international expertise of the life science sector, Fieldfisher claimed its initiative would assist pharma businesses in reallocating their resources efficiently to focus on fighting the virus.

Good remarked, "Right now the world is looking at the life sciences sector for the answer to stabilize and hopefully eradicate Covid-19. Many other businesses are also entering into completely new territory to use their resources to assist where they can.

"At Fieldfisher, we want to reinforce our commitment to not only the life sciences sector but also to the fight against Covid-19, so we've mobilized as a sector to provide initial legal assistance to the wide range of businesses jumping on board to make a difference.

"These are unprecedented times, but we hope to do what we can to inspire and support businesses who can contribute to do so."

UK study aims to relieve respiratory symptoms of Covid-19 with rehydration solution

Clinova, a science-led consumer healthcare company, has launched a study into the efficacy of its proprietary Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) in patients suffering from acute viral upper respiratory infection symptoms associated with Covid-19.

The study involves 50 participants taking Clinova’s ORS hydration tablets twice a day for two weeks after displaying respiratory symptoms for three days. The study advises that the hydration tablets should not be taken for longer than 21 days and will assess whether the product has improved participants comfort levels and speed of recovery.

The study follows the news of Clinova’s release of an updated version of its digital healthcare app Caidr. The company claims the app offers an innovative way of promoting social distancing  and helps users assess their common medical issues at home.

Arsalan Karim, Director of Research and Development and Co-Founder of Clinova, said, “While ORS cannot cure Covid-19 symptoms, we hope it will be shown to significantly decrease the amount of discomfort suffered by patients.

“As worldwide research into a vaccine continues, it must not be forgotten that there is much to be done to reduce discomfort in sufferers.

“Hydration is one of the most important aspects of human health, especially when the body is faced with challenges such as extreme heat or illness. Good hydration goes a long way in supporting the body’s natural ability to defend and repair, which is going to be incredibly important for anyone suffering with Covid-19 symptoms.”

ORS has been formulated to the standards of the World Health Organization and is now available from UK-based online retailers.

Polyethylene foam material helps protect keyworkers against contracting Covid-19

Medical device manufacturer J-Pac Medical has created face shields to protect the medical community against coronavirus. The company has opted to use Plastazote, a polyethylene foam material in the headband, to prevent moisture absorption and reduce skin irritation.

The material properties of Plastazote derive primarily from the unique method of expansion created by Zotefoams, a UK chemical manufacturing company, which uses only pure nitrogen in the creation of the material. The closed cell characteristics of Plastazote means that it prevents moisture absorption and provides protection from vertical contaminants.

According to Zotefoams, Plastazote is already the most-cited thermoplastic foam in medical literature for skin contact suitability, with medical grades tested to ISO10993 (biological evaluation of medical devices). The manufacturer also claims Plastazote is an essential resource for protecting sensitive medical devices such as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation units during transit, as the strength-to-weight ratio of the material reduces transport on-costs and protects keyworkers from shocks, chemicals and liquids.

David Stirling, CEO at Zotefoams, commented, “This is a uniquely challenging and worrying time for all of us, but the knowledge that Plastazote is playing such an important role is creating a real sense of shared purpose across our global team. Knowing that we are contributing to the protection of frontline workers is inspiring and I am proud of the way Zotefoams employees are adapting to different ways of working.”

To stay ahead of trends in manufacturing and clinical development, download MasterControl’s solution report to identify new ways to accommodate the needs of the ever-changing healthcare market, and read about how Dotmatics is justifying further spend on lab automation software to deal with complex data types and achieve a lab of the future environment.