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Weekly Roundups

Influenza Season Meets COVID-19

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 10/15/2020 - 17:09

Oncologic treatments suffered another hit this year after a robbery at one of the government’s warehouses. In better news, Mexico reached agreements with three pharmaceutical companies to access their COVID-19 vaccines once approved.

Find out more of what happened this week in the sector!


-On Monday, COFEPRIS announced the robbery of 38,000 doses of oncological treatments for children from Novag Pharmaceutical’s warehouses. The drugs stolen from the facility include daunorubicin, fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, dacarbazine, mitomycins, etoposide, idarubicins and cyclophosphamide, which were manufactured by Kemex Laboratories.

-Mexico reports the first simultaneous infection of COVID-19 and influenza AH1N1: a 54-year-old woman who is now is being treated at INCMNSZ. Experts from the Ministry of Health warn that similar cases may become more frequent as the country enters influenza season and encouraged people to keep up preventive measures and to get the AH1N1 vaccine at their local health centers.

-Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard announced that Mexico has reached agreements with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, Pfizer and CanSino Biologics to secure access to their COVID-19 vaccines under development. With this, Mexico can obtain up to 146.8 million vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

-PAHO donated 200,000 quick COVID-19 tests to Mexico, which are already under regulatory evaluation. Once approved, they will be distributed to different public hospitals in the country.


-Johnson & Johnson temporary paused Phase 3 of its clinical trial after one of the volunteers presented an adverse rection. There is still no information on the patient’s symptoms but the online volunteer registration was also stopped for the time being.

-After two months free from COVID-19 local contagion, China registered 12 positive cases in the city of Qingdao. China already announced that it would administer PCR tests to the 9 million people living in the city.

-In the US, a man presented a second COVID-19 infection with severe symptoms. The 25-year-old patient has now recovered. According to The Lancet, researchers expected that a second COVID-19 contagion would present mild symptoms, so it is unclear why this patient presented a severe case for a second time.

-Eli Lilly had to temporary pause clinical trials on its COVID-19 antibody treatment. According to Reuters, the FDA found significant quality control issues in the company’s production plan and that many manufacturing processes had been deleted and unaudited. Reuters explained that these violations are grave enough to have a significant impact on public health.

-According to Soumya Swaminathan, leading scientist at WHO, young, healthy people might have to wait until 2022 to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare workers and vulnerable groups are to be the priority for vaccination campaigns.

-The Blood Advances journal posted research indicating that individuals with O blood type might be in less danger of COVID-19 contagion or have less risk of developing a serious reaction to the virus.

-The EU put Spain back in red light due to COVID-19 contagion risks. As a response to the high numbers of contagion and deaths, France will also address the situation by imposing curfews.

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Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst