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COVID-19 Update
January 11, 2021
IowaBio wants to provide our members useful information during the COVID-19 pandemic. This newsletter compiles information on state, federal and industry action to combat the virus and its impacts.

If your company is helping respond to COVID-19, IowaBio wants to know about it. Please, send any information about what your biotechnology company or organization is doing to help, to Jessica Hyland at

If IowaBio can assist you in getting information out, connecting with public officials, or support your company in another way, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Past IowaBio COVID-19 Update newsletters are now available at and can be found under the Industry News tab on the IowaBio website.

IowaBio Member Highlights

Merck has reached a multimillion-dollar deal to supply the feds with a coronavirus drug it’s developing to treat severely ill patients, the company said Wednesday.

The government will pay the New Jersey-based drugmaker up to about $356 million for roughly 60,000 to 100,000 doses of the drug known as MK-7110.

A late-stage clinical trial of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has shown the experimental treatment gave sick people a 60 percent better chance of improving their condition compared to a placebo and reduced the risk of death or respiratory failure by more than 50 percent, Merck said.

Read more here. Read the full news release here.
Bayer has signed a collaboration and services agreement with CureVac N.V. (Nasdaq: CVAC), a biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA).

Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will support the further development, supply and key territory operations of CureVac´s COVID-19 vaccine candidate CVnCoV. To this end, Bayer will contribute its expertise and established infrastructure in areas such as clinical operations, regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, medical information, supply chain performance as well as support in selected countries.

“The need for vaccines against COVID-19 is enormous. We are therefore pleased to be able to provide significant support to CureVac, a leader in mRNA technology, in advancing the further development and supply of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate,” said Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management, Bayer AG and President of the Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division.

Based on the collaboration agreement, CureVac will be the Marketing Authorization Holder for the product, while Bayer will support CureVac with country operations within the European Union (EU) and selected additional markets. Bayer holds further options to become Marketing Authorization Holder in other markets outside of Europe.

The companies plan to combine their strengths for CureVac to be in a position to supply hundreds of millions of CVnCoV doses around the world, once approvals are granted. Together both companies aim to play a meaningful role to contribute to stop the COVID19 pandemic. CureVac is currently expanding its partner network for the development, production and distribution of its vaccine candidate.

Read the full press release here.

Key Statistics

Currently, IDPH has reported on the state’s coronavirus dashboard, 296,860 Iowans have tested positive, up 3,412 from our update Friday morning, with a total of 1,396,434 tested. 73 additional deaths were reported since our last update, bringing the total to 4,138 deaths. Now 256,152 Iowans have recovered. The total 14 day rolling average positivity rate is 14.6% the past 7-day average is 11.8%. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here. There are currently 555 hospitalized patients.

School district statistics including positivity rates by county can be found here. According to guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Education, schools may petition to go to hybrid or online learning with less than 50 percent in-person instruction when the per county percentage positivity rates are above 15 percent in a county on average over the past 14 days (rolling average) AND 10% absenteeism among students is expected for in-person learning. School district waiver requests and whether they are granted or denied are listed here.

Currently 58 (of 99) counties are at or above a 15 percent positivity rate over the past 14 days. Click here to search county data for today.

Total Cases 22,102,069
Total Deaths 371,084

Total Cases 90,353,576
Total Deaths 1,936,410
BIO Pipeline Tracker
801 Unique compounds in development
197 vaccines
226 antivirals
378 treatments

Jessica Hyland, J.D.
Executive Director
Iowa Biotechnology Association
Cell: (515) 822-1315
Office: (515) 327-9156
Fax: (515) 327-1407
Copyright © 2021 Iowa Biotech Association, All rights reserved.

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