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Sanofi, GSK Commence Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Vaccine

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Sanofi and GSK have announced the commencement of Phase 1/2 clinical trial for their adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine candidate that was developed by both firms uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines with GSK’s established pandemic adjuvant technology.

The companies in a statement said that the Phase 1/2 clinical trial is a randomised, double blind and placebo-controlled trial.

It is designed to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate.

They added that a total of 440 healthy adults are being enrolled in the trial across 11 investigational sites in the United States.

The companies anticipate first results in early December 2020, to support the initiation of a Phase 3 trial in December 2020.

“If these data are sufficient for licensure application, we are planning to request regulatory approval in the first half of 2021,” the statement said.

Speaking on the development, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur, Thomas Triomphe, said, “Sanofi and GSK bring proven science and technology to the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic, with the shared objective of delivering a safe and effective vaccine.

“The initiation of our clinical study is an important step and brings us closer to a potential vaccine which could help defeat COVID-19. Our dedicated teams and partner continue to work around the clock as we aim to deliver the first results in early December. Positive data will enable a prompt start of the pivotal phase 3 trial by the end of this year.”

Also speaking, President of GSK Vaccines, Roger Connor, said, “Moving this vaccine candidate into clinical development is an important moment in the progress towards addressing the global pandemic we are all facing.

“This builds on the confidence shown by governments already in the potential of this protein- based adjuvanted vaccine candidate, which utilises established technology from both companies, and can be produced at scale by two of the leading vaccine manufacturers globally.

“We now look forward to the data from the study, and if positive, beginning a Phase 3 trial by the end of the year.”

Sanofi is leading the clinical development and registration of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pre-clinical data showed an acceptable reactogenicity profile and data based on two injections of the adjuvanted recombinant vaccine showed high levels of neutralising antibodies that are comparable to levels in humans who recovered from the COVID-19 infection.

Pre-clinical results will be published later this year. In parallel, Sanofi and GSK are scaling up manufacturing of the antigen and adjuvant with the target of producing up to one billion doses in 2021.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Playfre Wins “Best Music Streaming Platform – West Africa” at the Fourth Annual African Excellence Awards

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Playfre - Investors King

African music streaming service Playfre wins “Best Music Streaming Platform – West Africa” at the fourth annual African Excellence Awards, hosted by MEA Markets. 

“The recent months have undoubtedly brought about significant challenges for many industries across Africa, and therefore [We are] delighted to be the bearer of good news following Playfre’s 2021 nomination.” said Kaven Oscar Cooper, Awards Executive at MEA Markets.

“Over the past couple of weeks, our judging team have assessed the shortlist for MEA Markets’ African Excellence Awards. It is with absolute pleasure to confirm that Playfre has been successful, and have been awarded: Best Music Streaming Platform – West Africa” Cooper continued.

“We are delighted to be recognized in this way and it is such an honor and privilege to be bestowed with such a prestigious award.” says Chika Nwaogu, CEO of Playfre Music Group.

Available in 54 African countries and with operations in both Kenya and Nigeria, Playfre is an African music streaming platform that was launched on 1 May 2019. Since inception, Playfre has amassed over 70,000 registered users and over 100,000,000 streams.

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Iheanacho’s Leicester Underdog as FA Cup Final Airs on StarTimes

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Chelsea will face Leicester City for the FA Cup final in Wembley on Saturday at 5:15 pm.

The match will air live and in HD on StarTimes’ World Football channel.

The FA Cup final will be immediately followed by the Coppa Italia final on May 19 and Europa League final on May 26 and then cascade to Euro 2020. All matches will air on StarTimes basic bouquet at N1700 monthly (antenna users) or smart bouquet at N2200 (dish users).

On Saturday, the Blues go into the FA Cup final at Wembley against Leicester City as the favourites, especially as their last two results saw them beat some pretty impressive opponents.

Thanks to a stellar squad led by two German internationals Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are the favourites of the final. But Leicester could surprise the Blues, which are battling on many fronts.

One African international who is bound to feature in the game is Kelechi Iheanacho, who has formed a deadly striking partnership with Jaimie Vardy upfront for Leicester. The Nigerian international was on target again on the weekend for his side in their 4-2 home defeat against Newcastle, to take his tally for the season to 11. He scored 10 of those goals in his last nine matches.

Authorities have said that some 22,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley.

That leaves millions of other football fans who will want to see the match. And for African football fans there is great news as the game will be screened live and in HD on the StarTimes football channels.

StarTimes Nigeria PR Manager, Lazarus Ibeabuchi, said: “Football lovers in Nigeria can look forward to this exciting showpiece on StarTimes at the most affordable rate in the market. Active subscribers can watch on the go by downloading StarTimes ON mobile app and linking it to their decoders, at no extra cost, to access the same content on up to three mobile devices. Also, non-subscribers can also watch live sports, sought-after TV channels and over 2000 video-on-demand content for as low as N400 weekly, with an option to subscribe with their MTN airtime, via our StarTimes ON mobile app.”

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COVID-19: Eid-el-Fitr Prayers To Hold Indoors

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello, has banned Eid prayers at the National Eid prayer ground along the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway, Airport Road.

The prohibition, Bello said, is due to COVID-19 ravaging some part of the world.

The Minister on Monday chaired a meeting of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and a delegation from the FCT League of Imams Initiative led by its chairman, Imam (Dr) Tajudeen Adigun.

The meeting discussed measures on how to curb further spread of the pandemic and modalities of holding prayers for the upcoming Eid el-Fitr celebrations.

Based on presentations by officials of the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA and the Implementation guidelines for phased Restriction of Movement by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 on Monday May 10, 2021, the Minister further ordered all worshippers to hold Eid prayers outdoors within the premises of their neighborhood Juma’at mosques.

The Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, also affirmed in a statement realesed on Tuesday, that all Eid celebrations and activities should be confined to homes.

He said all public parks, recreation and entertainment centres are to be closed.

The statement reads in part: “There will be no Eid prayers at the National Eid prayer ground along the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway (Airport Road)

“Indoor worship are to be limited to less than 50% of installed capacity.

“Religious authorities are advised to regulate the flow of people entering and exiting places of worship.

“All non-pharmaceutical intervention protocols of facial coverings, physical distancing and hand washing are to be observed.”

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