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Update On 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov): The Latest Progress In Vaccine Development And Treatment
Efforts Around the World to Develop Vaccines
Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Alliance and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), claims that they are confident to conduct a clinical phase I trial of a vaccine against the 2019-nCov in three months or less.
Johnson & Johnson has begun research on the virus and has applied its technology platform for rapid and large-scale production of optimized vaccine candidates. Meanwhile, Moderna and Inovio Pharma have announced plans to work together to develop a vaccine.
The Chinese and Russian governments are also attempting to co-develop a vaccine, and Beijing has transferred the 2019-nCoV genome data to Moscow. “Russian and Chinese experts have started developing vaccines against coronavirus,” the Russian Consulate in Guangzhou said in a statement.
Despite these accelerated developments, Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan has shared a different view. He warned that it would take at least a year to develop an effective vaccine, and what is needed now is epidemiological control to reduce the outbreak.
Gilead Sciences is evaluating whether its experimental RNA polymerase inhibitor remdesivir, originally developed for the treatment of Ebola, can be used against the coronavirus. Besides, AbbVie stated that it had donated USD 2 million worth HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir / ritonavir) as an “experimental option” at the request of Chinese health authorities.
Cell therapy-related companies are not shying away from this fight either. Sorrento Therapeutics has announced a collaboration with Celularity for clinical development and manufacturing. The goal is to extend the therapeutic use of Celularity’s CYNK-001 (an allogeneic, off-the-shelf, placental-derived Natural Killer cell therapy) to treat and prevent coronavirus infections.
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