CHICAGO (Reuters) – Researchers and pharmaceutical companies are struggling to develop vaccines and treatments to combat the new coronavirus that emerged in central China in December and has spread to more than two dozen countries, killing more than 2,000 people.
There are no proven treatments for the virus and experts say it could take a year or more to have a vaccine ready. The hope is that strict quarantines in China and elsewhere contain the spread of the virus long enough for scientists to develop tools to combat it. The following is a list of some of those efforts:
Vaccines work by training the immune system to recognize and fight specific viruses or bacteria, providing immunity against them. China’s early launch of the new coronavirus genetic sequence has allowed several research groups and companies to quickly begin vaccine development without the need for live virus samples.
Several efforts are using several “plug-and-play” vaccine platforms to develop vaccines using genetic material, RNA or DNA, specific for the virus.
The National Institutes of Health of the USA UU. They began working with a platform developed by American biotechnology Moderna Inc. Scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. are using a different platform. The work is supported by grants from the global health emergency group Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Novavax Inc, which said it created a candidate vaccine for Ebola within 90 days after the launch of the genetic sequence, has also announced work on a coronavirus vaccine.
Large pharmaceutical companies, including Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson, are also working on coronavirus vaccines, backed by the US Advanced Biomedical Research and Development Authority. UU. (BARD).
In China, officials are testing multiple candidate vaccines, including new approaches to DNA and RNA vaccines and a recombinant protein vaccine in which scientists replicate proteins on the surface of the virus. Sanofi is using a similar method.
To accelerate access to treatments, researchers are reusing a number of existing medications in hopes of finding something that works against the new virus.
Galidesivir of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc works by interfering with the ability to replicate a virus. The antiviral has shown promise in a variety of viruses, including cononaviruses, and has proven safe in healthy volunteers. The work is backed by BARDA.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc is developing REGN3048-3051, a combination of two antibodies developed from immunized mice that have been genetically altered to produce “humanized” antibodies. The work expands Regeneron’s partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services. UU. For a related coronavirus. Regeneron will test his drug in humans through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
The remdesivir of Gilead Sciences Inc is an antiviral that failed against Ebola, but has shown promise in monkeys against a related coronavirus. Gilead has partnered with Chinese researchers to conduct two clinical trials coordinated by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing. The studies were expected to be completed in April.
Chinese authorities are testing the HIV treatment of two Kaletra drugs from AbbVie, which is designed to prevent HIV from recurring in people. The hope is that he will do the same with the new coronavirus.
Toyama Chemical’s antiviral favipiravir from Japan was developed to combat RNA viruses such as the new coronavirus. It has demonstrated preliminary efficacy in a clinical trial of 70 patients in Shenzhen city, officials said Saturday.
Chloroquine phosphate drug against malaria is being tested in 10 hospitals in China in more than 100 patients. Preliminary results suggest that it has at least some benefit in patients with pneumonia, Chinese officials said.
Chinese scientists are also treating some patients with blood from coronavirus survivors, an older technique that has been used to combat rabies, diphtheria and other infections. So far, 11 patients with severe pneumonia have shown a significant improvement with treatment, without serious side effects, authorities said.