By Berkeley Lovelace Jr.; @BERKELEYJR
Health officials and scientists across the world are racing to develop vaccines and discover effective treatments against the coronavirus, which has infected more than 4.2 million people worldwide in as little as four months, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
There are no proven, knockout treatments and U.S. health officials say a vaccine could take at least a year to 18 months.
On May 1, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir. This after a government-run clinical trial found Covid-19 patients who took remdesivir usually recovered after 11 days. That is four days faster than those who didn’t take the drug. The EUA means doctors in the U.S. will be allowed to use remdesivir on patients hospitalized with Covid-19 even though it has not been formally approved by the agency.
Even if the drug wins final approval, infectious disease specialists and scientists say researchers will need an arsenal of medications to fight this respiratory virus, which can also attack the cardiovascular, nervous, digestive and other major systems of the body.
Below is a list of the leading vaccines and drugs in development to battle Covid-19.
Development: Phase 1 trial near complete, phase 2 trial set to start
The National Institutes of Health, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, has been fast-tracking work with biotech company Moderna to develop a vaccine to prevent Covid-19. The company began the first phase 1 human trial on 45 volunteers testing a vaccine to prevent the disease in March and has been approved to soon start its phase 2, which would expand the testing to 600 people, by late May or June. If all goes well, its vaccine could be in production as early as July.
Moderna has developed the first experimental coronavirus medicine, but an approved treatment is more than a year away.
Moderna’s potential vaccine contains genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA, that was produced in a lab. The mRNA is a genetic code that tells cells how to make a protein and was found in the outer coat of the new coronavirus, according to researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. The mRNA instructs the body’s own cellular mechanisms for making proteins to create those that mimic the virus proteins, thereby producing an immune response.
Johnson & Johnson
Vaccine: Modified adenovirus
Johnson & Johnson began Covid-19 vaccine development in January. J&J’s lead vaccine candidate will enter a phase 1 human clinical study by September, the company announced in March, and clinical data on the trial is expected before the end of the year. If the vaccine works well, the company said it could produce 600 million to 900 million doses by April 2021.
The company said it is using the same technologies it used to make its experimental Ebola vaccine, which was provided to people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2019. It involves combing genetic material from the coronavirus with a modified adenovirus that is known to cause common colds in humans.
Zia H Shah MD, In charge of health section for the Muslim Times
The best of the Muslim Times’ collection for war against Covid 19:
In this day and age, understanding bacteria and viruses and developing vaccines are national security issues. In my view sizable part of every country’s defense budget should be spent in these pursuits rather than making tanks and other weapons.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says more than 30 countries have asked Japan for favipiravir (Avigan) to fight Covid 19
For the latest news about drugs and vaccines’ trials please go to: Pharmaceutical-Technology
The Muslim Times has the best collections in the war against Covid 19 as we are collecting from all the established sources
For the number of cases and epidemiology in each country go to: WorldOMeters