The Race for a COVID-19 CureBy Miriam Bello | Mon, 04/13/2020 - 14:03
The smartest bet will always be on science. While the COVID-19 outbreak is making the whole world prolongate quarantine, scientists are on an ever-tighter deadline. According to WHO, there are 70 vaccines being devolved globally, with three of them being leading candidates in the race against COVID-19.
The first one is by CanSino Biologics Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology. According to Bloomberg, this vaccine is currently in Phase 2 of trials and will soon receive regulatory approval to start human trials. The other two are being developed by US drug makers, one by Moderna Inc. and the other by Inovio Pharmaceutical Inc. Both of these treatments are being tested on humans.
Vaccines take a long time to develop and to be fully ready for patient use. The process can sometimes take up from 10 to 15 years from development to market access. However, the pharmaceutical industry hopes to have this vaccine ready within the next year. Famous Big Pharma companies are also making efforts to develop an effective cure for COVID-19, which, according to WHO, is already in preclinical stages.
While these developments happen, reports on positive responses to Remdesivir are growing. A couple of weeks ago, the results for treatment on Remdesivir were very few, but the US alongside Canada reported having treated 53 people with the drug for 10 days. After 18 days, 68 percent of the patients showed positive responses. On the subject, Jonathan Grein, Director of Hospital Epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles stated that “we cannot draw definitive conclusions from these data but the observations from this group of hospitalized patients who received Remdesivir are hopeful.” The New England Journal of Medicine launched a report explaining the details of the trails which seems to be very hopeful for the crisis.
This medicine was originally created to attack Ebola and was developed by Gilead Sciences. The company said its lab is mapping out options to make access to investigational Remdesivir more widely available through expedited regulatory processes should it demonstrate the potential to be a safe and effective treatment option based on the results of preliminary clinical trials.
Gilead’s Chairman and CEO has said that “in studying Remdesivir, the question is not just whether it is safe and effective against COVID-19, but in which patients it shows activity, how long should they receive treatment and at what stage of their disease would treatment be most beneficial.”
Mexico has joined these efforts of study and tests for Remdesivir, as Deputy Minister Hugo López-Gatell announced weeks ago, saying that COFEPRIS has joined global efforts to study existent drugs for treating seriously ill patients.