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Treatment: Vaccines/drugs in the pipeline for COVID-19

Chloroquine approved for emergency use by US FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved limited emergency use for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, had announced on 19 March that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine/Plaquenil, used to treat malaria and arthritis, were approved by the FDA to be tested as a treatment for COVID-19.

Chloroquine is being tested in various clinical trials conducted by government agencies and academic institutions. Other antivirals drugs are also planned to be fast-tracked for testing for coronavirus.

Favilavir, the first approved coronavirus drug in China

The National Medical Products Administration of China has approved the use of Favilavir, an anti-viral drug, as a treatment for coronavirus. The drug has reportedly shown efficacy in treating the disease with minimal side effects in a clinical trial involving 70 patients. The clinical trial is being conducted in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

Pharmaceutical companies involved in developing coronavirus drugs/vaccines

Here is a list of the major coronavirus drugs that pharmaceutical companies across the world are developing that have the potential to become major coronavirus vaccines or antivirals for treating the contagious coronavirus infection.

Novel coronavirus vaccines

Listed below are the coronavirus vaccines in various stages of development, across the world.

Fusogenix DNA vaccine by Entos Pharmaceuticals

Entos Pharmaceuticals is developing Fusogenix DNA vaccine developed using the Fusogenix drug delivery platform to prevent COVID-19 infections. Fusogenix drug delivery platform is a proteo-lipid vehicle that introduces genetic payload directly into the cells.

Entos is working on developing an optimised payload containing multiple protein epitopes derived from SARS-COV-2 proteins, which will stimulate an immune response in the body to prevent COVID-19 infection.

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 by University of Oxford

The University of Oxford’s ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is an adenovirus vaccine vector developed by the university’s Jenner Institute. The university is testing the vaccine in a clinical trial planned to be conducted in the Thames Valley Region.

Approximately 510 volunteers aged between 18 years and 55 years will be enrolled for the study.

Gimsilumab by Roivant Sciences

Roivant Sciences is advancing the development of Gimsilumab a clinical-stage, human monoclonal antibody. The drug targets granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which is a pro-inflammatory cytokine found in high levels in the serum of COVID-19 patients.

Targeting GM-CSF is expected to reduce lung damage and reduce mortality rate in COVID-19 patients.

AdCOVID by Altimmune

Altimmune has collaborated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to develop a single dose intranasal vaccine for COVID-19 named AdCOVID. The company is currently carrying out immunogenicity studies after, which phase one clinical trial material will be developed.

Altimmune and UAB will work with researchers to conduct preclinical animal studies and phase one clinical trial in the third quarter of 2020.

TJM2 by I-Mab Biopharma

I-Mab Biopharma is developed TJM2, a neutralising antibody, as a treatment for cytokine storm in patients suffering from a severe case of coronavirus infection. The drug targets the human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), which is responsible for acute and chronic inflammation.

The company will commence development after receiving approval for the Investigational New Drug (IND) application from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


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