Add Takeda and Alnylam to the menu of global drugmakers looking to stymie the coronavirus epidemic
As the WHO declares that the global mortality rate of the infections caused by the new coronavirus stands at 3.4%, Takeda and Alnylam have joined the ranks of drugmakers working on an antidote.
Takeda is looking to develop a plasma-derived therapy — which it says has been shown to be effective in treating severe acute viral respiratory infections — for individuals at high risk of contracting Covid-19.
The therapy, which is being referred to as TAK-888, will be derived from the blood of coronavirus patients who have recovered from the respiratory disease — using the rationale that antibodies cultivated by recovered patients should arm the immune systems of new patients with fresh ammunition to destroy the infection.
“What we are trying to develop here … will not prevent the disease, but hopefully we’ll be able to treat severe patients who are suffering from Covid-19, and potentially provide some protection to frontline healthcare workers,” Julie Kim, head of Takeda’s plasma-derived therapies business unit, told Endpoints News. “It’ll be great once the vaccine is available, then you can actually prevent the disease.”
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