Coronavirus update: A summit in Geneva, WuXi hunts antibodies and J&J partners on a vaccine search
World health leaders, Big Pharma representatives and executives from the top biotechs searching for drugs and vaccines are meeting now in Geneva for a World Health Organization summit to discuss and consolidate a response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus that has already infected nearly 50,000 people and killed over 1,000. Meanwhile, across the globe, news continues to break.
→ J&J announced a collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to expedite the development of a vaccine. The Pharma giant is screening its library of antiviral molecules for one that is effective against the new coronavirus. It’s an older and potentially slower approach than those now being taken by biotechs such as Moderna, CureVac and Inovio, who can write a DNA or RNA-based vaccine within days or hours of getting the virus sequenced and then lab test it. In either case, though, much of the development time leading up to Phase I is devoted to preclinical testing. By the most optimistic estimates, that will take at least 3 months.
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