Gilead invented remdesivir several years ago and first developed it to treat Ebola. Although the treatment proved less effective than others in fighting Ebola, company researchers working with academic scientists found that remdesivir was effective in treating mice infected with another coronavirus. Meanwhile, other doctors and researchers are searching for existing drugs in hopes that they’ll land on one that’s effective against COVID-19.
The Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus-Drug Development Becomes A Top Focus At Gilead
A team of a dozen executives at drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc. meets daily to discuss the coronavirus epidemic in China and the company’s cross-continental scramble to develop the first drug for the new disease. If the company’s drug succeeds in studies in China, it could become the first treatment proven to work against a respiratory virus that has killed more than 1,000 people and infected some 42,600 in fewer than three months. (Walker, 2/12)
NPR: Is A Coronavirus Vaccine Coming Soon? Maybe By Fall, Scientists Say
Right now scientists are trying to accomplish something that was inconceivable a decade ago: create a vaccine against a previously unknown virus rapidly enough to help end an outbreak of that virus. In this case, they’re trying to stop the spread of the new coronavirus that has already infected tens of thousands of people, mainly in China, and given rise to a respiratory condition now known as COVID-19. Typically, making a new vaccine takes a decade or longer. But new genetic technologies and new strategies make researchers optimistic that they can shorten that timetable to months, and possibly weeks — and have a tool by the fall that can slow the spread of infection. (Palca, 2/12)
Kaiser Health News: To Fight Chinese Outbreak, Doctors Deploy Drugs Targeting HIV, Malaria And Ebola
As the scientific community scrambles to find a drug that can effectively treat tens of thousands of patients sickened by a new respiratory virus, they are trying some surprising remedies: medicines targeting known killers like HIV, Ebola and malaria. American drugmakers have shipped two antiviral medications to China as doctors and public health officials there seek an effective treatment for patients sickened by the novel coronavirus, which has recently been named COVID19. The virus has afflicted 45,000 people worldwide and killed more than 1,100. Most of the cases and deaths occurred in Hubei province, China, where the outbreak began. (Heredia Rodriguez, 2/13)
PBS NewsHour: WATCH: WHO Deliberates How To Design Novel Coronavirus Drugs
More than 300 researchers from around the world convened in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday to figure out how to treat people diagnosed with novel coronavirus and develop the first vaccines and medications to combat the disease. Public health experts and scientists are discussing easy-to-apply community-level diagnostic tests, best prevention practices and potential therapies, said Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist for the World Health Organization, during a news conference Wednesday. (Santhanam, 2/12)
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