As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, some of the biggest drug companies are moving closer to finding a vaccine.
Biotech giant Gilead Sciences GILD is planning to administer its remdesivir drug to patients next month. Remdesivir is an experimental drug that has been used to treat Ebola. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes it may be the best chance to effectively treat the coronavirus.
Novavax NVAX and Moderna MRNA are also working on vaccines, and both companies expect to begin phase 1 studies soon. Drugmaker Sanofi SNY recently announced plans to develop a vaccine; it said it will leverage previous work for a SARS pre-clinical vaccine. Other large drug makers like GlaxoSmithKline GSK and Johnson & Johnson JNJ are working on vaccines as well.
Scientists are hoping to cut the time it takes to develop a vaccine in half—which used to take years, since the virus had to be grown in a lab—with a new tool that builds a vaccine based on a virus’ genetic sequence. Researchers are hoping to have a viable preventive by this fall.
We are reissuing this article to correct a mistake. The original article, issued February 28, 2020, should no longer be relied upon.
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