For those of us in the industry who comprehend the lengthy and expensive process of drug discovery, testing and trials, the speed and urgency at which our industry is moving to develop an effective vaccine and treatment is something to be proud of.
It is now understood by researchers, companies and regulators that while ensuring safety, efficacy and quality are still of critical importance, speed is now paramount.
Here are some examples of candidates that are being developed at breakneck speed.
Table 1 below summarises the many other candidates at different stages of the condensed drug development lifecycle.
|Company/Research||Drug/Vaccine Candidate||Development Stage|
|MIGAL||Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) vaccine||Pre-clinical trials|
|APEIRON Biologics||APN01||Phase 1|
|Tonix Pharmaceuticals||TNX-1800||Initial Evaluation|
|Innovation Pharmaceuticals||Brilacidin||Initial Evaluation|
|Clover Biopharmaceuticals||S-Trimer vaccine||Pre-clinical trials|
|CytoDyn||Leronlimab||Phase 2 for HIV and fast tracked for COVID-19|
|Applied DNA Sciences and Takis Biotech||Linear DNA vaccine||Pre-clinical trials|
|Novavax||MERS coronavirus vaccine||Phase 1 in 2020|
|Biocryst Pharma||Galidesivir||Advanced Animal Testing|
|Heat Biologics||gp96 vaccine||Early Development|
|Pfizer and BioNTech||mRNA vaccine, BNT162||Clinical programme development with Fosun in China|
|Generex||Ii-Key immune system activation||Clinical programme development in China|
|Vir Biotechnology/Wuxi||MABs binding to virus||TBC|
|Vir Biotechnology/Alnylam||siRNA candidates||TBC|
|Janssen Pharmaceuticals||PREZCOBIX® HIV medication (darunavir/cobicistat)||TBC|
As evident from the above, drug discovery and clinical research activities in COVID-19 prevention and treatment is increasing in pace. It would not be surprising if a workable vaccine has already been discovered and is being tested at present.
It will take some time to establish the complete safety and efficacy of the successful candidates but with the combined knowledge and urgency that now exists in R&D, we should have reason to be confident of a future without COVID-19.
In the meantime - and unfortunately this may still be some months away - we must follow national health authority guidance, trust in science and stay safe for each other.