Vir Biotechnology is adding GlaxoSmithKline to its roster of COVID-19 partners—and snagging a $250 million investment in the process. The duo will pool their resources to develop vaccines and treatments for coronaviruses, starting with two antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the current pandemic, which could hit phase 2 studies as early as this summer.
Positives in First Published Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Treatment
There are currently no specific treatments for COVID-19. However, it is possible that some existing drugs, usually used for other conditions, may have some benefits.
Professor Thomas Jaki, from the Medical and Pharmaceutical Statistics Research Unit in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Lancaster University, said the initial trial investigated whether anti-viral drugs used to treat HIV would relieve the symptoms of COVID-19 — and started when there were less than 500 confirmed cases worldwide. While it may sometimes feel like we are unprepared for incidents like the COVID-19 outbreak there is actually a co-ordinated global effort among scientists. There is light at th end of this tunnel no matter how far away it seems.
Experimental Coronavirus Vaccine Given to Philadelphia Volunteers
Three people this week are to receive an experimental vaccine made by Inovio Pharmaceuticals of Plymouth Meeting. The company began work on its vaccine just 10 weeks ago, after Chinese authorities published the microbe’s genetic code, an accelerated schedule that once was unimaginable. The study will enroll up to 40 volunteers, split between Penn and the Center for Pharmaceutical Research in Kansas City, Mo., the company said. The vaccine volunteers are not being exposed to the virus, at least not on purpose. But separately, scientists are doing that in animal studies. Several dozen labs and companies are at work on vaccines worldwide; none is expected to be ready before next year.