Although vaccine efforts against COVID-19 are moving at breakneck speed, experts caution that the 12- to 18-month time frame suggested by government officials is “overly optimistic.” Therapeutics from antivirals and antibody cocktails to drugs focused on specific symptoms will act as a “bridge” while the world waits for a vaccine.
One of those approaches is well-known: convalescent plasma, or using the plasma of recovered patients to give others antibodies against a virus. It’s been used in various epidemics from measles and mumps to influenza. Today, Takeda, CSL Behring and an alliance of plasma specialists are working on a hyperimmune globulin, a purified version of this treatment, for COVID-19 infection.
PPD Expands Lab Test Work to Boost Vaccine and Drug Trial Research
Contract research organization PPD has boosted its COVID-19 research by adding five new molecular, serology and functional assays.These assays, developed in-house, can be run on a number of platforms and work with high-throughput liquid handling to support large numbers of specimens, attributes “that will be critical to the success of COVID-19 trials,” according to PPD.
So far, PPD Laboratories has supported 15 vaccine programs approved by the FDA and “has experience” with more than 25 therapeutic agents that are currently being assessed for use against COVID-19. “PPD Laboratories is fully committed to helping our customers bring COVID-19 vaccines and therapies to fruition,” said Christopher Fikry, M.D., executive vice president of PPD.