Coronavirus or Covid-19 is spreading around the globe panicking people not only in the epicentre in China but now also in Europe and North America. Investors are shifting to safe-haven assets while stock markets yesterday had one of the worse days since 2015.
The new virus that emerged in Wuhan, China last December, has claimed the lives of more than 2,600 people and led to over 80,000 infections across 28 countries.
Companies, Universities and researchers around the world are in a race to develop a vaccine and effective treatments for the coronavirus, officially named as Covid-19 by WHO.
While various drugs have entered clinical trials, vaccine candidates are still in development or preclinical stages. Scientists expect that a Covid-19 vaccine will take almost a year to be market-ready.
The global biotechnology and vaccine industry is dominated by big players such as Sanofi, Pfizer, MSD, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Johnson & Johnson etc. Gilead, a top biotech firm that develops anti-HIV drugs, announced last week that it would trial its drug Remdesivir. AbbVie’s Kaletra anti-HIV drug is being also trialled on patients in China. Both trials are based on existing medicines.
World Health Organization Director Tedros said that initial data from the clinical trials of AbbVie’s drugs, and Gilead’s Remdesivir is expected to be available in the next two weeks. The World Health Organization hopes a vaccine will be ready within 18 months.
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Moderna (MRNA) Delivers First Coronavirus Vaccine
Yesterday Moderna (MRNA) a Massachusetts biotech firm said that it created the first batch of mRNA-1273 to treat humans for the coronavirus, and released it to officials at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The first clinical trial to test the drug’s efficiency, involving about 25 healthy volunteers, is scheduled to start on April. The results of the clinical trial could become available by August.
The vaccine will not be immediately available to coronavirus patients in the general public. The coronavirus vaccine must be tested and the results of those tests need to be compared before it is released to the public. How long that could take is not clear.
Moderna stock (MRNA) on the news jumped higher. In the pre-market today MRNA stock is 15.12% higher at 21.40