Tracking the development of coronavirus treatments

Image: Researchers set up new labs to help fight coronavirus at the University of Minnesota

From repurposed medications to new vaccines, NBC News compiled a list of treatments to combat the coronavirus and where they are in development.

Researchers at the Microbiology Research Facility work with coronavirus samples as a trial begins to see whether the malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine can prevent or reduce the severity of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis on March 19, 2020.Craig Lassig / ReutersMarch 25, 2020, 9:59 AM CDT / Updated March 30, 2020, 8:41 AM CDTBy Emily R. Siegel

The race to stop the fast-spreading coronavirus is on. It’s going to be a long road to safe and effective treatment, but pharmaceutical companies and research facilities are exploring a variety of therapeutics to find a way to combat the virus.

Pharmaceutical companies are studying drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration to see if any might work in fighting COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Simultaneously, companies are in the process of developing vaccines for the virus that can be deployed to protect the uninfected population.

Repurposed drugs could be a faster route to an effective treatment, but they would still need to go through clinical testing to ensure their effectiveness. Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and Ebola antiviral remdesivir are being tested in small batches of infected patients. Even with promising results, it’s unclear at this time whether any of these treatments will be successful in the larger population.

vaccine tailored to combat the virus is the long-term solution. But according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the earliest a coronavirus vaccine would be deployable would be a year to 18 months from now. Any vaccine would have to go through three phases of clinical trials and then apply for approval by the FDA.

Johnson & Johnson CEO announces vaccine candidate with high degree of probability

Johnson & Johnson in a partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals identified a lead vaccine candidate. They expect to initiate human clinical trials by September and the first batches could be available for emergency use in 2021.

NBC News compiled a list of some of the potential treatments and where they stand in development. This work is ongoing and will be updated as time goes on and more pharmaceutical companies jump in to do their part to find a way to combat the virus.

  • MRNA-1273 by Moderna
  • Trial Status: Phase I human testing
  • REGM3048-3051 by Regeneron
  • Trial Status: Preclinical testing, human testing goal for early summer
  • INO-4800 by Inovio Pharmaceuticals
  • Trial Status: Preclinical testing, human testing goal for April
  • Unnamed Vaccine by Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceutical Company
  • Effect on Covid-19: Vaccine (preventative)
  • Trial Status: Begin human clinical trials by September and first batches could be available for emergency use in early 2021.
  • Unnamed Vaccine by Pfizer/Biontech
  • Trial Status: Clinical testing by end of April
  • Unnamed Vaccine by Sanofi
  • Trial Status: Ongoing at lab in Meridien, Connecticut. Estimate in vitro testing within six months and potentially clinical trials in 1 year to 18 months
  • Unnamed Vaccine by Novavax/Emergent Biosolutions
  • Trial Status: Studying in animals and human trials expected to begin late spring.

Potential Treatments

  • PICLIDENOSON by Can-Fite
  • Recommended Use: Anti-Viral
  • Effect on Covid-19: Prophylactic and a treatment
  • Trial Status: Gone through phase I And II Of clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis
  • EIDD-2801 by Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory
  • Recommended Use: SARS, MERS, Ebola, Influenza
  • Effect on Covid-19: Oral treatment taken at onset
  • Trial Status: Preclinical testing

Repurposed Treatments

  • ACTEMRA by Roche
  • Recommended Use: Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Effect on Covid-19: For severe lung inflammation
  • Trial Status: FDA approved for rheumatoid arthritis, clinical trials for COVID
  • KEVZARA (sarilumab) by Regeneron and Sanofi
  • Recommended Use: Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Effect on Covid-19: For severe lung inflammation
  • Trial Status: Will begin enrolling immediately
  • Recommended Use: Malaria, Lupus
  • Trial Status: Tested in France and investigating use in U.S.
  • REMDESIVIR by Gilead Sciences
  • Recommended Use: Ebola
  • Trial Status: Clinical trials at 50 sites globally with goal of 394 patients
  • Recommended Use: HIV
  • Trial Status: Clinical trial in China among 20 individuals showed no improvement, clinical trial with 2400 patients to begin in Australia
  • OLUMIANT by Eli Lilly
  • Recommended Use: Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Trial Status: Laboratory research to evaluate the benefits and risks
  • FAVIRPIRAVIR by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical
  • Recommended Use: Influenza
  • Effect on Covid-19: Normilization of fever in patients in early diagnosis (4 days or less)
  • Trial Status: Being tested in patients in China and it has been effective in those without severe symptoms

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