Covid-19: Race for remedy

Covid-19 has lit a fire under the global research community as scientists are rushing to develop a battery of treatments and vaccines.

Published: 05th May 2020 12:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2020 12:39 PM   |  A+A-

Covid-19 has lit a fire under the global research community as scientists are rushing to develop a battery of treatments and vaccines. General coronavirus research is also rising. We give you a rundown of the potential medical solutions.

Supplying the world

When the first useful vaccine is identified, there won’t be enough for everyone. Some vaccine makers are already starting to brew doses — wasting crores of rupees if they bet on the wrong vaccine but shaving months off mass vaccinations if their choice pans out

Indian company to produce 60 mn doses

Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is mass-producing University of Oxford’s vaccine. However, it can’t be distributed if the trials are unsuccessful and/or the vaccine is declared unsafe

Rs 1,000

is the planned selling price of the vaccine

SII says it began production after seeing positive results in animal trials

China firm says ready to make 100 mn doses

Sinovac Biotech has already packaged thousands of shots of its own under-development vaccine, which is based on an inactivated pathogen

Sinovac has experience in mass-producing a drug against a global virus: it was the first company to market a vaccine against H1N1, or swine flu, in 2009.

12-18 months

The WHO has warned that developing a vaccine could take 12 to 18 months

Coronavirus therapies may not live up to the hype

Governments are scrambling to have viable treatments for Covid-19 patients, as they are crucial in lowering the death count before we have a vaccine. But have they found a drug that has shown it can boost survival rates?

Remdesivir is the latest to raise hopes. A US trial with more than 1,000 hospitalised patients as participants has found that those taking remdesivir recovered faster than those on placebo.

Doubts remain about the drug’s efficacy. A recently published Lancet study found that the drug didn’t benefit severely ill patients. Another study in China also found no significant difference be-tween the drug and placebo in lowering the occurance of adverse medical events.

Malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, which drew a lot of attention till some weeks ago, did not demonstrate “a consistent benefit” in clinical trials, Na-ture journal reported.  The drug is also said to have cardiac side effects.

For remdesivir, researchers have emphasised that the drug did not significantly reduce the number of people dying of Covid-19.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Dis-eases,, said the results of  the trial were “a very important proof  of  concept” but not a “knockout.” Furthermore, he public is yet to see the com-plete data about the US trial by National Institute of Al-lergy and Infectious Diseases, which may raise more doubts. Recent clinical studies on other Covid-19 therapies have not produced promising results either.


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