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COVID-19 vaccine could be a year away, says GlobalData

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LONDON — The pharmacy industry and the medical community have been working to develop  drugs that can be repurposed to treat the symptoms of COVID-19, as well as developing new vaccines to tackle the virus’s spread. COVID-19  has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. But a report from GlobalData suggests that the availability of a vaccine will not happen soon.

“It will likely take at least a year for a COVID-19 vaccine to be approved and made available to patients; something which Pharma Tech readers acknowledged when voting in our latest poll,” said GlobalData’s senior medical reporter Allie Nawrat.

“With over 164,000 votes cast, the results show than almost 33% of readers believe it will take over a year, while 28% are optimistic there could be a vaccine available within three months.”

“However, experts are clear that it will take at least a year for a vaccine to be developed against COVID-19; this situation is not helped by the likelihood that the virus has already mutated into two strains.

“One of the leaders in vaccine development for this current outbreak is the Norwegian Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

“Since the outbreak first started spreading globally in January, CEPI has funded multiple vaccine candidates from biotech firms, pharma companies and university labs; importantly, the innovations CEPI supports are those that not only intend to produce a vaccine against this novel virus, but involve pioneering technologies that can speed up the development of vaccines in future outbreaks.

“One example is CEPI’s partnership with U.S.-based Moderna; this biotech leverages mRNA technology and its COVID-19 vaccine is encoded for a pre-fusion stabilized form of the Spike S protein. At the end of February, Moderna announced it had shipped its novel vaccine against COVID-19 for Phase I testing.”

Moderna chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel said: “We believe our mRNA vaccine technology offers potential advantages in the speed of development and production scalability, which positions Moderna to potentially develop a vaccine against coronavirus, 2019-nCoV [COVID-19].”


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