Medication for COVID-19 Currently in Development

March 14, 2020
A large number of pharmaceutical companies are currently working on the development of medication (perhaps a vaccine) for COVID-19, all with the purpose of guarding against this disease. China announced that the first emergency vaccines will be available in April 2020.

Four of the world’s largest pharmaceutical federations reported that they’re already testing 30 antiviral drugs for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus. Likewise, they indicated that they’re evaluating the medication for efficacy. They might also find a way to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

Representatives of the International Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry (IFPMA), the European Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry (EFPIA), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the Korean Pharmaceutical Industry Association (KRPIA ) made the announcement.

They added that the pharmaceutical industry is working to achieve a great confluence of efforts that can unite the industry itself. But they also require the participation of health authorities, health organizations, academics, and researchers. This is because they’d like to achieve it through collaborative research and development programs.

Medication for COVID-19 currently in development

Initially, researchers began to study proven antiviral drugs that are effective against diseases like HIV and Ebola. Currently, several clinical trials are already underway combined with a review of the available literature on these drugs.

The second line of research aims to analyze the action of ACE inhibitors on the coronavirus. Such inhibitors have shown good results when dealing with coronavirus disease.

At the moment, the American laboratory AbbVie is conducting tests with a combination of two antiviral drugs: lopinavir and ritonavir. The companies Roche, Merck, and Bayer are studying interferon. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is investigating the potential of Zanamivir, and Gilead is studying Remdesivir.

An array of antivirals.
The pharmaceutical industry is evaluating antivirals that can treat coronavirus

Read on: Three Honey Remedies to Relieve the Flu

Medication for COVID-19 – pharmaceuticals

In addition, the Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda is also testing new drugs. One of them is a drug derived from blood plasma that, according to experts, could treat individuals at high risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Pfizer, for its part, announced that it will accelerate the preliminary evaluation of some antiviral compounds that were already being developed before the epidemic appeared. The laboratory assured that they have already been evaluated as inhibitors of the replication of other coronaviruses, different from COVID-19. This indicates that the final finding may be close.

Finally, the pharmacist Regeneron Pharmaceuticals reported that it’s working together with the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to find one or more medications and treatments that will allow us to effectively face the current epidemic.

Find out more: Why We Catch Colds

Medication for COVID-19 – vaccines

In addition to the medications, the researchers are also working on a coronavirus vaccine. Also, the Janssen company, known in some places as Sanofi Pasteur, and which is part of the pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson, has committed to achieving the development of a possible vaccine. Something similar is happening at GlaxoSmithKline.

These and other pharmaceutical companies are working simultaneously on various types of vaccines. Some of them would have a temporary effect, while others aim to provide a more lasting solution.

Some North American newspapers noted that the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) are at the forefront of this goal. In fact, they mentioned the successful results of tests in mice. Also, they announced that tests with young, healthy volunteers will begin soon.

Meanwhile, information from China assured that the first vaccines for emergency cases of coronavirus would be available during the month of April in that country.

A person preparing an injection.
The development of a vaccine for COVID-19 is among the priorities of several pharmaceutical companies and the National Institute of Health.

Keep reading: Nine Foods That Strengthen Your Immune System

Dr. Peter Daszak’s concerns

Dr. Peter Daszak, a disease ecologist and member of the scientific organization EcoHealth Alliance, stated that the world is responding incorrectly to the appearance of epidemics. In his opinion, finding a coronavirus vaccine won’t deter new epidemics from emerging very soon.

He cited the case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as an example. Developing a vaccine against this disease simply takes care of one of many possibilities of contagion. In addition, he also referred to HIV. He said many years after its appearance, doctors still treat it with drugs. Thus, there’s still no vaccination for it.

Daszak pointed out that the proper response is to change the way in which human beings affect the world. In particular, we must regulate contact with wildlife. This is because most of these viruses are from animals that humans come into contact with during forest clearance, road construction, and poaching.

To consider

Specific treatment for COVID-19 is under development. While there are many efforts from the pharmaceutical industry to arrive at an antiviral drug or a vaccine, the truth is we’re still in the experimental stages.