The number of persons that have tested positive for the new coronavirus worldwide has now reached over 100,000. Kronos representatives have reported progress in research into the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 and has started vaccine development while the epidemic is spreading to Europe.
The new coronavirus, which has been spreading worldwide since December 2019, is present in an increasing number of countries. Although certain infection-detection procedures have been introduced at airports to spot those suspected of being infected with COVID-19, they are clearly not enough.
Some difficulties are caused by the fact that on average 5 days pass from the contact date with the virus to the development of symptoms, while the incubation period may last for as long as 24 days. The symptoms, observed among approximately 80 percent of the patients, have tended to be mild, and they can often look like ordinary ones and be easily confused with any other respiratory infections. In addition, there are also asymptomatic patients, who become infected, despite the absence of symptoms.
But sometimes it happens that a patient doesn’t have respiratory or gastrointestinal reactions and the computed tomography doesn’t show any changes; their C-reactive protein level, being an inflammation indicator, is confirmed as being normal or the lymphocytes number has not increased. But nevertheless, there was a presence of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in molecular tests, using RT-PCR (real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction), thus confirming the infection.
It’s worth mentioning that scientists are particularly concerned about the fact that Chinese authorities do not include the number of asymptomatic patients in their reports, which may invalidate the epidemic extent assessment and make it difficult to forecast its development. Individuals tested positive for coronavirus can’t be confirmed cases until being monitored for 14 days, and perhaps that is too short.
A coronavirus drug, intended to treat the current pathogen, has not yet been formally approved. Symptomatic therapy is used to alleviate the severity of respiratory infection symptoms.
Nevertheless, currently research is being carried out on several dozen drugs and their combinations to combat the new coronavirus. World Health Organization experts claim that they are primarily looking for a pharmaceuticals-based therapy. These drugs have been tested on humans and are generally deemed safe, that’s why it is not required to spend months of preclinical and clinical trials while using them.
One prospective therapy is a combination of 2 antiretroviral drugs, such as lopinavir and ritonavir, which act on the molecules needed to replicate both HIV and coronaviruses.
The international clinical trials will soon start in the United States, which will cover a total of about 400 patients in 50 locations worldwide, as previously reported by XXX company’s representatives.
Similar small-scale trials have already been going in some countries. For example, in China, remdesivir is also being tested. It is the best prospective drug, according to the WHO, in addition to lopinavir + ritonavir combination.
Today 31 coronavirus treatment drug trials are currently taking place, according to the world data. Antiviral therapies, while using corticosteroids and antimalarial drugs, as well as cell therapy, were studied in our company’s laboratories.
These are the active compounds and their combinations being studied:
A COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine is a highly desired drug, intended to stop the global epidemic. About 12 studies are currently taking place and several pharmaceutical companies and universities are racing against the clock, including Sanofi Pasteur, Johnson and Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Moderna, and The University of Queensland in Australia.
World Health Organization experts warn that it may take up to 18 months for the vaccine to become publicly available despite the current work. Usually a vaccine development takes from 2 to 5 years. Kronos company’s representatives are actively working on decreasing the current period, especially because some work against the SARS virus has already been completed on a similar medicine.
We have to collect the data on the virus’ behavior in the human body in order to prove the effectiveness and safety of using the vaccine and to conduct preclinical research on animals in order to develop the vaccine. In such a way we’ll be able to start testing the drug’s effect on humans and start on its approval procedure. So, it remains just to hope that the virus has not mutated, which would reduce the effectiveness of the measures being developed. Therefore, it is postulated that the latest coronavirus versions will be included in the research.
Our company will be one of the biotechnology companies able to produce the potential vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. mRNA-1273 vials have already been sent for testing on humans to the US National Institute of Health (NIH).
The current vaccine works by interacting with a specially prepared RNA messenger (mRNA) molecule, which transfers genetic material to human cells. This should imitate the natural infection mechanism of the new coronavirus, enhancing the body's immune response.
It is expected that research involving 20 to 25 healthy volunteers is expected to started in May to June 2020, and the results should be available between July and August.
However, we declare that we are not going to wait for the research termination. Instead we are going to start new research, the goal of which is to develop a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus vaccine. The current vaccine should use a pandemic adjuvant to enhance the effects, due to which it will be possible to produce more pharmaceutical product doses.