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Companies Test Drugs to Prevent, Treat COVID-19

Nov, 2020

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The drugs may eventually be considered for widespread use if they are proven to be safe and effective.

As the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the world, a myriad of strategies is currently being tested to combat the virus. Research institutes and Pharma companies around the world are in a race to develop an effective vaccine or drug to combat the virus. As of August 12, the virus has infected more than 20 million people and killed more than 741,460 individuals worldwide. There are more than 100 vaccine candidates are being developed and tested to combat coronavirus, while several vaccine candidates are now in phase III human clinical trials.

Around 26 institutions or groups are now in clinical evaluation and around 6 vaccine candidates are in the final stages of their clinical trials. Companies are now rushing to test drugs that deliver antibodies quickly to fight the novel coronavirus. Antibodies are proteins that bind the body's foreign invaders and signal the immune system to function. Antibodies help recognize the infection and then remove them from the body. A vaccine works by training the immune system to recognize and combat pathogens, either viruses or bacteria. However, it may take one or two months after infection or vaccination to produce the most effective antibodies.

Therefore, experimental medications work by giving focused versions of specific people who worked best against the novel coronavirus in lab tests. However, when people give an antibody, they get immediate protection, according to Dr. Myron Cohen, a virologist from the University of North Carolina. Moreover, people can bypass the immune system if they produce them in large quantities. These drugs can last for a month or more and may provide quick immunity to those who are at high risk of infection, such as COVID-19. The drugs may eventually be considered for widespread use if they are proven to be safe and effective.

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