Pharmaceuticals Advance in Fight Against COVID-19
By Marileny Lugo Cacho, COO MC-21
The pharmaceutical industry has been punished in recent years, especially in the United States, by the debate over the prices and effectiveness of some products, but it has continued to advance in the field of innovation and biotechnology. The coronavirus crisis has propelled it in the challenge of the century to get a vaccine and treatments to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are currently more than 160 potential vaccines in development, of which 10 are already in human clinical trials. There are also more than 240 therapeutic agents that could be converted into treatments for COVID-19, some of which are existing drugs under reevaluation and many new in clinical trials.
This global race driven by healthy competition and cooperation in many cases is carried out by 80 teams funded by pharmaceutical companies, governments and non-governmental organizations, putting countries around the world into researching different vaccine technologies, according to international organization Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance.
The life sciences sector has been able to unleash its full innovative potential in the current crisis, global firm Ernst & Young (EY) recently declared. According to this, in a short time, the pharmaceutical companies managed to perform 700 tests earlier in June and some went on the market.
While there is still a long way to go, the truth is that the industry took a big risk by investing millions of dollars in research and clinical testing in a short time.
As an example, Gilead, the company that developed the antiviral drug remdesivir (GS-5734), has promised 1.5 million doses of the drug at no cost to COVID-19 patients. Companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and AbbVie have donated more than $125 million to help the COVID-19 disaster. AstraZeneca has partnered with Oxford BioMedica to develop and market vaccines, potentially by the end of the year. And the U.S. Department of Health is partnering with pharmaceutical companies to expand drug manufacturing.
The desire to get a vaccine out as soon as possible should not distract us from the reality that any inoculation or medication must first be safe for everyone.
The hope is that we live to see it and benefit from it.