70 vaccines in the works, with three leading candidates, says WHO

Travellers line up with their belongings outside Hankou Railway Station after travel restrictions to leave Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and China's epicentre of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, were lifted. Photo: Reuters
There are 70 coronavirus vaccines in development globally, with three candidates already being tested in human trials, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), as drugmakers race to find a cure for the deadly pathogen.

The furthest along in the clinical process is an experimental vaccine developed by Hong Kong-listed CanSino Biologics Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, which is in phase 2. The other two being tested on humans are treatments developed separately by US drugmakers Moderna  and Inovio Pharmaceuticals , according to a WHO document.

 
Progress is occurring at unprecedented speed in developing vaccines as the infectious pathogen looks unlikely to be stamped out through containment measures alone. The drug industry is hoping to compress the time it takes to get a vaccine to market — usually about 10 to 15 years — to within the next year.

 
Drugmakers, big and small, have jumped in to try to develop a vaccine, which would be the most effective way to contain the virus. Pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer Inc. and Sanofi have vaccine candidates in the preclinical stages, according to a WHO document.

ADB announces $20-bn virus rescue package

 
The Asian Development Bank said Monday it will roll out a massive $20-billion package to help developing member nations weather the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

 
The fund represents the tripling of a package announced just a month ago, which ADB decided to boost as the scale of the contagion’s impact has mushroomed. Nearly simultaneous shutdowns across the global economy, with workers ordered to hunker down at home against the virus, have set the stage for a deep recession.

(AFP | PTI)


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