Thoughts on economics and liberty

What is the likelihood of a coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine? And of coronavirus treatments?

Placeholder post. I’m reading/ hearing a lot of contradictory views about corona vaccine/ treatment, so will try to find the answer:

BIG PICTURE FACTS

“2019-nCoV (now called SARS-CoV-2) is the seventh member of the family of coronaviruses that infect humans, after MERS-nCoV and SARSnCoV” [Source].

AT PRESENT NONE OF THESE SEVEN ARE EITHER PREVENTABLE OR CURABLE:

  • “No vaccine or antiviral is available for human coronavirus infections” [Source]
  • “There are no specific antiviral medications approved for this disease. Symptoms are managed with supportive care.” [Source]

MY CURRENT SUMMARY ASSESSMENT

As I read more, I’ll update this assessment:

Although nothing is available today to prevent or treat coronavirus, there is a reasonable chance (not certainty) that (a) a treatment will be found before we get a vaccine; and (b) that at least one of these (vaccine or treatment) will be found in the next 12 months.

It is a good idea to not get the virus if one is above the age of 50. Preventative actions in the next 12 months could pay off in the future.

Prospect of vaccine

“a coronavirus vaccine is still months — and most likely years — away.” [Source]

“several research groups have reported the development of broad-spectrum and pan-coronavirus treatment and vaccine strategies, including those effective against both SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.” [Source, 2017]

“In the light of a dwindling interest in SARS research in the last 5 years, MERS research has contributed to advancing the development of pan-coronavirus therapeutic options that are also effectively against SARS-CoV.” [Source, 2017]

Prospect of treatment options

LOPINAVIR

An HIV protease inhibitor, lopinavir is being studied along with ritonavir for the treatment of MERS and SARS coronaviruses. The repurposed drug is already approved for the treatment of HIV infection under the trade name Kaletra [Source]

FAVILAVIR

“The National Medical Products Administration of China has approved the use of Favilavir, an anti-viral drug, as a treatment for coronavirus. The drug has reportedly shown efficacy in treating the disease with minimal side effects in a clinical trial involving 70 patients. The clinical trial is being conducted in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.” [Source]

REMDESIVIR

“Bruce Aylward, an assistant director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), has stated “there is only one drug right now that we think may have real efficacy and that’s remdesivir.” It was reported on 25 February 2020 that clinical trials for this drug were in progress, with results possibly available within weeks” [Source]

BUT NOTE

An ebola drug developed by Gilead Sciences that was found to be ineffective is now being tested in phase III randomised clinical trial in partnership with China.

The trials are being performed on 761 patients in a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study at multiple hospitals in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak. The results from the trials are expected to be available over the next few weeks.

According to a report by The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), remdesivir, when administered to a coronavirus patient in the US, appeared to have improved the clinical condition. [Source]

 

“Passive immunotherapy involving the administration of mAbs is a promising antiviral treatment and prophylactic strategy, as evident from ZMapp and palivizumab which can effectively prevent Ebola and respiratory syncytial virus infections in humans respectively” [Source, 2017]

SPECIFIC DETAILS ABOUT INDIVIDUAL CORONAVIRUSES

SARS

Towards a safe and efficient SARS-coronavirus vaccine

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

MERS-CoV is a member of the subfamily Coronavirinae, genus Betacoronavirus, subgroup lineage 2c. Analysis of human MERS-CoV sequences has identified several circulating genotypes. These distinct genotypes are phylogenetically classified into clades A, B, and, most recently, C, which correlate with outbreaks of MERS among humans [Source]

MERS-CoV remains incapable of sustained human-to-human transmission [Source]

Vaccine for Mers coronavirus ‘looks promising’

REFERENCES

UC Davis professor says his half-century of work studying the coronavirus is being neglected

Coronavirus treatment: Vaccines/drugs in the pipeline for Covid-19

2019 Novel coronavirus: where we are and what we know – Cheng and Shan, 7 February 2020

WIKIPEDIA PAGES

2019–20 coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus

Betacoronavirus

BACKGROUND: TYPES OF CORONAVIRUS

Although SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV are both classified under the order nidovirales and family coronaviridae, they are phylogenetically distinct, with SARS-CoV belonging to lineage B and MERS-CoV belonging to lineage C of the betacoronavirus genus. [Source, 2017]

 

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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