Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are all the rage. Expectations are not only high, they are too high. ACSH friend, and former trustee, Dr. Paul Offit gives us a much-needed reality check. A vaccine, especially a very effective one, is unlikely to be in the cards anytime soon. Although it is always better to prevent an infection than treat one, antiviral drugs are likely to be the tools to control coronavirus well before a vaccine appears.Here's how Dr. Offit sees this playing out.
antiviral drug discovery
Drugs that don't work when taken orally are the bane of drug discovery chemists. Now it's the bane of the world. But there are techniques that can convert orally inactive drugs, like remdesivir, into pills. Here's how they work.
So much news, so much confusion and so many questions – especially those around what different terms mean. What exactly is a therapy for COVID-19? Is it a cure, or something else, like a vaccine? To help sort it out, we prepared this summary; it may help a bit. And to go with it, a riddle: What do you call anti-vaxxers once a coronavirus vaccine becomes available?
Everyone take a deep breath and relax. During these crazy times, people are making all kinds of wild predictions about what drug or vaccine will work. Dr. David Shlaes takes a sobering look at the chances for any of these therapies to work. It's not as easy as you'd think. We should all lower our expectations a bit.
As the Wuhan coronavirus relentlessly engulfs the world, scientists are relentlessly looking for a way to treat the infection. A vaccine is more than a year away, but an antiviral drug called remdesivir is being evaluated in clinical trials by Gilead Science, the world's premier antiviral drug company. Keep your fingers crossed.
As the coronavirus continues to terrorize the world, people are pinning their hopes on companies that are doing vaccine and drug research to -- maybe -- get us out of this mess. Yet, many of the companies doing the work, especially Gilead Science, are "the bad guys." Except when we need them. Gilead's drug, remdesivir, is now in clinical trials in China so they're OK for now. Hypocrisy at its finest.
Sometimes groups or individuals propose breaking the patent on an important drug because it's too expensive. This is not the right way to hold down drug prices, because it will hold down innovation. Breaking a patent is theft, no matter how you look at it.
One way to discover drugs is by drug repurposing, which is the process of discovering "new" drugs from "old" ones. Instead of starting from scratch (which takes 10+ years), if scientists can find an approved drug that treats a different -- often untreatable -- condition, considerable time and cost can be saved. In this manner, a drug that cures hepatitis C was found be effective against Yellow Fever and Chikungunya. Does this make sense?
Dr. Josh Bloom on Science 2.0, November 11, 2014 Named after the location of first documented outbreak (Norwalk Ohio in 1968) norovirus, aka the "Stomach Flu," "Winter Vomiting Bug," or the "Cruise Ship Virus" is an evil little demon that spares no one. There are few, if any of us, who haven't experienced its misery; it infects 21 million people annually in the...[Read more].