Remdesivir works against Coronaviruses in the Lab

All eyes have turned to the prospect of a COVID-19 vaccine because only a vaccine can prevent people from getting sick and get the global economy, especially in tourism truly back on track. As for a cure for COVID-19, human trials will begin imminently. However, even if they go well, there are many hurdles before global immunisation is feasible. In an article written by Abby Olena published by The Scientist, it was noted that scientists and clinicians have turned to pharmaceuticals that have been used to treat other diseases in a quest to find a cure for COVID-19. 

Key notes

So far, trials of existing antivirals have largely focused on the drug combination lopinavir-ritonavir and remdesivir, which was originally developed to treat the Ebola virus and is not yet FDA approved. 

Scientists have also begun to investigate the effects of remdesivir on SARS-CoV-2. In a letter published in Cell Research on February 4, remdesivir blocked coronavirus infection in monkey and human cells.

“We’ve done a lot of work in coronaviruses with remdesivir, but the big question is: does all of that data that we’ve generated in SARS and in MERS and in MHV, our model coronavirus, does that translate to this new virus?” asks Maria Agostini, Vanderbilt University. She points to the positive results of the Cell Research study, “but whether that holds true in animals and ultimately whether that holds true in people, we still have to do the experiments.”

Market implications

Whether a safe vaccine is made or not before the global economy completely implodes beyond a generational repair, there are a further set of challenges to consider and these will boil down to politics and economics which will potentially be a barrier to worldwide immunisation. Countries will be competing for a vaccine and purchasing power will play its part which could lead to a short of poor nations in a capitalist system, exposing emerging market currencies and leaving them vulnerable to market forces.



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