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A dozen vaccine programs under way as WHO declares coronavirus public health emergency

Industry and academic centers are rushing to create new vaccines and therapeutics targeting coronavirus

January 31, 2020 1:22 AM UTC
Updated on Feb 6, 2020 at 11:02 PM UTC

WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern Thursday and called for China and countries around the world to take public health steps to contain the virus.

WHO also stressed the need to develop medical countermeasures. “Measures to ensure rapid development and access to potential vaccines, diagnostics, antiviral medicines and other therapeutics for low- and middle-income countries should be developed,” the organization said in a statement.

To date, one pharmaceutical company, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), at least eight biotech companies, and three academic groups have announced vaccine programs (see Table: “Coronavirus Vaccines and Therapies in Development”).

At least seven of these have announced vaccine or therapeutic programs against the virus since Jan. 24 (see “The Race is On to Develop Therapies and Vaccines for the Coronavirus Outbreak”).

Four biotech companies and NIH have launched programs to discover and develop mAbs to treat 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease, and biotechs have also started to develop siRNA and cell therapy products targeted at the virus.

Further analysis of the coronavirus crisis can be found at The 2019-nCoV content is free to all who visit the site.

Table: Coronavirus vaccines and therapies in development

As of Jan. 30, 2020, at least 12 groups have announced that they are developing new vaccines against 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease, and seven have announced initiatives to develop new therapeutics. Not listed are the numerous companies and organizations screening approved antivirals for potential activity, such as AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), Ascletis Pharma Inc. (HKEX:1672), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).