Covid-19; The Hunt For Antidotes Continues

By Ogungbile Oludotun
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Today, it's no fantasy that the world currently battles with the novel pandemic Corona virus, dubbed COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation(WHO). It was recorded that the virus originated from the city of Wuhan in China, and spreads unflinchingly to the rest of the world, prompting the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic in January, 2020. It was the first of such designation since declaring H1N1 influenza a pandemic in 2009. The coronavirus disease is a rattling transmittable and pathogenic viral infection factored by severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus, which as ever dominated the terrains of the world. A Cairo University study unfurled a Genomic analysis revealing that this virus is phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-like bat viruses, therefore bats could be the possible primary reservoir. The intermediate source of origin and transfer to humans is not known, however, the rapid human to human transfer has been confirmed widely. Howbeit now, there is no clinically approved antiviral drug or vaccine available to be used against the threatening virus that has infected and killed hundreds and thousands of people.

Ever since it declaration as a pandemic virus about two months ago, the world has however been on lockdown, with the thought that there might be a measure to contain the virus and perhaps in the process find the effective vaccine or cure to combat the situation. The WHO and other many other researchers from different countries have not be able to provide any consummate solution, but have been able to identify tactical preventive strategies to wage war against corona viruse. The pandemic has definitely spawned the development of novel coronavirus vaccines across the biotechnology industries, both by pharmaceutical companies and research organisations such as the Health institutes in China, United States, Australia, Israel and other countries of concern. It's thus evident that there's global race to make vaccines and treatment for the Covid-19 is well underway as the nucleus of the pandemic is now shifting toward all the corners of the world.

Accordingly, many of the vaccines and drugs development efforts are building on past efforts to deal with other viral outbreaks, including corovirus accomplices, which means researchers had a head start with Covid-19.Thereupon, I have been privileged to read and monitor the situations of things, studying some of the most promising approaches towards getting an head way for this virus. I'm thus glad affirming that vaccines and drugs are in the development stages. There are lashings of vaccines and drugs in the vault to avert covid-19. I tried locating some pharmaceutical companies and some of their vaccines and drugs. There is Entos pharmaceutical, who is developing a Fusogenix DNA vaccine developed using the Fusogenix drug delivery platform to prevent COVID-19 infections. Fusogenix drug delivery platform is a proteo-lipid vehicle that introduces genetic payload directly into the cells. The company is working on developing an optimised payload containing multiple protein epitopes derived from SARS-COV-2 proteins, which will stimulate an immune response in the body to prevent COVID-19 infection. Another body is the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) a public-private partnership that launched in 2017. It was established for a quick vaccine development targeting emerging threats that the pharmaceutical industry might to overpass. A report showed that after only three months into this outbreak, CEPI is a large part of why there are already dozens of Covid-19 vaccine candidates making their way through animal and human trials as well as platforms to develop more. US government funding in particular through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). It has also been streamlining the process for many manufacturers.

Consequently, there are other International health organisations and companies working effectively to get the treatment and vaccines for this virus; part of which are the VIR Biotechnology, Takeda Pharmaceutical company, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and sanofi, of whom are all currently working on the clinical treatment to this virus. On the other way, Vaxart, BionTech SE and Pfizer, Heat Biologics are also working on delivering an effective vaccine to wipe out this virus. In the same spirit, as the Pharmaceuticals companies produces these drugs and vaccines, they have also been enrolling patients in a randomized, double-blind, evaluating and pre clinical testing on different patients and in different locations most especially USA And China. However, some of these drugs might have been approved for use in some countries, such as the USA of whom approved limited emergency use for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. Favilavir also has been approved by China, 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 are being conducted in some places in China.

Therein, as the world patiently wait for the vaccines and treatments for this virus, we should however be informed that providing these curatives is an entirely uphill challenge, as preparing a new substance into the body might be quite dangerous and thus need meticulously approach. Yet, finding the perfect immune trigger and then proving it is safe enough to use in healthy people can take years. Hence, it's necessary for people to

follow the guidelines of (WHO) of social and physical distancing measures aim to slow the spread of disease by stopping chains of transmission of COVID-19 and preventing new ones from appearing. Also, there should be coordinated reorganization of health care and social services networks to protect hospitals. The measures should be used in conjunction with individual protective measures against COVID-19 such as frequent hand washing and cough etiquette. Government orders and plans should be strictly adhered to, so that we can at the end of the day have a corona free society.

Ogungbile Emmanuel oludotun write from University of Ibadan

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