In 2003 it took 20 Months for the first experimental treatment for newly identified virus but in 2020 it appears it will take 3 months for the first treatments against the Wuhan Coronavirus.
A number of potential experimental vaccines will be available to use against the new SARS-like coronavirus that is spreading in China and beyond.
Three months from gene sequence to initial human testing would be the fastest the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within NIH agency has ever developed a vaccine for a new disease.
Chinese scientists were able to quickly identify the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus and officials posted it publicly within a few days. On January 24, 2020, the US CDC posted in GenBank the full genome of the 2019-nCoV virus detected in the first U.S. patient from Washington state.
CDC has developed a real-time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test that can diagnose 2019-nCoV in respiratory and serum samples from clinical specimens.
In the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, it took U.S. scientists 20 months to go from genetic sequence to the first phase of human trials.
The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality.
Moderna and mRNA Rapid Treatment
U.S. biotech Moderna Inc specializes in vaccines based on ribonucleic acid (RNA) – a chemical messenger that contains instructions for making protein. Moderna is partnering with the NIH.
Moderna, Inc., (Nasdaq: MRNA) a clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines to create a new generation of transformative medicines for patients, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), announced a new collaboration to develop an mRNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Over the past four years Moderna has had six positive Phase 1 clinical readouts in its prophylactic vaccines modality and moved two additional programs into development. Moderna’s technology platform, fully integrated manufacturing site and development experience, combined with a multi-year relationship with the NIH, including exploring ways to respond to public health threats, allows for the rapid identification and advancement of a vaccine candidate against 2019-nCoV.
Messenger ribonucleuc acid (mRNA) medicines are sets of instructions. And these instructions direct cells in the body to make proteins to prevent or fight disease.
Moderna has created an mRNA technology platform that functions very much like an operating system on a computer. It is designed so that it can plug and play interchangeably with different programs. In our case, the “program” or “app” is our mRNA drug – the unique mRNA sequence that codes for a protein.