Wednesday | 08 April | 2020
Sedert begin 2020 vind daar op ongekende skaal internasionale samewerking plaas om óf 'n teenmiddel, óf 'n suksesvolle behandeling teen Covid-19 te ontwikkel. Sowat 100 farmaseutiese maatskappye, biotegnologiefirmas, akademiese navorsingspanne en gesondheidsorgorganisasies is almal in verskeie fases van toetsing by sowat 500 kliniese navorsingseksperimente betrokke 1,2,3,4,5,7. Befondsing vir navorsing beloop al nagenoeg 108 miljoen dollar15.
Tydens 'n media-inligtingsessie op Vrydag 27 Maart 2020 het die direkteur-generaal van die Wêreldgesondheidsorganisasie (WGO), dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, die “SOLIDARITY”-eksperiment aangekondig. Dit is ‘n reuse- internasionale eksperiment wat ten doel het om potensiële terapieë of behandelings teen Covid-19 te toets. Duisende mense wat wêreldwyd Covid-19 het, vorm deel van die eksperiment. Daar is tans vele moontlike middels wat belowend lyk as behandeling teen Covid-19, maar robuuste, hoëkwaliteit-eksperimentele toetsing is nodig. Meer as 70 lande wêreldwyd, insluitende Suid-Afrika, is by die eksperiment betrokke 6,7. Die Suid-Afrikaanse “SOLIDARITY”-span van 30 senior akademici, navorsers en klinici van agt mediese opleidingsinstellings (Wits, SMU, UP, UCT, Stellenbosch, NMU, UKZN, UOFS, and the SA Militêre Gesondheidsdienste) word deur professors Helen Rees en Jeremy Nel gelei. Navorsing word in veertien van die voorste hospitale in Suid-Afrika uitgevoer.
Die ontwikkeling van teenmiddels en behandelings is 'n proses met veelvuldige stappe wat gewoonlik tot vyf jaar lank kan duur. Dit behels onder meer dat eksperimente ontwerp word om te bepaal wat die uitwerking van nuwe chemiese middels op organe soos die hart, longe, brein, niere, lewer en spysverteringstelsel kan wees. Verder word die effek daarvan op die vel ook verken omdat sommige middels ook deur die vel ingespuit moet word9.
Die fases van toetsing van nuwe medikasie is kortweg soos volg (die Suid-Afrikaanse Reguleringsowerheid vir Gesondheidsprodukte (SAHPRA) volg dieselfde fases as die Verenigde State se Food and Drug Administration (FDA)):
Fase I: Gewoonlik word toetsing van 'n nuwe middel op gesonde en gewillige vrywilligers gedoen om die algemene effek op die liggaam te toets.
Fase II: Eksperimente word ontwerp en uitgevoer op klein groepies mense wat siek is, om die aanvanklike moontlike doeltreffendheid van die nuwe medikasie te toets.
Fase III: Die fase behels groot eksperimente wat die veiligheid van die middel in 'n groot aantal mense met die siekte bepaal. Indien veiligheid, sukses en doeltreffendheid van 'n middel vir behandeling met redelike sekerheid bewys is, kan die kliniese toetsing hier stop en mag daar met vervaardiging en behandeling begin word10.
Hierna begin Fase IV-ondersoeke waar na-goedkeuring-toetsing en -navorsing uitgevoer moet word om die werking en die effek van 'n middel oor die lang termyn dopgehou en ondersoek moet word. Die vervaardiger van 'n nuwe middel is verplig om gedurende hierdie fase gereeld navorsingsverslae wat die effek van 'n middel oor tyd en onder groot hoeveelhede mense aandui, by die reguleringsowerhede van 'n land in te handig. Dit behels dat die veiligheid op ander liggaamstelsels soos vrugbaarheid en voortplantingsorgane, die immuunstelsel en ander organe wat nie in die vroeëre fases van toetsing ondersoek is nie, bepaal moet word11.
As ‘n potensiële entstof of antivirale middel gedurende hierdie toetsproses 'n aanvaarbare veiligheidsprofiel toon, en die vervaardiger verder kan bewys dat dit die gewenste uitwerking in kliniese toetse gehad het, kan goedkeuring verleen word dat die getoetste middel internasionaal bemark en verkoop mag word12. Die meerdergheid aansoeke vir nuwe entstowwe of antivirale middels slaag nie hierdie proses nie. In die meeste gevalle kan daar nie bewys word dat die nuwe medikasie effektief en veilig genoeg is vir menslike gebruik nie13.
Daar is op die oomblik sewe studies (in verskillende fases van die proses) aan die gang waarin daar na vier moontlike terapieë gekyk word, naamlik:
- Chloroquine en Hydroxychloorquine;
- Lopinavir plus Ritonavir; en
- Lopinavir plus Ritonavir tesame met Interferon-beta.
Hierdie middels is almal voorheen reeds vir ander siektetoestande gebruik (suksesvol en onsuksesvol). Remdesivir is oorspronklik as 'n Ebola-behandeling ontwikkel, maar daar is later bevind dat dit ontoereikend vir die behandeling daarvan is. Navorsing wat aandui dat Remdesivir moontlik suksesvol as behandeling teen koronavirusse soos SARS en MERS gebruik is, is egter in 2017 in Science Translational Medicine gepubliseer. Onlangs is daar toe weer met toetsing begin om te bepaal of dit ook genesing vir Covid-19-gevalle kan bring. Dokters het pas ook berig dat 'n 35-jarige man van Amerika wat met Covid-19 gediagnoseer is, begin herstel het nadat hy Remdesivir ontvang het. Sedertdien het ander pasiënte ook positief op hierdie middel gereageer. Voorlopige resultate van studies wat op die oomblik in Hongkong, Singapoer, Suid-Korea en in Amerika onderweg is, kan in Mei 2020 verwag word 1.
Die teenmalaria-medikasies Chloroquine en Hydroxychloroquine word by die “SOLIDARITY”-eksperiment ingesluit omdat dit reeds vir dekades teen malaria gebruik is en dokters begin spekuleer het dat hierdie middels moontlik as voorkomend en as behandeling vir Covid-19 aangewend kan word. Die WGO het op 13 Maart 2020 'n verslag bekend gestel waarin verskeie voorlopige studies die potensiaal van Chloroquine en Hydroxychloroquine as moontlike middels in die behandeling teen Covid-19 aangedui het. Voorlopige resultate dui daarop dat dit moontlik aan Covid-19-pasiënte met ligte tot matige sowel as gevorderde gevalle van pneumonie toegedien kan word. Hoewel dit moontlik nie aan pasiënte met hartkwale of diabetes toegedien kan word nie, is Chloroquine sterk deur Chinese, Suid-Koreaanse en Italiaanse gesondheidsowerhede aanbeveel. Beide Chloroquine en Hydroxychloroquine is in voorlopige resultate as effektief beskou, hoewel Hydroxychloroquine 'n beter veiligheidsprofiel gehandhaaf het17.
Die kombinasie van twee antiretrovirale middels, naamlik Ritonavir en Lopinavir, wat saam in die behandeling van MIV-infeksies toegedien word, is ook by die eksperiment ingesluit omdat navorsing van Lancet20 in Januarie 2020 aangedui het dat dit moontlik suksesvol as behandeling vir Covid-19 gebruik kan word. Hierdie middels teiken 'n bepaalde molekule in die Menslike Immuniteitsgebrekvirus (MIV) sowel as in die SARS- en MERS-koronavirusse, wat verhoed dat die virus homself reproduseer en vermeerder. Dit het egter geen voordeel of genesing meegebring vir volwassenes wat Covid-19 opgedoen het en in Wuhan daarmee behandel is nie14.
Daar is verder 'n vermoede dat die gesamentlike toediening van die antiretrovirale middels Ritonavir en Lopinavir tesame met Interferon-beta moontlik 'n meer suksesvolle kombinasiebehandeling teen Covid-19 kan wees. Hierdie kombinasie word deesdae as behandeling teen Veelvuldige Sklerose gebruik. Behandeling met Interferon-beta op sy eie word ook tans in 'n eksperiment deur 'n Britse farmaseutiese maatskappy getoets, en dit lyk belowend om die felheid van die Covid-19-infeksie in die longe teen te werk, veral in pasiënte wat 'n verswakte immuunstelsel het19.
Favipiravir (bemark as Avigan) is in 2014 in Japan goedgekeur vir die behandeling van verskeie virale siektes. Dit is sover tydens die vroeë fase van kliniese toetse voorlopig as effektief bewys in 'n studie in Shenzhen, China16. Tocilizumab, ook bekend as Actemra (‘n produk van die Chinese firma Ascletis Pharma Inc) word tans in Fase III-studies ondersoek om die sukses in die behandeling van Covid-19-pasiënte wat met longontsteking in die hospitaal opgeneem is, te ondersoek16.
Volgens twee organisasies wat die verloop van kliniese navorsing dophou, is daar 29 Fase II- tot IV- studies aan die gang waarvan die resultate later in April verwag word. Die WGO is egter van mening dat daar nie binne 18 maande 'n teenmiddel of behandeling beskikbaar sal wees nie en dat dit tot meer as 'n jaar kan duur om te bewys dat 'n middel effektief en suksesvol aangewend kan word8. Hoewel daar tans nog steeds geen behandeling teen Covid-19 bestaan nie, word daar wêreldwyd 'n ongekende hoeveelheid energie en werk daaraan spandeer om so gou as moontlik so middel te vind.
Behalwe vir mediese en kliniese navorsingseksperimente wat onderweg is, het groot besighede regoor die wêreld ook drastiese en diepgaande veranderinge begin aanbring om grootskaalse bydraes tot die oorlog teen Covid-19 te maak. Hoewel dit nie vir interessante leestof sorg nie, is hierdie lys, in Engels en direk vanaf die Forbes.com webtuiste: (https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/03/31/us-records-500-coronavirus-deaths-in-24-hours-worldwide-cases-reach-over-800000/#8b398414b5c4 ) geneem. Dit is uiters bemoedigend om te sien hoe die wêreld vanuit die mees uiteenlopende uithoeke van besigheid 'n verskil kan maak en kan bydra om die skade wat Covid-19 aanrig meer draaglik vir die mensdom te maak. Lees veral hoe modehuise en skoonheidshuise, motorvervaardigers, Uber, Airbnb, elektroniese maatskappye, ingenieursfirmas en vele meer, ingespring het:
Abbott Laboratories: Abbott Park, Illinois healthcare firm obtained emergency FDA authorization for its 5-minute coronavirus testing kit on March 27, with plans to start manufacturing 50,000 kits a day.
Alphabet: Through its healthcare arm Verily, Google’s parent company launched a website where users can find nearby testing sites in four California counties.
Employee Training And Development: Investing In The Future
Amazon: Jeff Bezos’ retail behemoth invested $20 million in the Amazon Web Services Diagnostic Initiative, which aims to speed up delivery of COVID-19 tests to the market.
BioMérieux: French biotech company, founded by billionaire Alain Mérieux, received emergency FDA approval for its subsidiary’s new testing kit, which cuts testing times for the virus down to 45 minutes.
Carbon: California-based 3D printing unicorn backed by Russian tech investor Yuri Milner will soon be distributing testing swabs and face shields to hospitals in the Bay Area.
Cepheid: Sunnyvale, California molecular diagnostics company gained emergency FDA authorization for its new 45-minute COVID-19 testing kit.
Copan Diagnostics: Family-owned company located at the heart of Italy’s hard-hit Lombardy region makes diagnostic swabs for testing, airlifting 500,000 swabs to the U.S.
DiaSorin: Italian biotech company owned by billionaire Gustavo Denegri obtained emergency authorization from the FDA for its new 60-minute testing kit for COVID-19.
Mammoth Biosciences: South San Francisco-based biotech startup, founded by three 30 Under 30 alums, prototyped a rapid test by using the gene-editing tool Crispr to detect the disease.
Mesa Biotech: San Diego biotech business obtained FDA approval for its new 30-minute testing kit for COVID-19.
Puritan Medical Products: Maine-based diagnostic maker, one of the world’s largest makers of diagnostic swabs along with Italy’s Copan Diagnostics, is reportedly increasing production to make one million COVID-19 testing swabs a week.
AbbVie: North Chicago-based, publicly traded pharma firm is collaborating with authorities in the EU, the U.S. and China on experimental use of its HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir to treat COVID-19.
AIM Immunotech: Florida-based pharmaceutical company announced on March 9 it would begin experimental testing of its chronic fatigue syndrome drug rintatolimod as a treatment for COVID-19 in Japan, at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and the University of Tokyo.
Algernon Pharmaceuticals: Vancouver-based pharmaceutical firm is requesting FDA approval to begin trials of its chronic cough medication ifenprodil as a treatment for COVID-19.
AlloVir: Houston-based cell and gene therapy company is collaborating with Baylor College of Medicine to discover and develop T-cell therapies to fight COVID-19.
Apeiron Biologics: Vienna-based biotech firm started small-scale trials of its immunotherapy treatment on COVID-19 in China in February.
Ascletis: Hangzhou, China pharmaceutical company announced results of clinical trials of its antiviral drug danoprevir on COVID-19 patients in China; the small-scale study found that “danoprevir combined with ritonavir is safe and well tolerated in all patients.”
Bioxytran: Boston-based biotech outfit is developing a viral inhibitor to treat COVID-19.
Celltrion: South Korean healthcare firm is developing an antiviral treatment for COVID-19 as well as rapid self-testing kits that would provide results within fifteen to twenty minutes.
Cocrystal Pharma: Bothell, Washington pharma outfit is developing antivirals to treat COVID-19 using patents it recently acquired from the Kansas State University Research Foundation.
CytoDyn: Vancouver, Washington biotech firm announced preliminary results from three days of testing its antiviral drug leronlimab on COVID-19 patients in New York; the company stated in a press release that “test results from the first four patients suggests immunological benefit within three days following treatment with leronlimab.”
Eli Lilly: Indianapolis pharma company is partnering with Vancouver-based biotech outfit AbCellera to develop antibody-based treatments for COVID-19.
Emergent BioSolutions: Maryland drugmaker is developing treatments derived from the antibodies found in the blood of people who tested positive for the disease.
EUSA Pharma: British pharmaceutical firm initiated trials of its siltuximab antibody treatment on COVID-19 patients at the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo, Italy; the company released initial data on April 1 showing that one third of patients “experienced clinical improvement with reduced need for oxygen support” and a further 43% “saw their disease stabilise.”
Fujifilm Toyama Chemical: Tokyo-based conglomerate’s flu drug favipiravir has shown promising results in early clinical trials on COVID-19 patients in China, and the company is investing $83 million in its biological manufacturing capabilities.
Gilead: The Californian biotech giant initiated clinical trials in March for its antiviral drug remdesivir on patients in the U.S.
Harbour BioMed: Cambridge, Massachusetts biomedical firm announced a collaboration with New York’s Mount Sinai Health System to develop new human antibodies to treat COVID-19.
I-Mab Biopharma: Shanghai-based biopharma outfit announced it would begin clinical trials of its TJM2 antibody treatment on COVID-19 patients in the United States, with plans to expand to other countries affected by the pandemic.
ImmunoPrecise: Canadian life sciences company is teaming up with New York-based AI startup EVQLV Inc on researching antibody-based therapies and a vaccine for COVID-19.
Innovation Pharmaceuticals: Wakefield, Massachusetts biopharma firm is researching the use of its drug brilacidin — part of a category of investigational new drugs called defensin mimetics, which could have antimicrobial effects — as both a treatment and a vaccine for COVID-19, in separate efforts with a “major U.S. university” and with the Department of Health and Human Services.
ISR Immune System Regulation: Swedish immunotherapy firm’s subsidiary, ISR HBV, is conducting toxicological studies to determine whether its Immunolid ISR50 treatment could be used against COVID-19.
Kamada: Israeli pharmaceutical company is working on an antibody-based treatment for COVID-19 using the blood plasma of patients who recovered from the disease.
Mateon Therapeutics: Californian biopharma firm is testing a number of antiviral drugs as potential treatments for COVID-19 and is preparing to submit an application to the FDA in order to begin clinical trials on patients.
Merck KGaA: Darmstadt, Germany-based pharma multinational donated a supply of its multiple sclerosis drug interferon beta-1a to the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris for clinical trials on COVID-19 patients.
Mesoblast: Australian medical firm is working with authorities in the U.S., Australia, China and Europe to evaluate the use of its remestemcel-L drug to treat COVID-19.
Mylan: Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical firm restarted production of hydroxychloroquine, a drug used to fight lupus, malaria and arthritis, at its West Virginia factory; the drug is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 in human trials in New York.
Pluristem Therapeutics: Haifa, Israel-based medical company is developing a cell-based therapy to treat COVID-19, announcing on March 30 it had dosed three Israeli patients under a compassionate use program, with plans to enroll more.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: Westchester, New York biotech outfit, run by billionaires Leonard Schleifer and George Yancopoulos, is conducting clinical trials of its rheumatoid arthritis drug sarilumab, developed with French firm Sanofi, on patients in New York.
Roche: Swiss pharma titan, part-owned by billionaire Maja Oeri, is testing its arthritis drug tocilizumab to treat patients in China and received FDA approval to begin U.S. trials.
Roivant Sciences: Swiss pharma company is working with U.S. authorities to begin trials of its antibody treatment, gimsilumab, on COVID-19 patients.
Takeda: Japanese medical firm is working on hyperimmune therapy using blood plasma from previously infected patients.
Vir Biotechnology: The San Francisco-based firm is collaborating with Biogen and Chinese medical firm WuXi Biologics to manufacture antibodies that could treat the virus.
AJ Vaccines: Danish vaccine developer is working on a COVID-19 vaccine that could hit the market in 2021.
Altimmune: The company is developing a novel intranasal vaccine for the coronavirus, making it one of three firms based in Gaithersburg, Maryland — along with Emergent Biosolutions and Novavax — that’s working on treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
Arcturus Therapeutics: San Diego-based vaccine maker is developing a COVID-19 vaccine with researchers at the Duke-National University of Singapore medical school in Singapore.
Biocad: Russian drug developer is researching a COVID-19 vaccine, with animal trials scheduled for late April.
BioNTech: German biotech firm backed by billionaire twins Thomas and Andreas Struengmann is working to develop a coronavirus vaccine in partnership with Pfizer and Fosun Pharma, chaired by billionaire Guo Guangchang.
CanSino Biologics: Tianjin, China-based pharma company is starting clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine, using the vaccine technology deployed to develop the Ebola vaccine.
Codagenix: Melville, New York biotech firm is teaming up with the Serum Institute of India to develop a live-attenuated COVID-19 vaccine, which uses a live but weakened form of the virus.
CureVac: German firm, funded by billionaire Dietmar Hopp and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, received $87 million from the European Commission to scale up development of its coronavirus vaccine.
Dyadic: Jupiter, Florida company is collaborating with the Israel Institute for Biological Research on both treatment and a vaccine against COVID-19, using the firm’s gene expression platform.
Dynavax: Emeryville, California vaccine maker is working with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the University of Queensland to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
EpiVax: Providence-based immunology firm is working with the University of Georgia and Miramar, Florida biotech outfit Generex on separate COVID-19 vaccine efforts.
ExpreS2ion: Danish biotech company received a grant of nearly $1 million from the European Union to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
GeoVax: Atlanta-based medical company is collaborating with Wuhan-based BioVax to jointly produce a COVID-19 vaccine.
GlaxoSmithKline: British pharma titan is partnering with CEPI and Chengdu, China-based Clover Pharmaceuticals to use its pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform — which boosts the immune response in patients receiving a shot — to speed up development of COVID-19 vaccines.
Greffex: Houston-based genetic engineering firm is preparing to begin animal trials for its COVID-19 vaccine.
Heat Biologics: North Carolina biopharma company is developing a COVID-19 vaccine with the University of Miami.
iBio: Newark, Delaware biotech upstart is collaborating with Beijing-based CC-Pharming on the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Inovio: Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania biotech business received $11.9 million in funding from the Department of Defense to rapidly produce a DNA vaccine for COVID-19 with drugmaker Ology Bioservices.
Johnson & Johnson: The company’s pharma unit, Janssen, will start manufacturing its vaccine — developed with the Department of Health and Human Services — this month, with human trials set to begin by September and a public rollout hoped for early 2021. The company and the federal government are investing more than $1 billion in the vaccine effort.
Medicago: Quebec City-based biotech company received more than $7 million from the Canadian and Quebec governments to fund development of its COVID-19 vaccine.
Moderna: Massachusetts biotech company was the first to begin human trials of its vaccine — on March 16 in Seattle — and could deploy it to health workers for emergency use by the fall.
Novavax: Maryland-based vaccine maker received $4 million in funding from CEPI to accelerate development of its vaccine candidates, with clinical trials expected in the late spring.
Sanofi: French medical firm is working with the federal government and Massachusetts-based Translate Bio to expedite its coronavirus vaccine, using technology previously used to develop one for SARS.
Sorrento Therapeutics: San Diego-based biotech firm is teaming up with Cambridge, MA gene therapy company SmartPharm Therapeutics to develop a gene-encoded COVID-19 vaccine; it’s also working with Chinese drugmaker Mabpharm on a fusion protein treatment for the disease.
Takis Biotech: Italian startup with just 25 employees is developing a vaccine with Stony Brook-based Applied DNA Sciences, with plans to begin human trials before the end of the year.
Themis Bioscience: Austrian biotech firm is part of a group, with the Institut Pasteur and the University of Pittsburgh, which received $4.9 million in initial funding from CEPI to build a COVID-19 vaccine modeled on the vaccine for measles.
Tonix Pharmaceuticals: New York-based pharma outfit is researching a potential COVID-19 vaccine based on the virus that causes horsepox.
Vaxart: San Francisco vaccine manufacturer Vaxart is working with Emergent Biosolutions to develop and manufacture an oral vaccine that can be taken as a tablet.
Vaxil: Israeli biotech startup began preclinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Zydus Cadila: Indian pharma company announced it would fast-track development of a COVID-19 vaccine in February.
Protective Equipment And Sanitizer:
Anheuser-Busch InBev: The world’s largest beer company is making more than one million bottles of hand sanitizer from surplus alcohol at its breweries around the world.
Armani: Billionaire Giorgio Armani’s luxury fashion brand converted all production at its Italian factories to manufacture single-use medical overalls on March 26.
Bacardi: The Bermuda-based spirits giant converted production at nine production facilities in Mexico, France, England, Italy, Scotland, Puerto Rico and the continental U.S. to make hand sanitizer.
BrewDog: Independent beermaker is making hand sanitizer at its distillery in Scotland.
Bulgari: The Italian luxury jeweler is manufacturing hand sanitizer with its fragrances partner, ICR, with plans to make hundreds of thousands of bottles by May.
Calzedonia Group: Italian retail clothing group, owned by billionaire Sandro Veronesi, converted production at several plants in Italy and Croatia to manufacture masks and medical gowns, with initial production of 10,000 masks a day.
Cantabria Labs: Spanish health products and cosmetics firm converted production at one of its factories to make hand sanitizer.
Consomed: Tunisian mask and medical equipment maker put all of its workers, more than 70% of which are reportedly women, on quarantine inside the company’s Kairouan factory to maximize production of protective gear.
Decathlon: Sporting goods empire founded by French billionaire Michel Leclercq partnered with Isinnova, a small engineering and design firm based in Italy, to convert snorkeling masks into respirators.
Diageo: The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka donated two million liters of ethyl alcohol, a byproduct of the distillation process, to hand sanitizer manufacturers.
Fanatics: Billionaire Michael Rubin’s online sportswear retailer converted its baseball jersey factory in Pennsylvania to make masks and gowns for medical workers.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: The multinational automaker announced on March 23 it would begin installing capacity to produce masks, which will be initially distributed in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Fippi: Italian diapers producer worked with the Lombardy region and the Polytechnic University of Milan to convert its factory to make up to 900,000 masks a day, which will go to frontline health workers facing a devastating outbreak in the region.
Gojo Industries: The Ohio-based maker of Purell, owned by a billionaire family, is prioritizing delivery of its ubiquitous hand sanitizers to health workers and first responders on the frontlines.
González Byass: Spanish spirits maker made three of its facilities and distilleries available to public health authorities for the production of hand sanitizer.
GVS: Family-owned Italian company is hiring more workers to expand production of ventilator filters and biohazard antivirus masks, destined for hospitals in Italy, the U.S. and China.
IKEA: Swedish furniture retailer is reportedly working with suppliers to increase production of masks, hand sanitizers, visors and aprons; the company also opened a drive-through COVID-19 testing facility with the UK’s National Health Service at its store in the Wembley area of London.
Ineos: Billionaire James Ratcliffe’s chemical powerhouse Ineos is building a new hand sanitizer plant in the UK — which will be ready in just 10 days — to produce a million bottles a month, and plans to build another in Germany.
L’Oréal: French cosmetics giant, part-owned by billionaire Françoise Bettencourt Meyers and her family, converted production at its North American plants to make hand sanitizer.
LVMH: On March 15, the luxury goods conglomerate led by Bernard Arnault — the world’s third-richest person — converted production at its perfume plants in France to make antiseptic gel.
Massaflex: Italian mattress maker converted all production at its factory in Tuscany to make masks.
Medline: Northfield, Illinois family-owned manufacturer is ramping up production to supply medical masks, biohazard bags, surgical clothing and disinfectants to hospitals across the United States.
Menarini: Pharma firm, owned by Italian billionaire Massimiliana Landini Aleotti and her three children, converted a production line at its Florence factory to make disinfectant gel that will be distributed free of charge to Italy’s civil protection agency.
Miroglio Group: Italian fashion group converted production at its factories in the northwestern Italian region of Piedmont to make up to 100,000 masks a day.
Pernod Ricard: French spirit maker’s U.S. branch is producing hand sanitizer at four distilleries in Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas and West Virginia.
Prada: On March 23, the luxury fashion empire — led by billionaire couple Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli — announced it would convert production at its factory in Perugia to make 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks for healthcare workers in the Tuscany region.
Top Glove: Malaysian medical glove maker, one of the world’s largest, is ramping up production and has donated more than 5 million gloves to authorities in China and Malaysia.
Ventilators And Beds:
Airbus: The aircraft maker is part of a group of fifteen companies, the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium, which is partnering to build at least 10,000 ventilators for the British government.
BAE Systems: British aerospace company is part of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
Bloom Energy: San Jose, California-based fuel cell maker is refurbishing unused and out-of-warranty ventilators in a partnership with Philadelphia-based appliance distributor Almo Corporation, which will then ship them to state agencies and hospitals across the U.S.
BreathDirect: Long Beach-based startup was recently established by Darren Saravis, CEO of medical device firm Nectar, to quickly produce 3,500 ventilators a week by May at $10,000 each.
Dyson: British billionaire James Dyson announced his vacuum cleaner and hand dryer firm would start designing and making 10,000 ventilators, with more to come.
Ford: Auto giant is working with 3M and GE’s healthcare unit to make ventilators, respirators and face shields at its manufacturing sites; Ford and GE Healthcare announced on March 30 that they would produce 50,000 ventilators by July 8 with plans to increase production to 30,000 a month.
General Motors: The auto titan announced on March 27 it would start building ventilators at its Kokomo, IN plant in a partnership with medical device maker Ventec Life Systems, as well as producing masks at a factory in Michigan. Hours later, President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to compel GM to “accept, perform and prioritize federal contracts for ventilators.”
GKN Aerospace: British aerospace firm is a member of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
Inspiration Healthcare: British medical devices maker is part of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
Mahindra Group: Mumbai-based conglomerate, owned by billionaire Anand Mahindra and his family, announced it would begin producing ventilators at plants in India, reportedly pricing them at less than $100 each.
Malvestio: Italian maker of ICU and hospital beds is ramping up production by 30-40% to meet a surge in demand for its beds from hospitals in Italy.
Medtronic: Minnesota-based medical device maker publicly shared the design specifications for its basic ventilator model, with the goal of helping other companies quickly manufacture ventilators.
Meggitt: British aerospace and defense components maker is a member of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
Penlon: Oxford-based medical device maker is part of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
Philips: The Dutch multinational is doubling production of pulmonary ventilators, with plans to quadruple it by the third quarter of 2020.
Rolls-Royce: The luxury carmaker is a member of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
SIARE Engineering: Italy’s largest ventilator producer enlisted the help of Italian army technicians and employees from Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari to ramp up production.
Smiths Group: British engineering firm is part of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
Thales Group: French aerospace multinational is a member of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
Ultra Electronics: British defense systems provider is part of the Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium.
Supporting Healthcare Workers And First Responders:
Airbnb cofounders Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia.
Airbnb cofounders Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. GETTY
Airbnb: The peer-to-peer home rental company, cofounded by billionaires Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia, is providing housing for 100,000 COVID-19 responders in homes volunteered by Airbnb hosts around the world.
Carbyne: New York startup’s emergency response tool, backed by Peter Thiel’s VC fund, is being used by 911 responders in New Orleans to track patients by video screening callers.
Faculty: London-based AI firm is collaborating with the UK’s National Health Service to develop models and simulations to help the British government’s data response strategy to the pandemic.
GlobeKeeper: Tel Aviv-based security app developer worked with Israel’s Health Ministry to launch a voluntary tracking app which allows users to report their exposure to COVID-19; the company is reportedly rolling out its own coronavirus-tracking app, named SAFE, in India next week with plans to expand to other countries.
GoPuff: Late-night delivery app popular with college students is pivoting to deliver essential supplies to healthcare workers at hospitals in Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
Inditex: The Spanish fast fashion giant behind Zara and other brands, majority-owned by billionaire Amancio Ortega, is making its logistics and procurement network available to the Spanish government to coordinate supply of materials needed to make masks, gloves, face shields and other protective equipment.
Palantir: Big data firm, cofounded and chaired by billionaire Peter Thiel, is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the UK’s National Health Service on coronavirus-tracking software based on its data gathering and analysis technology platform, Palantir Foundry.
Uber: Ride-hailing app cofounded by billionaires Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp pledged 10 million free rides and food deliveries for healthcare workers, senior citizens and others in need.
Zoom: The company’s billionaire founder, Eric Yuan, build the firm’s popular video conferencing platvorm.
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