British media say pharmaceutical companies are stepping up efforts to develop vaccines to fight a new outbreak of coronary pneumonia. Modner, which is listed on Nasdaq and has a market capitalisation of $7 billion, has partnered with the National Institutes of Health to become a potential candidate, the Times website reported on January 23. It said its “vaccine technology could serve as a quick platform for responding to emerging viral threats, such as new coronaviruses, which may be useful”.
Biotech companies rebounded in New York this week as concerns about the threat of the coronavirus intensified, the report said. These include Novavax, which developed a candidate vaccine for MERS in 2013, which is raising more than $100 million. A spokesman said the company had a “long history of dealing with coronaviruses.”
Nanovi Lissydes, another New York-listed pharmaceutical company, is testing antiviral drugs.
In Europe, big vaccine makers include GlaxoSmithKline, a London-based FTSE 100 ingredient, and Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company. Sanofi has not conducted any clinical programs related to the virus. It is also unclear whether GlaxoSmithKline is doing clinical research or has plans.
Paul DiGard, professor of virology at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, says it could take up to a year to successfully develop a vaccine.
“Even in the most optimistic cases, it will take months to get the vaccine that is ready to be tested on volunteers and then on patients,” he said. It may take up to a year before a large number of vaccines are produced that are widely available. If it turns out that it’s difficult to develop a vaccine, no one can say for sure. “
Several international pharmaceutical companies have expressed interest in developing a new coronavirus vaccine. Pictured is a study by researchers at Modner Corporation in the United States.