Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Global Market Conditions, Vaccines, Trials & Potential Treatments
This market report is focused on a new, emerging global pandemic, the ongoing eruption of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The virus responsible for the disease is also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and abbreviated as SARS-CoV-2. The eruption started in China on December 29, 2019 and by March 2020 it was reported that it had spread to several countries across the world.
In the final days of 2019, Chinese doctors identified a number of similar cases of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in China. Wuhan is the capital city of Hubei Province in China accommodating 11 million inhabitants. Soon, it was discovered that the disease was caused by a new strain of virus which was named SARS-CoV-2.
The Latin word ‘corona’ means ‘crown’ since the virus looks like a crown under an electron microscope. The first cases of Coronavirus infection outside of China were reported on January 13 in Thailand and January 16 in Japan. Since January 23, 2020, the Chinese government has placed Wuhan and other nearby cities on lockdown. However, the disease has now spread to another 121 countries.
Globally, the healthcare industry is trying to use every weapon in its armory to suppress the global threat from the virus, using approaches that include vaccines, drugs, stem cells and even exosomes. While many approaches are being investigated, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are showing intriguing potential for the treatment of COVID-19. All of the current stem cells trials are being undertaken in China.
MSCs are receiving notable attention because past studies have found the secretions from MSCs to be effective at treating inflammation and cytokine storms. Already, Athersys, Inc. has reported positive outcomes in other studies using MSCs in treating respiratory disease. Similarly, Mesoblast’s Remestemcel-L has proved itself to be effective in treating advanced respiratory distress.
From early-stage studies, it appears that MSC may exert beneficial effects, potentially by improving the lung microenvironment, inhibiting immune system over-activation, promoting tissue repair, protecting lung alveoli epithelial cells, preventing pulmonary fibrosis, or improving lung function. In the recent months, there has been increased activity in the clinical trial sector in using stem cells against COVID-19.
Currently, ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP) report several dozen trials exploring the potential of stem cells for treating COVID-19. Interestingly, not all of the filed trials are being pursued. In recent weeks, five of the Chinese Clinical Trial Register (“ChiCTR”) trials and one of the ClinicalTrials.gov (“NCT”) trials have been marked as “Cancelled by the Investigator.” Interestingly, four of the six withdrawn trials were submitted by the same Chinese company, Guangzhou Reborn Health Management Consultation Co., LTD.
When all clinical trial types are considered, there are over 400 studies worldwide exploring approaches to diagnosing, treating or managing COVID-19. Dozens of companies are also rushing vaccine development and proceeding toward clinical trials. As select examples, the U.S. NIH initiated a Phase 1 trial in Seattle evaluating an investigational vaccine (mRNA-1273) created by NIAID scientists and their collaborators at Moderna, Sanofi and Regeneron launched a Phase 2/3 trial in New York evaluating the IL-6 targeted Kevzara, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced that it will move its vaccine into human trials by April within the United States. Numerous other vaccines are also moving rapidly through development.
The aim of this report on COVID-19 is to gather existing research, reveal relevant data and enable the reader to make sense of the published data and early research on the Coronavirus outbreak.
This market brief features:
Worldwide health statistics, including velocity of disease progression, global case and death counts, testing rates by region, and more
Case fatality rate (CFR) data
Market competitors developing COVID-19 vaccines
Vaccine development timelines
Analysis of the worldwide clinical trial landscape—all approaches, including vaccines, drugs, and living therapies
Analysis of clinical trials for COVID-19 using stem cells
Coverage of market competitors involved COVID-19 treatment technologies
Descriptions of stem cell companies who have announced an intent to develop therapies for the treatment of COVID-19
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