Respiratory complications caused by COVID-19 can propel a patient from a mild cough one day to a ventilator and an ICU only 10 days later. As countries around the world work to stockpile ventilators and citizens continue social distancing measures, biopharma companies are tackling the development of fast-acting therapeutics to disrupt a dire disease trajectory in hospitalized patients. An industry-wide frantic race has ensued. On March 5, BioWorld reported that there were approximately 30 therapeutics and vaccines in development for COVID-19. As of April 28, there were 343 total: 249 therapeutics and 94 vaccines.
Blincyto (blinatumomab, Amgen Inc.), the first FDA-approved bispecific antibody, gained regulatory approval in 2014, but the intervening years have been fairly bleak for bispecific antibodies as companies worked through technical challenges.