Biopharma industry leaders in China who were the first to experience the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic shared their thoughts during a closing plenary session of the virtual Bio-Europe Spring 2020 meeting.
Business as usual only three months ago has transformed into health care industry overdrive as biopharma and med-tech companies scramble to test and scale-up treatments, vaccines and diagnostics to address COVID-19.
BEIJING – While repurposing drugs may be a quick solution to an epidemic like COVID-19 that has a limited research window, it’s just luck as to whether an already available drug candidate exists for newly emergent diseases. Experts say it’s more realistic to develop better drugs instead of attempting to repurpose old ones.
BEIJING – There was encouraging news when vaccine developer Moderna Inc. announced Feb. 24 that it has shipped the first vials of its mRNA vaccine against COVID-19 for a phase I trial in the U.S. The vaccine was created just 42 days after the genetic sequence of the COVID-19 virus was released.
HYDERABAD, India – India could play a key role in driving down the exorbitant cost of emerging cell and gene therapies, with a combination of comparatively cheap labor and efficient manufacturing, international experts said during the annual BioAsia conference.
HYDERABAD, India – Multinationals and domestic companies are stepping up research in India, including working to leverage the country’s digital and entrepreneurial capabilities, to boost India’s capabilities and market share in more innovative biologic drugs.
SEATTLE – Tracing the family tree of COVID-19 through its evolving DNA sequence makes it possible to disprove many false claims circulating on social media about the novel coronavirus, and, in particular, that it was generated in a covert biological weapons program. “From everything I’ve looked at, there is zero evidence for genetic engineering; it looks like normal evolution,” said Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who has been using genomes sequences taken from patient samples to track the spread of the virus since Jan. 11.
SAN FRANCISCO – Pacing the stage at this year's China Showcase Saturday, Chinabio CEO Greg Scott sounded a touch disappointed. Last year lacked the kind of record-breaking stats he likes to punctuate with iconic explosions, a common image in his widely valued China health care talks. "Simply stated, business is continuing as normal," he said.