Finding a Cure

At present, there is no cure for COVID-19. Healthcare providers are limited to offering symptomatic relief and supportive care to COVID-19 patients. Below, we discuss some of the ongoing efforts towards the development of a treatment for COVID-19.

Vaccines

There is currently a high level of interest in the development of an effective vaccine against SARS–CoV–2, the virus that causes COVID–19. Vaccines are – without a doubt – invaluable to public health: the vaccination program against polio virus was responsible for the eradication of polio, after its routine introduction in 1955. However, there are no guarantees that a vaccine will be the leading measure in overcoming COVID–19. The challenging logistics associated with large-scale production, worldwide distribution and administration of a SARS–CoV–2 vaccine make this endeavour a particularly difficult one. Recent months have witnessed the appearance of novel strains of SARS-CoV-2 which may be resistant to current vaccination programs.
A recent study (Ibarrondo et al., 2020) indicates that the SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody titers in recovered patients decline quickly – with a 50% reduction in antibody levels 36 days post-recovery. Therefore, SARS-COV-2 vaccines may offer only limited (short-term) therapeutic value. In sum, not all viruses are amenable eradication through vaccination programs: one such example is HIV-1, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in humans, for which there is currently no vaccine available. Standard-of-care for HIV-1 infections consists of a combination of antiretroviral drugs that impair viral replication and suppress serum viral RNA levels.

Antivirals

A suitable alternative to vaccine development is to identify potent antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2. The development of novel (previously untested) medications is both costly and time-consuming. Repurposing an approved medication for an alternative use is a considerably cheaper and faster route of finding a cure for COVID–19.  At PrimerGen, we are working hard to develop an antiviral treatment against COVID–19.
We are a team of talented young scientists, medical doctors and financial analysts dedicated to the pursuit of the development of a treatment for COVID–19. Recent studies suggest that a number of currently used medications may be readily repurposed as antiviral treatments with success in the treatment of COVID–19 (Gordon et al., 2020). We intend to further investigate and test the efficacy and safety of antiviral drugs both in vitro and in vivo. We are doing this work in collaboration with a team of chemists, biochemists and virologists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada). We are confident that our longstanding experience in drug characterization coupled to our strong partnerships with renowned international academic institutions will yield fruitful discoveries and, ultimately, lead to the development of a efficacious novel antiviral treatment for COVID-19.
To learn more about our strategy, please contact us at: geral@primergen.group

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