Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Preparedness Market Analysis
Finally the World Health Organization recognized the obvious – the novel coronavirus outbreak is the pandemic. A trickle of localized epidemics quickly turned into a flood threatening to affect the entire world’s population and seriously disrupt global economy. Containment strategy has apparently failed, now the focus will switch from containment to mitigation.
“If we look at what is happening in South Korea, Italy, and Iran, the requirements are met for WHO to declare Phase 6 of a pandemic—it is no longer contained and controlled within the borders of China,” said Dr. Jorge Saavedra, Executive Director of the AHF Global Public Health Institute at the University of Miami. “The hesitation to declare a pandemic is motivated by political reasons and concerns for impact on the Chinese economy, which is a very dangerous course of action. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from pandemics, it’s that when global public health takes a backseat to politics, things end tragically and with many preventable deaths.”
The market report estimates funding allocated to mitigation of a deadly outbreak, breaking down the preparedness spending by the following market segments:
- Diagnostics and monitoring
- Vaccine development
- Antivirals and therapeutics
- Clinical trials
- Medical supplies
- Artificial respiration equipment
- National preparedness infrastructure
- Risk communications
- Digital contact tracing technology
- Information Systems for Point of Care
- Social distance enabling technologies
- Drug stockpiles by country for significant national markets.
COVID-19 Drugs in Pipeline
Government organizations and private industry have begun efforts to develop and test medical countermeasures (such as antiviral treatments and vaccines) to combat COVID-19:
- The Gaithersburg, Maryland-based company company Novavax announced a coronavirus vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 and is set to launch the first clinical human trial in mid-May.
- 6 critically ill COVID-19 high-risk for mortality patients have been treated with Pluristem’s placenta-based cell-therapy product and survived, according to preliminary data provided by the Israel-based Pluristem.
- There are indications that influenza medicine developed by subsidiary FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd. is also effective against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, which signed a patent-licensing agreement with Fujifilm for the generic drug Favipiravir, received approval from Chinese authorities in February to conduct clinical trials.
- Pfizer has initiated efforts to advance its potential antiviral therapies and also develop a potential mRNA coronavirus vaccine with its existing partner BioNTech.
- Gilead Sciences has begun clinical trials, both in China and in the United States, to test whether its experimental antiviral drug remdesivir is safe and effective against COVID-19
- In February 20202, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), entered into agreements with two pharmaceutical companies—Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi — to develop vaccines for COVID19.
- BARDA has also partnered with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to develop a monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19.
- Israel’s MIGAL Research Institute may have an oral vaccine produced by May 2020, by tweaking its vaccine against avian coronavirus Infectious Bronchitits Virus to combat COVID-19.
- Hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets manufactured by Teva are approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of malaria, lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Although the product is not currently approved for use in the treatment of COVID-19, it is currently under investigation for efficacy against the coronavirus and has been requested by US government officials to be made available for use immediately.
- The Department of Defense (DOD) awarded a contract valued at $14 million with Ology Bioservices Inc., a biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), to develop and manufacture a monoclonal antibody for treatment and prevention of infection with the COVID-19 virus.
- Canadian company Medicago aims to make 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine per month by inserting a genetic sequence into agrobacterium, fed up to tobacco-related plants.
- Also in development: Mesoblast evaluating the use of its drug Remestemcel-L as a possible treatment for severe forms of COVID-19; CureVac developing mRNA vaccine against COVID-19; Takeda developing a hyperimmune therapy for COVID-19; Eli Lilly partnering with AbCellera to co-develop antibody-based treatments against COVID-19; GlaxoSmithKline adapting its pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform to combat COVID-19.