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Don’t only bet on fast vaccines, root for COVID-19 treatments

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New York – As companies and countries pour money into the effort to develop COVID-19 vaccines, timelines keep getting more ambitious and dates for delivering a workable immunization against the virus keep moving up.

Yet even with companies such as Moderna Therapeutics Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc signaling rapid progress and already enrolling patients in mid-stage trials, it would be quite a feat if we had a stockpile of proven doses by year's end. That’s a best-case scenario. A longer wait is more likely, and that may seem discouraging. The good news is, there is a batch of treatments in development with a chance of accelerated approval, and they can provide needed relief in the interim.

Dozens of approaches could serve as a valuable bridge, from repurposed drugs to bespoke antibody cocktails. None can replace the value of a vaccine in getting the world back to normal, but the availability of more treatment options for sick patients could help to increase the chances of a faster and fuller recovery, and reduce the lethality of the disease. Two of the most familiar treatments options — the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir — have recently run into issues over safety and degree of efficacy, but there are plenty more in the pipeline.

When it comes to development, the........

© The Japan Times