As coronavirus continues to spread around the world, the urgency to develop a vaccine against the flu-like infection keeps growing.
This is why several medical research companies are putting all their efforts into trying to find an inoculation to prevent the life-threatening condition or a treatment that can cure it.
To date, there have been more than 111,000 cases of coronavirus, with 3,882 deaths. With a six per cent mortality rate, it is crucial those in the medical research field work hard to find a vaccination or cure for the respiratory illness.
According to Market Watch, these companies include Gilead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Vir Biotechnology and Inovio Pharmaceuticals.
However, they are all still at the pre-clinical or clinical trial stage, which suggests there is still some way to go before a solution to the virus.
The chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation Jane Halton recently said a vaccination is at least one year away, adding that multiple versions need to be developed to find one that is safe to use and can be manufactured on a global scale.
After this, she said it would take “many, many months to produce the hundreds of millions of doses that will be needed for this vaccine”.
However, one scientist has come out to say he had been close to developing a cure for coronavirus years ago but had to stop due to a lack of investment.
Dr Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told NBC News: “We just could not generate much interest.”
If they had, the scientists could have been testing the vaccine as soon as the outbreak began in December 2019.
As companies plough more of their resources into developing a vaccine or treatment for coronavirus, there could be greater demand to fill life science vacancies.