35 drugs in the race for a coronavirus treatment

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As the world scrambles to monitor and contain the COVID-19 outbreak, drug companies are racing to develop or repurpose treatments to combat the potential pandemic. The death toll continues to climb.

A new survey by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) reveals 35 active drug development programs in North America, Europe, and China. Those 35 include treatments that have received the greatest public attention in recent days, being developed by companies that range from pharma giants like GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, to small and large biotechs such as Moderna and Gilead Sciences. Gilead has begun clinical trials in China after peer-reviewed journals showed its antiviral candidate, remdesivir, having positive results in a case involving an American patient and Chinese in vitro tests.

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China’s status as the center of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak is reinforced by a statistic tucked at the bottom of a report published February 28 by the state-run Xinhua news agency: Of 234 clinical trials registered with the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, nearly half (105) focus on treatments for COVID-19.

This list is certain to multiply in coming weeks as global health agencies, governments, and drug developers step up efforts against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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