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The hunt is on for a cure and vaccines for COVID-19. Piper Sandler says Remdesivir could be approved very soon for COVID-19.

Earlier in the month, Pfizer Inc was reported to be considering a collaboration with German drugmaker BioNTech SE to develop vaccines for COVID-19 using BioNTech’s mRNA-based drug development platform, Pfizer’s R&D head told Reuters on Thursday.

Reuters reported that Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten was one of the pharmaceutical executives who attended a meeting with US President Donald Trump to discuss possible vaccines and treatments for the fast-spreading virus at the start of this month. 

“Dolsten also gave more details about the company’s efforts to develop potential anti-viral treatments for the virus, which are currently being screened by a third-party company to see how it performs against the virus in a laboratory setting.

Pfizer said these compounds could potentially be used in conjunction with another antiviral treatment being developed by Gilead Sciences GILD.O called remdesivir, which is further along in the development process.”

Key notes

  • Pfizer’s compounds use a different mechanism of action than Gilead’s to attack the virus, Dolsten said, with Pfizer’s looking to attack the protease segment of the virus.
  • The protease “is one of the best drug targets in the viral sector,” Dolsten said. “It has been one of the most effective for HIV and HCV and our analysis confirmed that the COVID-19 protease target was very similar to one we had been working on for another virus.”
  • Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said that remdesivir is in late stage clinical trials in both China and the United States. He said the company should know “in the next couple of months” whether the drug helps treat patients with the coronavirus.