Therapeutic Pipeline  for COVID-19

- Virtual Meeting -

Meeting Highlights

In September, 2020, scientists from academia and biotech around the world were brought together in a virtual forum to learn about the latest preclinical and clinical approaches for effective therapeutics against COVID-19.

1)  Drug repurposing 2) Realistic and manageable drug treatment 3) Vaccines or anti-virals for COVID-19.

The meeting featured more than 10 keynote presentations focused on small-molecule and antibody-based approaches. There were special gatherings for virtual speed networking and three intimate breakout discussions on: 

HIGHLIGHTS

Two major topics  emerged:

COVID-19 will most likely be a major problem in the near future (beyond 2021).

HIGHLIGHTS: Topic 1

HIGHLIGHTS: Topic 1

Early vaccines will most likely be FDA-approved with as low as 50% efficacy; therefore, complete population coverage will be unfeasible. 

First-generation vaccines will not sufficiently provide effective coverage to eliminate COVID-19 and, hence, therapeutics will be vital. 

Therapeutics will be impactful in: (1) patients that develop severe symptoms, (2) using as pre-exposure prophylactics, (3) treating post-COVID-19 symptoms in recovered patients as targeted therapeutics.

Antibodies will dominate but small-molecules will be necessary.

HIGHLIGHTS: Topic 2

HIGHLIGHTS: Topic 2

Speakers presented how they have shifted their laboratory research and through strategic biotech partnerships, have developed effective antibodies at incredible speed. 

The antibodies currently with the best preclinical and clinical efficacy are exclusively designed to target a specific area of the COVID-19 Spike protein which is important for receptor binding. 

Recent advancements in studying the underlying biology of COVID-19 and the pathophysiological impact have shown that there are very promising targets against host cells that can be developed as small peptides or molecules.

Future

There is increasing interest in additional non-structural COVID-19 proteins that play roles in infection and evasion of the immune response.

Antibodies, small molecules, and emerging therapeutics (nanobodies, siRNA, oligomers, interferons, biologics) are all important in this area. 

However, the pillars of pharmacology (PK, binding, ADME) must be maintained during development in order to not rush early-promising therapeutics.

Now Available On-Demand