Following the news earlier this week of the successful vaccine trial update from BioNTech and Pfizer, Linden Thomson, manager of the AXA Framlington Biotech fund,reminds us that there are other ways in which science is working hard to find ways to help humanity overcome the impact of Covid-19. She comments:
“A year ago COVID-19 was unheard of. Today it dominates our daily lives. Its impact is unparalleled, having caused unprecedented levels of disruption to the global economy and reportedly been the cause of more than 1.2 million deaths.
“The world has been pinning its hopes on a vaccine since the virus caused the start of a global lockdown earlier this year, and finally there has been some good news. The data this week from BioNTech and partner Pfizer announcing a 90% success rate of its trial vaccine has ignited a glimmer of hope. We are also expecting good news from Moderna and AstraZeneca before the end of the year, finally signalling the end of the pandemic.
“This is clearly very positive news, but we believe a mass rollout will take longer than expected, and there is a risk it could take until the second half of 2021. However, a vaccine isn’t the only solution. There are numerous biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies developing treatments which can reduce the severity of COVID-19 for those that become infected. Currently, there are more than 100 credible treatments being investigated. For example, Gilead Sciences antiviral treatment Remdesivir has been the first treatment to show positive clinical trial results and has been phased into some treatment of Covid in multiple countries.
“The spectrum of research into beating this pandemic can seem complex, but researchers, such as Gilead Sciences and Regeneron, are simply mining for solutions that can either prevent the infection from taking hold, or stop the collateral damage that the infection can induce when the immune system becomes overactive. We remain positive that the biotech sector will rise to the occasion to overcome the challenges presented by Covid-19.”