enlightenbio  Blog

COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2

The coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has by now reached every aspect and even the most remote corner of our daily lives. We therefore have decided to compile a list of relevant news and announcements, developments, and useful links in relation to this viral outbreak on this active “COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2” news page. We will update and add to this page on a regular basis. This page is not a compilation of all relevant information but rather contains some key highlights that we consider to be of importance to share with the community.

Feel free to contact us either via email at info@enlightenbio.com or via twitter at @enlightenbio with additions that we missed and should be included in this compilation.

Helpful resources

Mortality Tracker

COVID-19 Module Data Dashboard – Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity Pathway – Statistical methods were used to generate estimates of patient impact and hospital capacity measures that are representative at the state level. The estimates are based on data submitted by acute care hospitals to the NHSN COVID-19 Module. The statistical methods include weighting (to account for non-response), multiple imputation (to account for missing data), and a running 7-day smoothing technique (to account for daily fluctuations and updated responses in reporting to NHSN). This dashboard is automatically updated by 12:00 pm ET on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

WHO embraces plan for Covid-19 intellectual property pool (May 15) – In response to the global race to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization embraced a proposal to create a voluntary pool to collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information that could be shared for developing drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics.

How we reopen safely – Tracking states as they make progress towards gating criteria.

STAT COVID-19 Drugs & Treatment tracker (April 27) – A guide to some of the most talked-about efforts to treat or prevent coronavirus infection, with details on the science, history, and timeline for each endeavor. This tracker tracks novel medicines, not repurposed drugs.

Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as the pandemic spreads – The Financial Times analyses of the scale of outbreaks and the number of deaths in countries around the world (free to read).

Corona Daily – Provides you an overview of relevant articles on the COVID-19 pandemic which crosses science, public policy, psychology and philosophy – curated daily.

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research – This article covers the developing situation which is updated daily by the Our World in Data team.

CDC’ Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) guidelines

Johns Hopkins Covid-19 interactive map – Provides up-to-date counts of total confirmed Covid-19 coronavirus cases worldwide, country-by-country breakdowns, with death and recovery rates.

COVID-19 in US and Canada – Real time updates with credible sources.

World Health Organization’s COVID-19 information resource – Includes tracking of countries, areas or territories with cases, confirmed cases, and deaths.

COVID-19 U.S. Molecular Equipment Locations by Manufacturer – This map represents national and local hospitals and medical facility locations with installed molecular equipment by manufacturer.

Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Resources – This program was established to facilitate online communication and collaboration across borders, as well as to provide frontline medical teams around the world with the necessary communication channels to share practical experience about fighting the pandemic. Provides comprehensive guidelines and best practices by China’s top experts for coping with COVID-19.

COVIDbase – A useful resource with a work-in-progress curated list of projects, news, and data related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) – The Allen Institute for AI has partnered with leading research groups to prepare and distribute the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), a free resource of over 44,000 scholarly articles, including over 29,000 with full text, about COVID-19 and the coronavirus family of viruses for use by the global research community.

Information Collection Platform for COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention – This project aims at collecting and gathering information of hospitals, hotels, factories, logistics, donations, contributions, prevention, treatment and any live information regarding national epidemic prevention from reliable sources to help all affected people, organizations better communicate and coordinate with each other to efficiently and effectively fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that started in Wuhan, Hubei, China. All of the code will be open-source and the data collected will be carefully reviewed/validated and available to the public.

The COVID Tracking Project – The COVID Tracking Project collects information from 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and 5 other US territories to provide the most comprehensive testing data we can collect for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. We attempt to include positive and negative resultspending tests, and total people tested for each state or district currently reporting that data.

World Health Organization’s COVID-19 information resource – Includes tracking of countries, areas or territories with cases, confirmed cases, and deaths.

Coronavirus Tracker – The SF Chronicle is compiling an exhaustive list of every coronavirus case in California.

DNAstack Launches COVID-19 Beacon to Accelerate Sharing Genomic Data in the Fight Against Novel Coronavirus – The beacon for SARS-CoV-2 will be available at covid-19.dnastack.com and will enable the scientific and medical communities to share and discover knowledge about the genetics of the virus in real time.

COVID-19 public dataset program: Making data freely accessible for better public outcomes – To aid researchers, data scientists, and analysts in the effort to combat COVID-19, Google Cloudis making a hosted repository of public datasets, like Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE), the Global Health Data from the World Bank, and OpenStreetMap data, free to access and query through the COVID-19 Public Dataset Program.

The spreading / transmission / tracking of COVID-19

How the virus won (June 25) – Great infographic depicting the coronavirus outbreak over the last few months in the U.S. and the delayed measures taken by the current administration, while some of the data was clearly highlighting the outbreak was taking shape.

Coronavirus Antibody Tests Have a Mathematical Pitfall (July) – The accuracy of screening tests is highly dependent on the infection rate.

Vaccination as a social contractGoogle and Apple’s rules for virus tracking apps sow division among states (June 10) – The tech companies tried to create a uniform standard, but some states are rejecting their rules and several are spurning the idea altogether.

How to avoid the virus as the world reopens (June 9) – Three key factors determine risk of exposure: proximity to people; duration of exposure; and how confined the environment is. The greatest peril lies where the three overlap.

WHO Leverages Amazon Data Analytics Tools for COVID-19 Response (June 8) – The World Health Organization is tracking and containing COVID-19 with data analytics technologies from Amazon Web Services.

The effect of large-scale anti-contagion policies on the COVID-19 pandemic (June 8) – Study estimates that across these six countries, interventions prevented or delayed on the order of 62 million confrmed cases, corresponding to averting roughly 530 million total infections. These fndings may help inform whether or when these policies should be deployed, intensifed, or lifted, and they can support decision-making in the other 180+ countries where COVID-19 has been reported.

The long journey to herd immunity (June 5) – The sought-after state of herd immunity — in which widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — is complicated by open questions about the effectiveness of a future vaccine and how COVID-19 spreads and why it matters.

Thousands of people will help scientists to track the long-term health effects of the coronavirus crisis (June 2) – Cohort studies that follow populations over years have quickly pivoted to trace the pandemic’s physical, mental and social consequences. Since April 24, 5,000 individuals have been tested.

Intercepting pandemics through genomics (June 2) – There is an urgent need to establish a global,genomic-based biosurveillance platform a development which would be of immense value to biosecurity,biodefense, and the economy. If implemented, this “pandemic interception system” would hugely advance our understanding of the natural world.Intercepting pandemics through genomics. Three major research programs are poised to support this effort: BIOSCAN, the Earth BioGenome Project (EBP), and the Global Virome Project (GVP).

After taming COVID-19, Iceland re-opens with confidence (May 14) – Iceland is weathering the pandemic well – with 1,802 cases of the virus and 10 deaths – and appears better able than most to adjust to the new world that COVID-19 is creating. The number of new COVID-19 cases each day has fallen to around one case every five days. Health officials rushed in to contain the spread, with the government building a team of contact tracers to interview those with a positive diagnosis and track down people they’d been in contact with. As a result, the country has not faced the large-scale and very strict lockdowns seen across Europe. Iceland’s flagship genomics company, deCODE genetics, has carried out over 80 per cent of all tests. “I’m convinced we’ll be able to live with this until there’s a vaccine. I’m more concerned about the economic damage,” said Kari Stefánsson, founder and CEO of deCODE, which has now administered 43,000 tests.

App Shows Promise in Tracking New Coronavirus Cases, Study Finds (May 11) – A study Nature Medicine study found that an app that allows people to check off symptoms they are experiencing was remarkably effective in predicting coronavirus infections among the 2.5 million people who were using it between March 24 and April 21.The study, which tracked people in the US, the UK, and Sweden, found that the loss of taste and smell was the No. 1 predictor of whether a person was going to get sick with Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, followed by extreme fatigue and acute muscle pain.

Sustained suppression (May 13) – Further COVID-19 outbreaks are unavoidable. To detect and suppress them, governments ought to implement a range of public health measures aided by technology.

Estimating the burden of SARS-CoV-2 in France (May 13) – The results strongly suggest that, without a vaccine, herd immunity on its own will be insufficient to avoid a second wave at the end of the lockdown and efficient control measures need to be maintained.

Risk factors for COVID-19 death revealed in world’s largest analysis of patient records to date (May 7) – Largest study to date, analysing NHS health data from 17.4 million UK adults between 01 February 2020 and 25 April 2020, has given the strongest evidence to date on risk factors associated with COVID-19 death. Among the 17.4 million adults in the sample, there were 5,707 deaths in hospitals attributed to COVID-19. People of Asian and Black ethnic backgrounds are at a higher risk of death and, contrary to prior speculation, this is only partially attributable to pre-existing clinical risk factors or deprivation. Key factors related to COVID-19 death included being male, older age, uncontrolled diabetes and severe asthma.A deprived background was also found to be a major risk factor: this was also only partially attributable to other clinical risk factors. Access the full paper.

Study to determine incidence of novel coronavirus infection in U.S. children begins (May 4) – A study to help determine the rate of novel coronavirus infection in children and their family members in the United States has begun enrolling participants. The study, called Human Epidemiology and Response to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS), also will help determine what percentage of children infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Archived news – The spreading / transmission of COVID-19

Decoding SARS-CoV-2

Structures of human antibodies bound to SARS-CoV-2 spike reveal common epitopes and recurrent features of antibodies (June 15) – Structures of human antibodies bound to SARS-CoV-2 spike reveal common epitopes and recurrent Ab features.

This coronavirus mutation has taken over the world. Scientists are trying to understand why (June 29) – Of the approximately 50,000 genomes of the new virus that researchers worldwide have uploaded to a shared database, about 70 percent carry the mutation, officially designated D614G but known more familiarly to scientists as “G.” At least four laboratory experiments suggest that the mutation makes the virus more infectious. Another unpublished study asserts that patients with the G variant actually have more virus in their bodies, making them more likely to spread it to others.

Watch: It’s not just the lungs: The Covid-19 virus attacks like no other ‘respiratory’ infection (June 26) – We are starting to understand that the coronavirus has such a diversity of effects on so many different organs.

Clinical and immunological assessment of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections (June) – The data suggest that asymptomatic individuals had a weaker immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The reduction in IgG and neutralizing antibody levels in the early convalescent phase might have implications for immunity strategy and serological surveys. It is suggested that timely RT–PCR and serological testing should be used in conjunction, which would benefit accurate estimation of the asymptomatic proportion. However, serological testing has limitations, and tests vary in their specificity and sensitivity. Results might also be confounded by previously existing antibodies to SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV or common cold coronaviruses.

Structure-based design of antiviral drug candidates targeting the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (June 19) – A promising drug target is the viral main protease Mpro, which plays a key role in viral replication and transcription. Dai et al. designed two inhibitors, 11a and 11b, based on analyzing the structure of the Mpro active site. Both strongly inhibited the activity of Mpro and showed good antiviral activity in cell culture. Compound 11a had better pharmacokinetic properties and low toxicity when tested in mice and dogs, suggesting that this compound is a promising drug candidate.

Genomewide Association Study of Severe Covid-19 with Respiratory Failure (June 17) – Results of association study imply role of ABO blood type in COVID-19 disease outcome.

India to have own genome data bank to decode COVID-19 virus (June 12) – The IGIB has proposed a collaborative resource IndiCoV, an open data source, to ensure that the genome data is appropriately organised and annotated to researchers so they can make best use of it.

Mapping SARS-CoV-2 Infections in the Respiratory Tract (June 3) – Study characterizes some of the ways the coronavirus infects the nasal cavity and infects and replicates progressively less well in cells lower down the respiratory tract—including the lungs. The findings suggest the virus tends to become firmly established first in the nasal cavity, but in some cases the virus is aspirated into the lungs, where it may cause more serious disease, including potentially fatal pneumonia.

QF scientists study Covid-19’s varying effect on different populations (June 1) – The focus is on how genomic variations in hosts do affect the way the virus behaves.

Genomic determinants of pathogenicity in SARS-CoV-2 and other human coronaviruses (May 18) – This study combined advanced machine
learning methods with well-established genome comparison
techniques, to identify the potential genomic determinants of
pathogenicity of the high-CFR coronavirus strains.

Archived news – Decoding SARS-CoV-2

COVID-19 testing

Safer reopening will require millions more Covid-19 tests per day. One solution: ‘pool testing (June 26) – If the country wants to crank up its Covid-19 testing capacity into the millions — the range that could be required for safer reopenings of businesses and universities — it’s time to ramp up a technique known as “pool testing.” It’s a simple construct: combine — or pool — samples from multiple people and test them as a group for the coronavirus. It’s a way to dramatically and efficiently increase volume, to churn through what you expect to be a lot of negative samples at a fast clip.

Seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in Geneva, Switzerland (SEROCoV-POP): a population-based study (June 11) – The results suggest that most of the population of Geneva remained uninfected during this wave of the pandemic, despite the high prevalence of COVID-19 in the region (5000 reported clinical cases over <2·5 months in the population of half a million people). Assuming that the presence of IgG antibodies is associated with immunity, these results highlight that the epidemic is far from coming to an end by means of fewer susceptible people in the population. Further, a significantly lower seroprevalence was observed for children aged 5–9 years and adults older than 65 years, compared with those aged 10–64 years. These results will inform countries considering the easing of restrictions aimed at curbing transmission.

EUA Authorized Serology Test Performance – This is an incomplete representation of the performance of these tests. FDA also is providing a calculator that will allow users to see the estimated performance of a single test or two independent tests based on their performance characteristics and the estimated prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the target population.

Scientists baffled by decision to stop a pioneering coronavirus testing project (May 22) – The first and most progressive US program with 20,000 home COVID-19 tests in 10 weeks has been asked to stop testing for the disease. The decision by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent the SCAN project from analysing nose swabs sent from people’s homes—and reporting the results— is likely to be temporary. But it deflates local and national public-health initiatives.

First CRISPR test for the coronavirus approved in the United States (May 8) – The CRISPR-based diagnostic kit has been developed by Sherlock Biosciences. It works by programming the CRISPR machinery to detect a snippet of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in a nose, mouth or throat swab, or in fluid from the lungs. If the virus’s genetic material is found, a CRISPR enzyme generates a fluorescent glow. The test can return results in about an hour.

The US has no idea how to manage all the testing data it’s collecting (May 7) – In the US, each state decides how it reports findings from covid-19 tests. The result is a chaotic system that’s hurting our response to the pandemic.

Archived news – COVDI-19 testing

SARS-CoV-2 treatment development

Gilead announces price for Covid-19 drug remdesivir (June 29) – The vast majority of patients are expected to receive a 5-day treatment course using 6 vials of remdesivir, which equates to $2,340 per patient.

Gilead to Test Inhaled Form of Remdesivir in COVID-19 Starting in August (June 22) – The company expects to begin screening healthy volunteers for the Phase I trial this week with plans to begin clinical studies in August. If it works, the drug could be given to patients using a nebulizer, which would allow for easier dosing outside the hospital and potentially in earlier stages of the disease.

Inexpensive, Widely Available Steroid Saved Lives in Large COVID-19 Clinical Trial (June 17) – A large clinical trial in the U.K. has found that dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available steroid, decreased the risk of death in severely ill COVID-19 patients. The preliminary results, which have not been peer-reviewed, suggest the drug could become standard care in COVID-19 severe patients.

Collecting Genomic Data to Accelerate COVID-19 Drug Discovery (June 9) – Mount Sinai researchers have developed the COVID-19 Gene Set and Drug Library to leverage genomic data and facilitate collaborative drug discovery.

Rules for Clinical Trials in a Pandemic (June 21) – A new study finds that adding a simple steroid to the treatment of severe Covid-19 cases can significantly reduce deaths. That’s another milestone in the battle against the virus. It shows a path for reducing Covid deaths faster through medical innovation and for keeping the health-care system from being overwhelmed as the epidemic spreads. Discussing also that the US case-death dissociation is primary due to more young people infected and better protection of the older age groups. An Oped piece by Scott Gottlieb and Mark McClellan.

NIH launches analytics platform to harness nationwide COVID-19 patient data to speed treatments (June 15) – The National Institutes of Health has launched a centralized, secure enclave to store and study vast amounts of medical record data from people diagnosed with coronavirus disease across the country. It is part of an effort, called the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), to  help scientists analyze these data to understand the disease and develop treatments. This effort aims to transform clinical information into knowledge urgently needed to study COVID-19, including health risk factors that indicate better or worse outcomes of the disease, and identify potentially effective treatments.

Antibody cocktail to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein prevents rapid mutational escape seen with individual antibodies (June 15) – The spike protein is a key mediator of viral infectivity required for attachment and entry into target cells by binding the ACE2 receptor. Success of combination therapy for HIV demonstrated that requiring the virus to simultaneously mutate at multiple genetic positions may be the most effective way to avoid drug resistance. This study describes a parallel effort.

FDA Warns of Newly Discovered Potential Drug Interaction That May Reduce Effectiveness of a COVID-19 Treatment Authorized for Emergency Use (June 15) – Based on a recently completed non-clinical laboratory study, the FDA is revising the fact sheet for health care providers that accompanies the drug to state that co-administration of remdesivir and chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulfate is not recommended as it may result in reduced antiviral activity of remdesivir.

Eli Lilly starts trial of rheumatoid arthritis drug in COVID-19 patients (June 15) – The trial began dosing patients last week and plans to enroll around 400 patients globally. Lilly could potentially obtain U.S. regulatory approval for the drug as soon as August.

Covid-19 Patient Gets Double Lung Transplant, Offering Hope for Others (June 11) – The operation is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. The patient, a woman in her 20s, had been healthy, but the coronavirus devastated her lungs.

WHO Resumes Study of Hydroxychloroquine for Treating COVID-19 (June 4) – On June 3, the World Health Organization (WHO) resumed a study looking into whether the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine could be effective in treating COVID-19.

Lancet, New England Journal retract Covid-19 studies, including one that raised safety concerns about malaria drugs (June 4) – The retracted influential study that raised alarms about the safety of the experimental Covid-19 treatments chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine amid scrutiny of the data underlying the paper. Just over an hour later, the New England Journal of Medicine retracted a separate study, focused on blood pressure medications in Covid-19, that relied on data from the same company. The retractions came at the request of the authors of the studies, published last month, who were not directly involved with the data collection and sources, the journals said.

Gilead’s remdesivir shows some benefit in patients with moderate Covid-19, new data show (June 1) – The new data, from a study conducted by the company, add to the evidence that the medicine is at least somewhat effective treatment for Covid-19. But they will also likely add to the debate of exactly how effective the remdesivir is, and in what patients.

Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis (May 22) – There is no evidence of benefit for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in COVID- 19 patients: finding from a large observational study of nearly 14,888 patients with COVID-19 & 81,000 controls.

Dozens of coronavirus drugs are in development — what happens next? (May 14) – Drug manufacturers face supply-chain weaknesses and sourcing issues as they ramp up complex production processes to meet global demand.

NIH begins clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat COVID-19 (May 14) – A clinical trial has begun to evaluate whether the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, given together with the antibiotic azithromycin, can prevent hospitalization and death from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

As We Wait For a Vaccine, Scientists Eye Antibodies (May 12) – As new information emerges about the effectiveness of the antibody response in people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus — including a study showing that most people who tested positive produced antibodies — a monoclonal antibody treatment for this pandemic is growing more appealing. In theory, it could even be given prophylactically to high-risk individuals to create short-term protection against future infection.

Archived news – SARS-CoV-2 treatment development

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development

A Covid-19 Vaccine Shows Encouraging Signs (July 1) – Developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, an experimental vaccine spurred immune responses in a small trial of humans.

Finding Antibodies that Neutralize SARS-CoV-2 (June 18) – The good news is that when researchers looked at individuals who mounted a strong immune response, they were able to identify three antibodies that were extremely effective at neutralizing SARS-CoV-2. By mass-producing copies of these antibodies as so-called monoclonal antibodies, the researchers can now better evaluate their potential as treatments to help people who don’t make strongly neutralizing antibodies, or not enough of them.

WHO, partners unveil ambitious plan to deliver 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine to high-risk populations (June 26) – The World Health Organization and key partners unveiled a plan Friday to purchase 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the highest risk populations of the world. The plan anticipates that by the end of 2021, the doses could be delivered to countries to vaccinate high risk individuals, likely including health care workers, people over the age of 65, and other adults who suffer from conditions like diabetes. The cost is estimated at $18.1B to deliver on the plan. The effort is one pillar of the WHO’s effort to ensure all countries have access to Covid-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, called the ACT Accelerator, short for Access to Covid-19 Tools.

Emergent BioSolutions, BARDA reach $628M deal to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine hopefuls (June 1) – The contract is part of the government’s “Operation Warp Speed” development initiative to speed promising COVID-19 vaccines through clinical trials and into mass production before the end of 2020.

Merck to Acquire Austrian Vaccine Maker Themis Bioscience to enter COVID-19 race (May 26) – Themis has a broad pipeline of vaccine candidates and immune-modulatory therapies developed using its innovative measles virus vector platform based on a vector originally developed by scientists at the Institut Pasteur and licensed exclusively to Themis for select viral indications. In March, Themis joined a consortium together with the Institut Pasteur and The Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh, supported by funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), to develop a vaccine candidate targeting SARS-CoV-2 for the prevention of COVID-19.

AstraZeneca advances response to global COVID-19 challenge as it receives first commitments for Oxford’s potential new vaccine (May 21) – First agreements to supply at least 400 million doses; Company has total capacity sourced for one billion doses through 2020 and into 2021; continues to increase capacity further. More than $1bn US BARDA investment to support development and production of the vaccine

Vaccine experts say Moderna didn’t produce data critical to assessing Covid-19 vaccine (May 19) – While Moderna blitzed the media, it revealed very little information — and most of what it did disclose was not a lot of data. The company’s statement led with the fact that all 45 subjects (in this analysis) who received doses of 25 micrograms (two doses each), 100 micrograms (two doses each), or a 250 micrograms (one dose) developed binding antibodies. It was that eight volunteers — four each from the 25-microgram and 100-microgram arms — developed neutralizing antibodies. We don’t know results from the other 37 trial participants. This doesn’t mean that they didn’t develop neutralizing antibodies. Moderna disclosed the findings from eight subjects because that’s all it had at that point.

Google sister-company Verily is launching an antibody research study for Covid-19 (May 18) – Verily is adapting its existing clinical trial technology, Project Baseline, to the coronavirus. Its initial focus will be to study antibody testing. There are still many unknowns when it comes to antibody tests. And there’s a wide variation in the accuracy of the tests. 

Coronavirus Vaccine Trial by Moderna Shows Promising Early Results (May 18) – The company said its preliminary test in 8 healthy volunteers was safe. It is on an accelerated timetable to begin a larger human trial soon.

A Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate In Six Days? This Company Is Fast-Tracking Vaccine Development With The First Fully Automated Gene Synthesis Platform (May 14)

Investigational ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine protects monkeys against COVID-19 pneumonia (May 13) –  Based on these data, a Phase 1 trial of the candidate vaccine began on April 23 in healthy volunteers in the United Kingdom.

Moderna Receives FDA Fast Track Designation for mRNA Vaccine (mRNA-1273) Against Novel Coronavirus (May 12)

Gene Vaccine (May 5) – Progress towards the testing and development of an experimental vaccine called AAVCOVID—a novel gene-based vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 is described within this article.

How Long Will a Vaccine Really Take? (April 30) – Great overview with interactive infographic on how long it takes to develop a vaccine, and why even 18 months for a vaccine against COVID is a dramatic acceleration.

The race for coronavirus vaccines: a graphical guide (April 28) – More than 90 vaccines are being developed against SARS-CoV-2 by research teams in companies and universities across the world. Researchers are trialling different technologies, some of which haven’t been used in a licensed vaccine before.

Archived news – SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development

Coronavirus reading

Distributing a covid-19 vaccine raises complex ethical issues (July 1) – A team of experts from different countries are making recommendations on fair and equitable global access to a #coronavirus vaccine. Once a vaccine is developed, complex ethical issues, questions of distribution, and access arise.

To understand who’s dying of Covid-19, look to social factors like race more than preexisting diseases (June 15) – As researchers pull back their lens from individuals to population-level risk factors, they’re finding that, in the U.S., race may be as important as age in gauging a person’s likelihood of dying from the disease.

Shutdowns prevented 60 million coronavirus infections in the U.S., study finds (June 8) – Shutdown orders prevented about 60 million novel coronavirus infections in the United States and 285 million in China, according to a research study published Monday that examined how stay-at-home orders and other restrictions limited the spread of the contagion.

The Uncounted Dead (May 20) – Why some people who likely died from COVID-19 aren’t included in the final numbers.

America’s Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further (May 20) – The coronavirus is coursing through different parts of the U.S. in different ways, making the crisis harder to predict, control, or understand. A story by Ed Yong (The Atlantic).

9 ways Covid-19 may forever upend the U.S. health care industry (May 19) – Results collected from a survey conducted by STAT with prominent health policy experts — top health advisers to both Republican and Democratic presidents, lawmakers, executives, physicians, and top lobbyists  — who forecast a new status quo that they say will upend what American health care looks like for decades. Among their predictions: The pandemic could help bring about an end to the American tradition of tying health insurance to employment status. It could prompt a reckoning about why Black people and other historically marginalized populations have long suffered so disproportionately — not just from Covid-19, but from nearly every common health condition. And it could represent the beginning of the end for the very concept of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

State and Federal Data on COVID-19 Testing Don’t Match Up (May 17) – The CDC has quietly started releasing nationwide numbers. But they contradict what states themselves are reporting. An initial analysis of the CDC’s state-level data finds major discrepancies between what many states are reporting and what the federal government is reporting about them. (The Atlantic)

Scientific research on the coronavirus is being released in a torrent (May 7) – Will that change how science is published?

Fauci: No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab (May 4) – In an exclusive interview, the face of America’s COVID-19 response cautions against the rush for states to reopen, and offers his tips for handling the pandemic’s information deluge.

Theranos Would Be Thriving in the Covid-19 Pandemic (May 1) – Relaxed regulations, misinformation, and a big potential payout are reminiscent of the conditions that cultivated Theranos.

We Need An “Army” Of Contact Tracers To Safely Reopen The Country. We Might Get Apps Instead (April 29) – Without enough human contact tracers to identify infected people, the US is barreling toward a digital solution, and possible disaster.

Why the coronavirus is so confusing (April 29) – A guide to making sense of a problem that is now too big for any one person to fully comprehend by Ed Yong (The Atlantic).

Pseudoscience and COVID-19 — we’ve had enough already (April 27) – The scientific community must take up cudgels in the battle against bunk.

What 5 Coronavirus Models Say the Next Month Will Look Like (April 22)

A New Statistic Reveals Why America’s COVID-19 Numbers Are Flat (April 16) – Interesting discussion about why the percent positive testing rate is disconcerting. The US has a 20% positive rate (w/41% for NY) compared to Italy which has a 15% rate or South Korea a 2% only. Such a high test-positivity rate almost certainly means that the U.S. is not testing everyone who has been infected with the pathogen!

Our Pandemic Summer (April 15) – When do we go back to normal? That outlook ignores the immense disparities in what different Americans experience as normal. It wastes the rare opportunity to reimagine what a fairer and less vulnerable society might look like. It glosses over the ongoing nature of the coronavirus threat. There is no going back. The only way out is through—past a turbulent spring, across an unusual summer, and into an unsettled year beyond.

Why COVID-19 can’t be directly compared with the flu (April 14) – One of the several comparisons discussed in this article focuses on the number of lives lost (so far) because of COVID-19 versus the seasonal flu. The death from these two illnesses are occurring under completely different circumstances with COVID-19 deaths occurs in the presence of a nearly national shutdown while flu deaths are in the absence of this intervention.

How much access to data should be permitted during the COVID-19 pandemic? (April 14) – A Q&A with Urs Gasser, Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and a Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School., discussing the risks and benefits of mining data to combat COVID-19

‘Suppress and lift’: Hong Kong and Singapore say they have a coronavirus strategy that works (April 13) – Hong Kong’s and Singapore’s until recently had managed to keep their case numbers remarkably low while avoiding the extreme lockdowns implemented in China and many other countries. But case numbers spiked in the second half of March, and some observers feared the strategy had failed. It reported 287 new cases on Thursday, its highest ever 1-day total..

If the world fails to protect the economy, COVID-19 will damage health not just now but also in the future (April 9) – Previous crises have shown how an economic crash has dire consequences for public health. But in the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is entering uncharted territory. The world’s leaders must prepare to preserve health.

Patent holders urged to take “Open COVID Pledge” for quicker end to pandemic (April 7) – An international coalition of scientists and lawyers is calling on organizations to make their intellectual property freely available for the fight against COVID-19.

The Revolution Is Under Way Already (April 5) – Far from making Americans crave stability, the pandemic underscores how everything is up for grabs.

Don’t Believe the COVID-19 Models (April 2) – An important article discussing how we should think about epidemiological models (and interpretations of those models) (by Zeynep Tufekci).

Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2: Architecture of a Pandemic (April 1) – This article looks at everyone’s struggles in this pandemic and helps understand what is happening to known ways of life, continuous news cycle barrage, social media disinformation, disruption to work and home lives, and closures of businesses that people hold as edifices of normalcy.

Ten Weeks to Crush the Curve (April 1) – Suggests are six steps to mobilize and organize the nation, we can defeat Covid-19.

Archived news – Coronavirus reading

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