Alliance Formed to Develop COVID-19 Vaccine, Drugs|武漢肺炎全球蔓延 迄無專屬藥物與疫苗

COVID-19 erupted last year and to date has spread to many countries. To date there is no dedicated drug or vaccine for it. Taiwan's National Yang-Ming University, National Chiao Tung University and Taipei Veterans General Hospital have established a research alliance expected to research and develop tests, quick screening reagents and antiviral pharmaceutical products to help prevent the disease.

Lab workers combine the sample with the reagent and wait for the results to be displayed.

The WHO is recommending six screening tests, and the government is using one of these six. (Our government) is using another type recommended by the WHO with not only a higher accuracy rate, but also provides results in two-thirds or half the time.

This nucleic acid detection reagent was designed using COVID-19 gene sequencing data. The team is currently waiting for a permit from the Food and Drug Administration and the automated vaccine production line is almost ready.

This permit can't be approved just like that. It has to be in response to an emergency (situation), for which supplementary measures (are adopted). (We hope) the government will give us an emergency permit as soon as possible in the coming days.

Everyone has to communicate and share information right now. Some people are working on vaccines; some people are developing drugs; some people are developing reagents. So, we all have to join forces.

COVID-19 has spread to over 20 countries so far and many countries are working to develop a vaccine and drugs. In Taiwan, National Yang-Ming University, National Chiao Tung University and Taipei Veterans General Hospital have formed a research alliance with reagent, drug, vaccine, legal and smart healthcare teams.

The most important thing in disease prevention is catching the virus and catching patients. (COVID-19) is actually extremely contagious. If there is a cluster infection within a community, it will spread very quickly. We won't have the capacity to test everyone. We're OK for now, but if there is an outbreak, we won't be able to handle it. Therefore, we must increase our testing capacity. There's a huge market for this, and that's why so many people are working in this area right now.

As COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms and is very infectious, cluster infections are a concern. Accelerating the screening process and developing drugs and vaccines are therefore of utmost importance.