Welcome to GEN’s COVID-19 DRUG & VACCINE CANDIDATE TRACKER website.

Total Drug & Vaccine Candidates: 323 as of April 20, 2021

The goal of this resource is to provide a comprehensive collection of news, milestones, and updates on drug and vaccine candidates currently being developed for the COVID-19 pandemic.

This resource is based on the reporting of GEN senior news editor Alex Philippidis, who began compiling information on drug and vaccine candidates in the early weeks of the pandemic. The numbers of verified candidates ballooned rapidly from 35 in February 2020, to 60 in March, to 160 in April.

Since then, biopharmas, regulators, and academic researchers have ramped up efforts to develop and evaluate COVID-19 drug and vaccine candidates designed to vanquish the virus. The number of legitimate COVID-19 candidates is approximately divided between vaccines and drugs. As of April 20, the FDA had granted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) to three vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech’s BNT162b2, Moderna’s mRNA-1273, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. All three are among 19 vaccines evaluated by the World Health Organization through its Emergency Use Listing (EUL) process as of April 14.

The FDA has also granted EUAs to Eli Lilly’s Olumiant (baricitinib) in combination with Gilead Sciences’ Veklury (remdesivir); Lilly’s two-antibody combination of Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab; and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ two-antibody “cocktail” REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab).

To help navigate through the potential therapeutic options for COVID-19, GEN had divided this list of candidates into four broad categories based on their developmental and select where applicable) clinical progress:

FRONT RUNNERthe most validated or touted therapeutics in development, based on advanced stages of activity, favorable data or both.

DEFINITELY MAYBE – candidates in earlier phases with the most promising partners, or more advanced candidates well under way in development that have generated uneven data.

KEEPING AN EYE ON… – interesting technology, attracting notable partners, or both, but still early days.

TOO SOON TO TELLlongshots or new entries pending additional details from their developers and/or clinical progress.

GEN categorizes the most common treatment categories by color, including antibodies, antivirals, RNA-based treatments, and vaccines. Please click any category to see the full list of candidates and information on each therapy/vaccine.

On the therapeutic side, many institutions have even studied familiar blockbuster drugs with success outside virology, in hopes that they would also prove effective against COVID-19. Among clinical trials conducted over the past year have been studies assessing Novartis’ Gilenya® select fingolimod), one examining Celebrex® select celecoxib), and even a study evaluating sildenafil citrate, the phosphodiesterase-5 select PDE5) inhibitor better known as Viagra®.

To accelerate development of vaccines and drugs, the NIH has launched Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines select ACTIV), a public-private effort through which U.S. regulators, the European Medicines Agency, and more than a dozen biopharma giants are prioritizing and accelerating clinical study of drug and vaccine candidates deemed to have short-term potential for success.

“We all want normalcy in America. The highway to that normalcy is vaccination,” Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said April 19 during a press briefing by members of the White House COVID-19 Response Team and public health officials. “We can get there. And every single day, as we get 3 to 4 million people vaccinated, we get closer and closer to that normalcy.”

GEN will update the COVID-19 tracker as frequently as possible. Comments and suggestions are welcome: aphilippidis at genengnews dot com.

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