Cure for coronavirus ‘found’ as firm claims its developed a vaccine for disease

A medical firm has claimed a cure for coronavirus will be ready to test on humans in just a matter of weeks.

The potential vaccine was developed by Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company based in Quebec City, Canada.

Its CEO Bruce Clark said once the drug has been approved, they could produce up to 10 million doses a month.

Medicago said it received the coronavirus' genetic sequence 20 days ago and has set about developing a cure for the flu-like disease.

So far, almost 135,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, and a total of 4,983 patients have died.

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The vaccine will need approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before it can be given to patients, but Bruce hopes that the vaccine could become available by November.

Medicago isn't the first lab to claim to have found a cure, but Bruce says his company's technique – already effective in producing vaccines for seasonal flu – is more reliable and easier to scale than previous vaccines.

Speaking to Defense One, he said: "There are a couple of others who are claiming that they have – well, we will call them vaccines.

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"But they're different technologies. Some are RNA or DNA-based vaccines that have not yet been proven in any indication yet, let alone this one."

Bruce said his team were able to produce a vaccine so quickly because they used plants to grow vaccine proteins, instead of chicken eggs, which are more commonly used.

Medicago didn't work with a live virus to create the cure but instead inserted a genetic sequence into a soil bacteria.

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This sequence was then taken up by the plants, which he says began producing the protein which can be used as a vaccine.

The vaccine should also work even if the virus starts to mutate, Bruce claims, as they can update their production process using new plants.

"That's the difference between us and egg-based methods," he said.

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"We go directly to producing the vaccine or the antibody without having to propagate the virus."

Despite this, the vaccine still needs to go through rigorous clinical trials, and will hopefully be tested on humans in July.

Bruce went on: "By November we will have completed phase three in clinical trials, allowing the vaccine to be made widely available to the public."

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