The search for a coronavirus cure has become a global competition.
Clinical trials have started in Britain, the rest of Europe, China and the US, with scientists working at breakneck speed to produce a vaccine.
There are more than 20 in development, as well as potentially life-saving drugs.
Usually development takes more than five years and requires significant capital investment, but US Biotech company Moderna, which is furthest ahead in the race, has already started tests on humans, bypassing the animal-testing stage.
Another US firm, Inovio, will start testing its DNA vaccine on 30 volunteers next month.
If all is well, the firm will then test it on 3,000 people in the US, China and South Korea.
Inovio hopes to have produced one million doses by the end of 2020 for more trials and emergency use.
Oxford University’s Jenner Institute is hoping to make a vaccine available within months.
It is working with Government scientists at the Porton Down research facility in Wiltshire.
Imperial College in London is working on a vaccine that tells muscle cells to make a protein found on the surface of coronavirus, triggering a protective immune response.
Human trials are set to start in early summer with the hope it will be available next year.
German firm CureVac’s efforts drew interest from President Trump who reportedly offered $1billion to develop it exclusively for US use. The story – which prompted outrage in Germany – was denied. Human trials start this summer.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.