EMA update on treatments and vaccines against COVID-19


  • Heather Mason
  • Univadis Medical News
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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been in collaboration with around 40 developers of therapeutic medicines for COVID-19. The agency has published an update on potential treatments and vaccines.

Among the potential treatments for COVID-19, currently undergoing safety and efficacy clinical trials are;

  • Remdesivir - an investigational antiviral drug initially developed for the Ebola and Marburg viruses, has also shown antiviral activity against other coronaviruses SARS and MERS.
  • Lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) - presently authorised as an anti-HIV medicine.
  • Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine - currently authorised as treatments against malaria and certain autoimmune diseases.
  • Systemic interferons - Interferon-beta currently authorised to treat multiple sclerosis (and others).
  • Monoclonal antibodies with activity against components of the immune system.

Two potential vaccines against COVID-19 have entered phase I clinical trials. The EMA estimates that it may take at least a year before a vaccine against COVID-19 is ready for approval and available in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of all EU countries.

The EMA will continue to interact with developers of these medicines. Providing advice to developers on the regulatory requirements will facilitate the availability of new medicinal products as rapidly as possible, through the clinical trial setting and subsequent market.