US President Donald Trump has held talks with executives from leading pharmaceutical companies to expedite the development of a vaccine for the fast-spreading coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
‘We’re talking about a vaccine, maybe even a cure,’ the US president said ahead of his meeting on Monday.
During a meeting with the president of Colombia in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that:
‘We’ve asked them to accelerate whatever they’re doing in terms of vaccine,’
In a tweet posted on Monday morning (2nd March), Trump wrote: “I am meeting with the major pharmaceutical companies today at the White House about progress on a vaccine and cure. Progress being made!”
Trump did not provide any details about the meeting’s agenda and did not specify which companies would be represented there. The meeting was closed to the press. However, according to an article published by Reuters, executives from Sanofi (NASDAQ: SNY), Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) will attend.
According to the Reuters article, Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten was one of a number of pharmaceutical executives who met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday.
The New York-headquartered pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer Inc stated that it identified certain antiviral compounds it had in development that have the potential to inhibit coronaviruses and is engaging with a third party to screen the compounds.
The pharma giant has stated it hopes to have the results from that screening by the end of March and if any of the compounds are successful, it would hope to start testing them by the end of the year.
More about COVID-19 vaccine development.
MARCH 2, 2020 – Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Sandra Maler – NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pfizer identified some antiviral compounds with potential as coronavirus treatments