Why the U.S. is “Flying In The Dark” Without Quicker Ability To Diagnose COVID-19
Palm Beach, FL – March 2, 2020 – It seems that every hour of every day recently, on the internet, in print and on TV more about the Coronavirus situation continues to grow. There is so much new data on the subject every minute. But that is NOT the type of data that is needed to find the path to winning this battle. What is needed is medical data needed to solve this puzzle… quickly. An article reporting on the CDC outlook had this to say: “The CDC admits the rollout of Covid-19 diagnostic tests “has not gone as smoothly as we would have liked.” US health officials expect more cases of the coronavirus disease, Covid-19, in the coming days and weeks, even though the risk to the general public remains low. So how will we know where those cases are and how fast the virus is spreading through the population? The answer is simple: We need diagnostic test kits. A lot of them.” The article closed: ““The race is on for [rapid] testing capacity,” said an insider. “Without it we are flying in the dark.” Active companies in the markets this week include Hawkeye Systems, Inc. (OTCQB: HWKE), Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), Generex Biotechnology Corporation (OTCQB: GNBT), Vaxart, Inc. (NASDAQ: VXRT), iBio, Inc. (NYSE: IBIO).
The Harvard Business Review echoes that sentiment. A recent article titled We Need a Cheap Way to Diagnose Coronavirus said: “Covid-19, the new coronavirus, is on the verge of spreading across the world… the CDC expects severe disruptions to occur within the United States. More than any recent pandemic, the coronavirus poses new global challenges. As part of its recently announced $2.5 billion push for vaccines, treatments, and protective equipment, the U.S. government must also make the “crash” development of an inexpensive, point-of-care, diagnostic kit for use in clinics and homes a high priority so communities can quickly detect and contain the disease… vaccines can’t be developed quickly enough: They will not be available to the public for at least a year, said Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health. “
Hawkeye Systems, Inc. (OTCQB: HWKE) NEWS: Hawkeye Systems Signs LOI with Major n95 Mask distributer in Taiwan to Rapidly Produce Smart Masks for Bio-surveillance Response to Coronavirus Outbreak – Hawkeye Systems has entered into an LOI with Arizona Asian Pacific Trade and Consulting, a major protective mask company in Taiwan, to enable the rapid production of a customized smart mask to aid in the response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The smart mask will integrate with Hawkeye’s jointly developed in-depth camera, known as the Hawkeye [N-DEPTH] Body Camera, to bolster bio-surveillance by first responders and others monitoring and managing the global COVID-19 crisis.
To help generate better information and in turn, more effective decision support during pandemics, bio-terrorist attacks and other potential bio outbreaks, Hawkeye is working to add smart functionality to current best-in-breed masks (N95 or better). The advanced technology will work with existing masks as well, but the thought is that close integration with the manufacturer may bring more rapid innovation to the mask, said Corby Marshall, CEO of Hawkeye.
“The present COVID-19 situation throughout the world is obviously fluid and there are a lot of unknowns,” Marshall said. “We believe the application of this technology now with current best practices can help improve the data surrounding the crisis.” Read this full press release and more HWKE news here: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-hwke/
Other recent developments in the markets this week include:
Novavax, Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) recently announced progress in its efforts to develop a novel vaccine to protect against coronavirus disease COVID-19. Novavax has produced and is currently assessing multiple nanoparticle vaccine candidates in animal models prior to identifying an optimal candidate for human testing, which is expected to begin by the end of spring 2020.
Novavax created the COVID-19 vaccine candidates using its proprietary recombinant protein nanoparticle technology platform to generate antigens derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein. Novavax expects to utilize its proprietary Matrix-M™ adjuvant with its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to enhance immune responses.
Generex Biotechnology Corporation (OTCQB: GNBT) recently announced that the company has received a contract from the China Technology Exchange, Beijing Zhonghua Investment Fund Management Co., LTD., Biology Institute of Shandong Academy of Sciences and Sinotek-Advocates International Industry Development (Shenzhen) Co., LTD. The terms of the contract, which have been agreed to in writing by both parties, include an upfront payment of $1 million to initiate the project work in the United States, a $5 million licensing fee for the Ii-Key technology, payment by the Chinese consortium for all costs and expenses related to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, and a 20% royalty on each dose of vaccine produced.
Vaxart, Inc. (NASDAQ: VXRT) recently announced that it has initiated a program to develop a coronavirus vaccine candidate based on its proprietary oral vaccine platform, VAAST.
“Vaxart’s proprietary technology has been clinically proven in humans, and the ability to make an oral vaccine to meet this current public health threat is very important to all of us at Vaxart,” said Sean Tucker, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Vaxart. “The results of our recently published influenza challenge study demonstrated that our oral tablet vaccine primarily protects through mucosal immunity, a potential key factor when targeting mucosal pathogens such as this new coronavirus.”
iBio, Inc. (NYSE American: IBIO) and Beijing CC-Pharming Ltd., announced their collaboration to develop and test a new 2019-nCoV vaccine to be manufactured using iBio’s FastPharming System™. The companies are expediting work as predictions about spread of the disease continue to worsen.
The joint effort leverages twenty-five years of vaccine research and development experience – inclusive of work on the MERS-coronavirus – by Dr. Kevin Wang (Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, CC-Pharming) along with the decades of experience that Dr. Sylvain Marcel (VP Upstream Bioprocessing, iBio) possesses in the rapid design of manufacturing processes for biopharmaceutical production in plant-based expression systems. If successful, the research will deliver product candidates which can then be quickly produced at iBio’s FastPharming Manufacturing Facility.
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