In the next, I would say, 4 weeks or so, we will go into what is called a Phase 1 clinical trial to determine if one of the candidates, and there are more than one candidate, there are probably at least 10 or so, that are at various stages of development.
The one that we have not been talking about is one that involves a platform called messenger RNA. But it really serves as a prototype for other types of vaccines that are simultaneously being developed.
Getting it into Phase 1 in a matter of months is the quickest that anyone has ever done literally in the history of vaccinology. However, the process of developing a vaccine is one that is not that quick.
So, we go into phase 1, it will take about three months to determine if it is safe. That will bring us 3 or 4 months down the pipe, then you go into an important phase called Phase 2 to determine if it works.
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Since this is a vaccine, you do not want it to give it to normal healthy people with the possibility that:
1. It will hurt them.
2. It will not work.
So, the phase of determining if it works is critical. That will take at least another 8 months or so. So, when you have heard me say we would not have a vaccine that would even be ready to start to deploy for a year to a year and a half. That is the timeframe.
Now anyone who thinks they are going to get it more quickly than that, I believe will be cutting corners that would be detrimental. what does that tell us?
That tell us now the next months, the next several months. We are going to have to rely on public health measures to contain this outbreak. The timeline for therapy is a little bit different.
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The reason it is different is that you are giving this candidate therapy to someone who is already ill. So, the idea of risks and how quickly you determine if and when it works is much more quickly than giving a lot of vaccines to normal people and determine if you protect them.
There are a couple of candidates that are now already in the clinical trial. Some of them in China and some are right here in the United States. Particularly in some of the trials are being done in some of our clinical centers including the University of Nebraska.
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We will likely know if they work in the next several months. I am hoping that we do get a positive signal. If we do, then we may, and "may" so it does not get misinterpreted have therapy that we could use. But that needs to be proven first.
So, in summary, the work that is being done at the NIH is involved both in the development of the vaccine in the long term and in the development, hopefully of therapies in the shorter term.