- (1:30) - What Is Covid-19 and How Deadly Is It?
- (10:30) - How Long Will We Be Waiting For Vaccines?
- (20:20) - What Are Some Of The Existing Treatments For Covid-19?
- (33:20) - How Can Convalescent Plasma Be Effective Against Covid-19?
- (37:00) - What Can Investors Expect From Vaccine Producers?
In this episode of ETF Spotlight, I speak with biotech expert Brad Loncar, about latest developments in coronavirus testing, vaccines and treatments.
The US now has more than 430,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, while the death toll exceeds 14,800. The economy is grinding to a halt as a result of aggressive containment measures and any plans to reopen it would greatly depend on a robust testing system.
An Abbott Laboratories’ (ABT - Free Report) test that provides results in 15 minutes could be a game changer.
Coronavirus has now become the biggest propriety for drug companies. Per WSJ, more than 140 experimental drug treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus are in development world-wide, most in early stages, including 11 already in clinical trials. While all these are going on at record pace, we will not know for many months, whether they will work.
When can we expect vaccines to prevent infections and drugs to treat them?
Many companies around the world are racing to develop a vaccine but vaccine development could take about 12 to 18 months. A vaccine being developed by Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) could be ready for use as soon as early next year, if all trials succeed. Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ - Free Report) experimental vaccine could be available for emergency use around the same time.
Some of the existing drugs used for treating malaria, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, and Ebola etc. are being examined whether they can be repurposed to treat this disease. Brad is most hopeful about Gilead Sciences’ (GILD - Free Report) antiviral drug remdesivir.
President Trump has called hydroxychloroquine a potential “game-changer,” and the FDA fast-tracked the approval process for the drug. But some experts have warned that the drug may not be safe, particularly for heart patients.
Then there many firms working on entirely new drugs targeting this disease. For example, Regeneron Pharmaceutical (REGN - Free Report) is working on antibody treatments for the disease. Tune into the podcast to learn more.
Brad warns against buying “virus stocks” and recommends focusing on broad healthcare and biotech ETFs as investors and governments all over the world increase healthcare spending. Take a look at the Vanguard Health Care ETF (VHT - Free Report) and the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI - Free Report) .
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