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  • Covid-19

    Famotidine, Histamine, and the Coronavirus

    Here’s a new preprint on a drug-repurposing effort that many people have been wondering about: famotidine, the histamine antagonist that is sold under the brand name of Pepcid. There have been some retrospective data that have suggested that famotidine use can have a beneficial effect on the course of the disease, and a controlled trial… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Calculating Your Way to Antivirals

    My intent is to start mixing in some non-coronavirus posts along with my pandemic science coverage – you know, like the blog used to be way back earlier in the year (!) Today’s subject might be a good transitional one – it’s an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on coronavirus drug discovery… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Coronavirus Vaccine Update, May 26

    We have a lot more vaccine news to catch up on, and I’ll use this as a new “frontrunning vaccine candidates” post, replacing this one (and updates therein) from about a month back. That one will give you some more general information on most of the projects below; if you haven’t read it, it’ll be a… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Hydroxychloroquine: Enough Already?

    At this point, it’s getting hard to see how the idea of a hydroxychloroquine (or hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin) therapy for coronavirus infection can be taken seriously. I reviewed some of the recent studies here, but missed a May 11 preprint from France that had claimed benefit for the combination. No matter, though: this was just withdraw… Read More
  • Covid-19

    There May Be a Unique Coronavirus Immune Response

    We’re starting to get a clearer picture of how the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus works when it infects the body, and there are some surprises emerging. This new paper in Cell is an example (here’s a writeup on it at Stat). We already know the RNA sequence of the virus very well, naturally, and that’s allowing us… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Taking Hydroxychloroquine (May 19 Update)

    I was not planning to revisit this topic just yet, but President Trump has forced the issue with his mention yesterday that he’s taking hydroxychloroquine. Let’s try to keep this short: does any regular reader here actually wonder what I might think about that? I know that the comments section here gets swarmed with people… Read More
  • Another Set of Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates

    I surveyed the coronavirus vaccine landscape in this post, and then detailed some of the larger efforts in the field here (several updates have been added to that one since its initial posting). Now it’s time to look at several programs that aren’t in either of those, but still have plenty of serious science behind… Read More
  • Clinical Trials

    First Results from Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine

    This morning brought news from Moderna of the very first human results from trials of their closely-watched mRNA vaccine candidate (mRNA-1273) against the coronavirus. Here’s Stat on the news, and here’s Endpts – the results can be summed up pretty quickly, because it’s all just at the press-release level to start with. The… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Criticism of the Oxford Coronavirus Vaccine

    This piece at Forbes by Bill Haseltine has set off a lot of comment – it’s a look at the Oxford group’s vaccine candidate as compared to the SinoVac candidate, and you may recall (background here) that these are the two teams that have separately reported that their vaccines appear to protect rhesus monkeys from… Read More
  • Covid-19

    Good News on the Human Immune Response to the Coronavirus

    One of the big (and so far unanswered) questions about the coronavirus epidemic is what kind of immunity people have after becoming infected. This is important for the idea of “re-infection” (is it even possible?) and of course for vaccine development. We’re getting more and more information in this area, though, and this new pape… Read More
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