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New Yorker Free Coronavirus Coverage: The Quest for a Pandemic Pill. Where will the drugs to treat SARS-COV-2 come from?

2020-04-06

photo courtesy of geri cleveland via pixabay.com

The New Yorker is providing free articles about the deep story behind the novel coronavirus pandemic.  Today’s story is about the search for drugs that will kill viruses like the coronavirus; one of them is remdesivir.  The author covers researchers who have been working in the field for many years and have come up with treatments for HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), hepatitis C (chronic hepatitis), and the epidemics of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome, the ancestor of SARS-COV-2) and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, a lethal disease that came from camels and disappeared with good public health).

They are working on diseases that don’t pay well; their research is supported by grants from billionaires and the National Institutes of Health.  Pharmaceutical companies have generally lost interest in looking for drugs to cure epidemic viruses since they seem to come and go at will; they’d rather treat common, chronic viruses like hepatitis C or else treat cancer.  As always, this story is extremely well written, engrossing, and well worth a half hour of your time.

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