5 Potential Coronavirus Treatments: Who's Working on Coronavirus

Kelsey Thompson
March 24, 2020
Blog post originally written by the AllStripes community team. AllStripes was acquired by PicnicHealth in 2023.

Coronavirus continues to prove it’s here to stay, with cases in all 50 US states and in most countries around the world. Since it has become clear that humans and COVID-19 will coexist for months, if not years, to come, governments and researchers have turned their attention to developing a cure in the form of treatment or a vaccine.

We’ve already talked about our passion for supporting medical research—we do it every day! In that spirit, we’re highlighting potential coronavirus treatments and vaccines from around the world. Check out some of the most promising:

1. Gilead’s remdesivir 

The experimental drug receiving the most initial media attention is remdesivir. Originally created as a potential general antiviral, remdesivir got placed on the fast-track for COVID-19 testing– it’s already being used in five different clinical trials worldwide. 

It’s speed in getting to this point can be attributed in part to its role in a past epidemic– it was considered as an option for treating ebola before researchers determined it to be ineffective. As a result, remdesivir has already undergone the initial phases of a clinical trial, and is known to be generally safe for human consumption. 

However, the first trial results are already raising concerns and casting doubts on the effectiveness of remdesivir. 

2.  Moderna Therapeutics’ mRNA vaccine

Moderna Therapeutics, a biotech firm based out of Cambridge, Mass., is taking a very different approach to their coronavirus vaccine. 

According to LiveScience, “Unlike vaccines developed for other viruses, such as measles, this new vaccine does not utilize a weak or dead virus as its base. Instead, the vaccine contains a short segment of genetic material called messenger RNA, or mRNA, generated in a laboratory.”

This new, and potentially groundbreaking, method of vaccine development allows Moderna to fast-track their vaccine. The company is planning to launch clinical trials on healthy patients as soon as April 2020. The new method, though, also casts doubt and uncertainty on how effective the vaccine will prove to be.

3. Ascletis Pharma Inc.’s ASC-09 and ritonavir

China-based Ascletis Pharma Inc.’s is another vaccine ahead of the game. Its potential COVID-19 vaccine is in phase 3, the same phase as Gilead’s remdesivir. Their approach is multi-pronged. It combines two antivirals, one approved to treat HIV and one approved for hepatitis C, that together might effectively treat coronavirus. 

The company already reported success with its early-stage clinical trials: 11 patients treated with the combination of treatments were discharged from a hospital in China with positive results.

4. CanSino’s Ad5-nCoV vaccine

CanSino, the company responsible for the first effective ebola treatment after the 2014 outbreak, quickly got the green light to begin clinical trials in Wuhan, China for its potential vaccine. Working on a more traditional model, the vaccine would take a piece of coronavirus’ genetic code and combine it with another, harmless virus. 

5. AbbVie’s Kaletra®

AbbVie is in the process of testing another combination therapy very similar to Ascletis Pharma’s variation. Kaletra® is an existing antiviral drug that treats HIV in adults and children. 

AbbVie is working with governments across Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia to treat new coronavirus infections as well as pneumonia in patients. 


Kelsey Thompson

Kelsey Thompson is a writer for PicnicHealth and social media expert.

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List the names of all the doctors, hospitals, and other facilities your loved one visits regularly, along with those they have visited in the past. Try to go back as far as you can, striving for at least the last 5-10 years, but do your best. Even if you can’t remember them all, having a strong baseline can help you quickly identify gaps in records.

Ensure You Have the Appropriate Legal Status

It is important to make sure that you are fully empowered to make decisions on behalf of your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Your relationship status with the patient may not be enough to legally give you access to your loved one's medical information. It is a good idea to talk to an expert about securing special legal status, such as Power of Attorney (POA), a legal document that allows an individual to name someone as their decision maker should they no longer be able to make decisions on their own.

Gather and Organize the Medical Records in One Place

It’s important to have all of your loved one’s medical records together in one spot. This makes it much easier for you and your loved one’s physicians to accurately map the patient’s medical journey and more easily share information between doctors. Fortunately, tools exist to make record management and access simple. A free resource like PicnicHealth helps you collect and organize all of this information. PicnicHealth’s intuitive timeline allows you to pinpoint data across the medical history, eliminating your need for keeping heavy binders filled with paper records or keeping track of multiple software portal logins.

Review the Medical Records to be an Informed Advocate

The better you understand your loved one's medical history, the better you can advocate on their behalf. Access and understanding of this information will help you to ask informed questions with physicians. Through regular communication backed by the data in the medical records, you can help your loved one’s care team develop a more successful care plan.

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Build a support network.

When you’re juggling appointment times and insurance claims, putting a robust support system together might not strike you as the most urgent task. Investing the time to cultivate relationships with people can turn to in times of need will pay dividends. The next time you need a last-minute ride or just someone to listen, you won’t be on your own.

There are many condition-specific support groups and support groups for caregivers generally in person or online. In addition to the encouragement and empathy they provide, support groups can be a helpful source of tips, resources, and recommendations for navigating caregiving.


Stay organized.

The backbone of effective caregiving is organization. Keep medical information, appointment schedules, and medication lists in order. Use a planner or a digital service like PicnicHealth to stay on top of your responsibilities. This attention to detail can prevent future complications and reduce day-to-day stress.


Explore treatments and clinical trials.

We’ve seen incredible breakthroughs in treatment over the past couple of years, powered by patients and their caregivers participating in research. Stay in the loop about the latest in medical advancements and available resources that could benefit your loved one. Whether it’s a new therapy option or a community service that aids independence, being informed can make a world of difference in the quality of care you provide.


Make time for self-care.

It may seem self-centered to focus on self-care—but when you feel good, you can be a better caregiver. Whether it’s exercise, a mindfulness practice, a soak in the bath, or just time to rest when you need it, carve out those moments in the day when you can unwind, reset, and stay healthy mentally and physically. Think of it as building up your reserves of kindness, patience, and understanding—which can only benefit your loved one. No one can pour from an empty cup.

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LC-FAOD Odyssey: A Preliminary Analysis, presented at INFORM 2021

Data from real-world medical records:

(from 13 patients with LC-FAOD)

16 yrs old

Median age at enrollment

38% Female

15 providers / patient

7.5 years of data / patient

Data from patient-reported outcome (PRO) survey

(from 13 patients with LC-FAOD)

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