Top drug makers now focus on ‘long Covid’ therapies

March 26, 2022 0 By CH Unnikrishnan

World’s leading drugs and pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Roche, among others who have already researched and launched vaccines,  antiviral pills and monoclonal antibody treatments for Covid-19, are now focussing on therapies that can address ‘long Covid’, said the latest news report by Thomson Reuters filed from London and Chicago.  The condition of long Covid, which is defined as persisting symptoms including fatigue, chest pain, brain fog, heart problems and lungs and respiratory issues beyond three months after the virus infection, has been widely reported among Covid survivors from across the world.      

The Reuters report said that these top drugmakers are having early discussions with researchers about how to target the disease. “Companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Vir Biotechnology and Humanigen confirmed they had spoken to researchers on trials using their current treatments against long COVID. Others including Pfizer and Roche said they are interested but would not elaborate on (their specific) plans,” the news report said. 

The role of big pharma and biotechnology companies, though there are commercial interests, has been critical in the fight against Covid-19 as these companies could develop and introduce several products, including vaccines and various treatments within record time during the raging pandemic, which afflicted millions of people across the globe. 

Focusing on the new territory of long Covid, the drugs and pharma industry is targeting a much bigger health issue that involves multiple diseases and symptoms and certainly a much larger market as well. “When you look at the numbers for heart failure, for diabetes, etc, that is the ballpark we are talking about,” the Reuters report quoted Amitava Banerjee, a leading researcher on a long COVID trial.