It is a huge breakthrough towards a coronavirus vaccine. A team of Canadian scientists announced in a statement on Friday it has successfully isolated and grown copies of the novel coronavirus, a crucial step to finding a vaccine for the deadly respiratory disease.
Coronavirus causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19, which is ten times deadlier than the common flu, one of the leading American scientists Dr. Anthony Fauchi said this week.
Researchers from the Sunnybrook Research Institute, the University of Toronto, and McMaster University said they were able to isolate and replicate the novel coronavirus in a lab using samples taken from two Canadian patients.
They announced that the lab-grown copies will help scientists study the pathogen to develop better diagnostic testing, treatments, vaccines, and gain a better understanding of its biology.
“Now that we have isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus [the agent responsible for COVID-19], we can share this with other researchers and continue this teamwork,” Dr. Arinjay Banerjee, NSERC post-doctoral fellow at McMaster University, said.
“The more viruses that are made available in this way, the more we can learn, collaborate and share.”
“We need key tools to develop solutions to this pandemic,” Dr. Samira Mubareka, microbiologist and infectious diseases physician at Sunnybrook, added.
“While the immediate response is crucial, longer-term solutions come from essential research into this novel virus.”
In China, where the global pandemic started, eight institutes are working on five approaches to inoculations in an effort to combat COVID-19. A vaccine could be ready for emergency situations and clinical trials next month.