In December 2019 a novel coronavirus was identified as the cause of pneumonia in a cluster of patients in Wuhan, China. This coronavirus was named SARS-CoV-2 due to its similarity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that emerged in 2002.
As a result of the rising cases and global spread, the coronavirus outbreak was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. There is no vaccine or recommended medicines to treat or prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
With decades of coronavirus research and vaccine development experience, we were quickly granted approval from the Public Health Agency of Canada to work with SARS-CoV-2. Clinical samples were received and we are developing candidate vaccines and animal disease models in our containment level 3 facility.
Importantly, we are participating in the coordinated global effort to ensure solutions for SARS-CoV-2 are developed as quickly as possible.