Anti-MERS trial vaccine raises hopes

Updated 20 May 2014

Anti-MERS trial vaccine raises hopes

The University of Maryland, in partnership with the US-based Novavax pharmaceutical company, has developed a vaccine that appears to effectively fight the MERS coronavirus in mice.
Meanwhile, four deaths and six new cases of MERS were reported on Monday, bringing the death toll to 173 since September 2012.
The fatalities were reported in Jeddah, Makkah, Riyadh and Tabuk and were from among cases that had been previously diagnosed.
Newly diagnosed patients, meanwhile, are all men from Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah and Taif.
The announcement of the “investigational vaccine” was published in Vaccine magazine on April 13 this year.
Novavax has claimed that the vaccine is also a “candidate” against the SARS coronavirus, which killed 775 people and infected 8,000 in 2003.
Stanley C. Erck, president and chief executive officer of Novavax, said the company is communicating with various parties, including the US government to try the vaccine against the coronavirus.
“But nothing yet materialized with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Erck said that more funding is needed for research and that there would have to be close cooperation with the health authorities in affected countries.
Matthew Frieman, assistant professor and supervisor of the study at Maryland University, said the vaccine showed effective results by increasing the antibodies resisting the virus in mice.
The statement published on Novavax's website said that the vaccine would target the S protein that links the virus with the body's cells. Once the protein is dismantled the process would provide prevention and protection against the virus.


G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

Updated 22 September 2020

G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

RIYADH: The trade and investment ministers of the G20 nations met virtually on Tuesday under the presidency of Saudi Arabia to strengthen trade and investment cooperation.
The ministers agreed to continue cooperation to support the recovery of international trade and investment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They also agreed to support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to which the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO provides political support.
Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's minister of investment, said the collective G20 response to COVID-19 had started to deliver early signs of a “resilient, and stable economic recovery.”
“As policymakers, it is our duty to prioritize the most vulnerable in our societies, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and Saudi Arabia stands ready to endorse the G20 policy guidelines for MSMEs,” Falih said.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qasabi told the meeting that measures adopted by the G20 in May were “critical for sustaining the flow of essential goods and services across borders and limiting the human toll of the pandemic.”