Coronavirus: EMA announces support for treatment research

The EMA has released a statement on its efforts to support the development of a treatment for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Coronavirus particles in grey on a red background

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has responded to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), saying that it is taking “concrete actions” to accelerate the development and availability of medicinal products for the treatment and prevention of the condition. 

“The EMA has activated its plan for managing emerging health threats,” says Guido Rasi, the agency’s Executive Director. “The new coronavirus has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) and we are drawing on the strong expertise of the European medicines network to provide fast-track scientific advice and give prompt feedback on any proposed medicine developments.”

The agency has said it is investigating potential antivirals or vaccines to treat or prevent 2019-nCoV infections and is analysing all available information from developers’ drug pipelines. According to the EMA, the regulatory body is ready to support medicine developers with all available tools to advance and expedite the advancement of effective measures to fight and prevent the spread of this virus.

As with any emerging public health threat, the EMA has announced it will collaborate and exchange information with EU public health authorities, notably the European Commission (EC), the Health Security Committee and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the WHO and other international regulators, in particular through the International Coalition of Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA).

The EMA has published more information about 2019-nCoV on its website that also lists the agency’s efforts in response to this outbreak and provides key information on processes and procedures in place to help developers. 

There are currently no commercially available medicinal products that are authorised to detect, treat or prevent infections with the novel coronavirus.