Previously reported data from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases study of remdesivir was publicly released over the weekend. According to the preliminary report, remdesivir shortened recovery time from 15 days to 11 days in hospitalized patients.

On Tuesday, Merck announced it is developing two different vaccines for COVID-19. The drugmaker is also licensing an oral drug with the potential to treat the virus.

Below, we highlight COVID-19 updates and developments from our members and others in Tennessee. Visit our COVID-19 page for additional resources and supply needs.

Decode Health Offers AI Platform in Fight Against COVID-19
Nashville-based Decode Health is offerings its artificial intelligence platform and predictive analytics to governments and other institutions tracking COVID-19 cases to anticipate where the virus may spread or re-emerge. In an interview with Venture Nashville, CEO Chase Spurlock noted that social determinants of health, alongside the analytics Decode can provide, give officials a way to “combat COVID-19 contagion and improve the effectiveness of care pathways” down to the county level. The platform can also monitor infection rates in order to “understand positive or negative trends weeks in advance” of their full manifestation.

Spurlock echoed comments from an earlier statement from Decode that warns of a second wave of the virus in rural counties surrounding major population centers. The statement reads: “Because of travel between these counties and nearby large cities (i.e., for work, medical care, entertainment and shopping), the disease could re-emerge in large cities in the summer or fall, potentially at an accelerated rate, according to Decode’s models. Counties statewide, and especially those around large cities, need to be vigilant now and in the coming weeks about adhering to social distancing and other preventative measures as businesses reopen…”

Other important updates and resources:

  • An at-home COVID-19 test by fall? The race is on to develop one.
  • In an op-ed for STAT News, John Crowley and Kush Parmar, a biotech CEO and biotech VC, respectively, write how the pandemic has “sparked a global commitment by the research community that is accelerating many promising trends in biotechnology that will not only help us prevail against COVID-19 but turn the tide against other life-threatening illnesses that annually claim the lives of millions of people in the United States and around the world.”
  • Read lessons from the H1N1 outbreak for vaccine priority.