Saudi Arabia Looks to Leverage Experience with MERS to Tackle COVID-19

This week, a patent for a MERS vaccine issued to King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for a MERS vaccine. This patent highlights the usefulness of Track One applications, as it was granted only two months after filing.

The vaccine was invented by Anwar Hashem, a researcher specializing in immunology at King Abdulaziz University. While the virus that causes MERS is not identical to COVID-19, the two viruses are both part of the coronavirus family. Based on reports in June, King Abdulaziz University has partnered with SaudiVax to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Anwar Hashem is listed as being the primary researcher working with SaudiVax to develop the vaccine, suggesting that Hashem plans on utilizing his knowledge of MERS in tackling COVID-19. SaudiVax has also been working with the University of Pittsburgh to develop the vaccine, as part of a pre-existing relationship with the university. 

However, Saudi Arabia is not entirely betting on its home-developed vaccine efforts. Russia has stated that it plans on using Saudi Arabia as one of several countries where it will test its controversial Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine. Ministers in Saudi Arabia have also recently suggested they are looking into the Astrazeneca vaccine, whose trials were recently halted. 

For more updates on global hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine, check out the free interactive visual Pandemics Patent Forecast® offered by Magic Number.


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