Coronavirus Updates – How Chemists Are Making a Positive Impact

Guest Author: Robert McGuire with significant help from Fangfang Karcher

For the past few weeks, the Novel Coronavirus (2019-NCoV) has dominated the news cycle. In times like these, people turn towards innovation and technology for comfort, hope and solutions. Continue reading for the latest coronavirus updates and how chromatography is contributing to the research to test the virus.

In response to the virus, our global community of chemists has stepped up to the challenge. Late in January, Novacyt, a French cellular diagnostic firm, revealed a test that is able to confirm the presence of the 2019-nCoV in blood in under two hours.

Following quickly, Gilead, an American BioTechnology company, revealed they would shortly begin collaborating with the Chinese government to begin clinical trials of their own remdesivir(GS-5734) antiviral, which has shown effectiveness in treating MERS and SARS, other Coronaviruses. As it does in known coronaviruses, they hope to find clinical evidence that it inhibits the replication of 2019-NCoV in human beings and animals.

We are proud to say that in testing of remdesivir, Phenomenex’ own Synergi Hydro-RP columns were used to determine stability of GS-5734 within blood, and our Kinetex C18 columns were used to determine purity during discovery. We are ecstatic, both as a company and as members of the analytical chemistry community to have contributed to the amazing research that has been done on this drug.

Johnson and Johnson, as well as GlaxoSmithKline have also thrown their hats into the ring. GlaxoSmithKline has announced a cooperative effort with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the University of Queensland to use their adjuvant technology to reduce the amount of resources a single vaccine requires, allowing more people access to this medicine. Johnson and Johnson has pledged considerable resources towards the treatment of 2019-NCoV as well, announcing their intention to develop a vaccine candidate for the illness, as well as a screen of antiviral therapies for ones with antiviral activity against 2019-NCoV to possibly provide immediate relief to the global community.

While it is still early in the fight against 2019-NCoV, the global community of chemists have clearly taken a stand in helping us heal. From scientists who develop new research methods, to the lab technicians who create consumables, to the engineers who make it possible to distribute these medications, when we work together, we can only succeed.

For more information and coronavirus updates, follow the CDC and WHO. You can also read about how Phenomenex and Danaher are doing their part to help those affected in China by this virus.

Sources for article claims:


Gilead drug:

Synergi used to track blood stability:

Purity studies with Kinetex:

GSK working with CEPI:

JNJ working against Coronavirus:

*All companies mentioned, which includes but is not limited to: Novacyt, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson and Johnson have no affiliation with Phenomenex in regards to the coronavirus and the information listed above.

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