Development of Medical Countermeasures to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

Timothy M. Uyeki; Karl J. Erlandson; George Korch; Michael O'Hara; Michael Wathen; Jean Hu-Primmer; Sally Hojvat; Erik J. Stemmy; Armen Donabedian


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2016;22(7):e1-e11. 

In This Article


Although preclinical development and research on potential MERS-CoV medical countermeasures has achieved appreciable progress to date, such development is preliminary, and substantive challenges must be overcome before most potential countermeasures are ready for human clinical trials. The only clinical trials of MERS-CoV medical countermeasures to date are phase I studies of 1 candidate vaccine and 1 immunotherapeutic that were both implemented in 2016 and are ongoing. Prioritization of animal models, standardization of representative virus strains, and establishment of clinical trial capabilities in areas where the virus is endemic among dromedaries are viewed as critical elements of effective MERS-CoV medical countermeasures development. Results of substantial progress in establishing the infrastructure and platforms for preclinical and advanced clinical development of countermeasures can serve as a model to enable more timely response to other emerging infectious diseases of global public health concern in the future.