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Coronavirus vaccines are far off, FDA official says, but drugs to treat patients could come sooner

NEW YORK — New drugs to treat patients already infected with the novel coronavirus, which has sparked outbreaks across multiple continents, will emerge much more quickly than vaccines to prevent infection, a top Food and Drug Administration official said Wednesday.

“The development of a vaccine is not going to prevent a pandemic here,” Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, told STAT at the SVB Leerink Global Healthcare Conference, ahead of a keynote presentation there. And getting a vaccine ready for pivotal testing is going to take more than just a few months, he said.

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