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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Researchers at Copenhagen University in Denmark work on a potential coronavirus vaccine. Photo: Thibault Savary/AFP/Getty Images

Scientists around the world have started dozens of clinical trials, on more than 100 drugs, in the hunt to find a product that could attack the new coronavirus. More data will be coming soon.

The big picture: Expectations need to be tempered. A vaccine is likely a long way off, and failures are inevitable. But some experimental treatments, while they still require more research, are showing promise.

Where it stands: There are more than 100 coronavirus drugs and vaccines in development worldwide, according to Umer Raffat, an analyst at Evercore ISI who has been tracking progress. 

  • The coronavirus has become the pharmaceutical world’s top priority, but safety and efficacy haven’t been proven anywhere yet.

A handful of potential treatments are worth paying particular attention to.

  • Remdesivir: This antiviral drug, made by Gilead Sciences, is the furthest along of any potential treatment. It's in six clinical trials, including two late-stage U.S. studies, and new results should come out next month.
  • mRNA-1273: This drug, made by Moderna, is the first vaccine candidate to enter a clinical trial. Moderna’s CEO said the hope is to get into a final study by this fall, but even if the vaccine proves to be effective, there are major questions how a small drugmaker can scale this to billions of people.
  • Hydroxychloroquine has almost become a household name, after President Trump touted the results from a small, imperfect French study. It's a generic drug, already on the marker and made by several companies. Chinese scientists are in the process of studying it further.
  • INO-4800: An experimental vaccine made by U.S. drugmaker Inovio is going to be tested for the first time on 30 U.S. patients next month.
  • Avigan: This influenza treatment, also known as favipiravir and made by Japanese and Chinese companies, has shown “a high degree of safety” among some coronavirus patients, according to Chinese scientists who are testing it.
  • Kevzara: This medication, made by Regeneron and Sanofi, is approved for arthritis and will now be tested in up to 400 U.S. patients in an advanced clinical trial.

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

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