4 San Diego companies on the forefront of the COVID-19 battle

4 San Diego companies on the forefront of the COVID-19 battle

Mar 16, 2020 - Sarah Lubeck

With a research institution named after the inventor of the polio vaccine, and the region’s contributions to fighting global health crises such as Ebola and HIV, San Diego has developed a reputation for bringing life-changing treatments to the world.

As the coronavirus progresses, the life sciences industry, governments, and NGOs are racing to bring treatments and tests to scale. Here are four San Diego companies at the forefront of bringing COVID-19 solutions to market:


Arcturus Therapeutics

One significant challenge with manufacturing vaccines is the size of the dose needed to inoculate a patient. Leveraging self-replicating RNA technology, Arcturus says it can inject smaller doses because it creates an antigen that continues to replicate in the body. If successful, this may also mean goodbye to booster shots. The La Jolla-based company is now identifying partnerships to bring the vaccine to market. 


Inovio Pharmaceuticals

This company is already sprinting ahead in its quest to deliver a DNA-based vaccine. Inovio has racked up a combined $14 million in grants between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Inovio’s core research lab is based out of San Diego.


Mesa Biotech

As COVID-19 spreads, people are clamoring to get rapid diagnostic information. San Diego-based Mesa Biotech is undergoing clinical trials in China, where individuals will be able to get lab-quality test results in approximately 30 minutes.


Thermo Fisher Scientific

Leave it to the world’s largest manufacturer of laboratory equipment to develop a testing solution. With the FDA’s approval, Thermo Fisher will produce a test kit that can diagnose within four hours, with the potential to diagnose as many as 5 million people in a week. Thermo Fisher says all 75,000 global employees have been involved in its COVID-19 response, which includes employees in its Carlsbad operation. 

We know there are additional San Diego companies out there, and we look forward to elevating the great work San Diegans are doing in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, San Diego Regional EDC has put together this page with guidance and resources to help San Diego businesses navigate these unprecedented times.


If you are a San Diego business in need of assistance during COVID-19 changes, please contact San Diego Regional EDC.


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