Last September, Gallup released an opinion poll that surveyed Americans’ views of U.S. businesses, ranking 25 different sectors from very positive to very negative. The pharmaceutical industry came in dead last, lower than at any time since Gallup started the poll in 2001.

“We’re below Congress, below bankers, below tobacco,” lamented Ken Frazier, chief executive of drug giant Merck.

What a difference a global pandemic makes.

Today the world is depending upon the pharmaceutical industry to not only save lives, but economies around the world. At this very moment, pharmaceutical companies and biotech startups from San Francisco and Boston to Tianjin, Tokyo and Galilee, are staging a multi-front battle against the novel coronavirus akin to the sea, land and air assault conducted by the allies against Nazi Germany on D-Day during World War II.

There are no fewer than 267 different COVID-19 remedies in development, according to an analysis by Umer Raffat, a senior managing director of investment bank Evercore ISI, with more experimental treatments being added almost daily. This includes testing drugs already available but designed for other ailments, new experimental therapeutics, and vaccines that are being developed from scratch. [see Table of Top 50 below]

The attack against coronavirus is coming from all sides. There are synthetic peptide-based vaccines consisting of two or more linked amino acids created in a lab to immunize against the virus; there are so called nucleic acid vaccines genetically engineered from DNA or RNA sequences of the pathogen; antiviral medications, similar to Tamiflu, that target the virus itself; there are new remedies using existing arthritis drugs to contain the immune system, which sometimes inadvertently kills patients as it unleashes its force on COVID-19. Underlying the multitude of efforts underway is the reality that most drugs in development are ultimately unsuccessful.

“A lot of companies are doing the rational thing: testing therapies already in their pipeline which have a plausible mechanism of action. We need to get drugs into clinical trials rapidly so we can quickly learn and double down behind promising results and follow the winners,” says Vivek Ramaswamy, CEO of Roivant Sciences, a drug development firm that acquires hidden gems among forgotten drugs in the pharmaceutical pipelines.