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Medical, healthcare conferences put on hold amid coronavirus measures

As the coronavirus pandemic spurs the exploration of potential treatments and vaccines, it is also thwarting discussion of new medicines for a variety of diseases.

Travel restrictions and social distancing recommendations resulting from the outbreak are putting a halt to many gatherings, including conferences where healthcare professionals meet to hear about the latest advances in their respective fields. Meanwhile, some clinical trials, which are the main topics at medical meetings, are also facing delays.

Many of the medical conferences that were originally scheduled through the end of April to be held in various cities around the world have been canceled or postponed, while most organizers of conferences in May are still discussing plans as of March 23.

The American Academy of Dermatology's annual meeting, originally scheduled for March 20 to March 24 in Denver, Colo., was among those that were canceled.

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly coronavirus newsletter here, and read our latest coverage on the crisis here.

The American College of Cardiology also canceled its world congress that was supposed to take place March 28 to March 30 in Chicago, but the organization opted to launch a free virtual meeting on those dates that includes access to 23 sessions, including late-breaking clinical trials, clinical research, awards and keynote speakers.

The World Vaccine Congress, originally slated for April 7 to April 9, has been postponed until Sept. 27 to Sept. 29, and will still take place in Washington, D.C.

Initially scheduled for April 24 to April 29, the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in San Diego has been postponed until later in the year.

The American Academy of Neurology conference has been canceled with no plans to reschedule. The gathering was supposed to be held in Toronto from April 25 to May 1.

The World Orphan Drug Congress has been postponed from its original date at the end of April and will now take place from Aug. 24 to Aug. 26. The location has also been changed from Oxon Hill, Md., to National Harbor, Md.

According to a spokesperson from Needham & Co. LLC, the investment bank's healthcare conference scheduled for April 14 to April 15 will be online.

As conference organizers look further into May, many have not disclosed changes to the current schedule. These include Biocentury's Bio€quity Europe, CNBC's Healthy Returns, the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy's annual meeting, the UBS Group AG Healthcare Conference, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc Capital Markets Healthcare Conference and the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting, slated for the end of May.