Nepal | September 22, 2020

Coronavirus vaccine: Russia ahead on track, who is next?

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KATHMANDU: Over 150 vaccines are being developed and tested around the world to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, of which 28 are in human clinical trials, according to the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, Russia has become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed on Tuesday.

Here is a list of latest developments from major drug makers and research institutes that have started human trials for their vaccine candidates.

First on the list, Russia has granted regulatory approval to a coronavirus vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute. It is in final-stage clinical trials.

AstraZeneca Plc Vaccine is currently in its late-stage trials. It is conducting final stage study in 1,077 healthy adults. The studies have been effective with immune response in early-stage trials.

Sinopharm is another company developing two vaccines, one of which has shown promise in humans. It is supposed to begin late-stage trials in Bahrain; testing up to 15,000 volunteers in Abu Dhabi.

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE, working in collaboration, are in early-stage trials with a vaccine that produced virus-neutralizing antibodies. It has begun pivotal global study that aims to enrol 30,000 volunteers.

Moderna Inc began final stage trial on July 27 with 30,000 subjects and has supposed to deliver up to 1 billion doses a year, beginning 2021.

Sinovac Biotech Ltd has launched a final-stage trial in Indonesia. Its vaccine released a positive result from mid-stage trials.

Early results from the CanSino Biologics, the China-based company, showed that its vaccine is safe and is currently working on late-stage trials to begin in Saudi Arabia.

Vaccine candidate, developed by Inovio Pharma, induced immune responses in healthy volunteers in an early-stage study and was found to be safe. Currently, it is working on its mid-stage trials.

A unit of the Chinese company, Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products, Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical has begun mid-stage human trials.

Indian company Bharat Biotech has developed a vaccine which has been approved for human trials in India. It is starting its early to mid-stage trials in July.

Johnson & Johnson Co has coordinated with Japan, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the European Union for vaccine allocations. Its early-stage trials is to start in July and is planning a late-stage study for September.

Novavax Inc which is currently at early-stage testing is bringing froth vaccine that produced high levels of antibodies, says an initial data from a small study.

The popular GlaxoSmithKline Plc has partnered with Sanofi SA to develop a vaccine which is beginning early-stage trials in September.

Similarly, there are few others at early-stage, such as German biotech company CureVac, Chinese developer Clover Biopharmaceuticals, another group of scientists from Imperial College London, and one South Korea’s Genexine Inc.

Researchers at Institute of Medical Biology at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences are testing a coronavirus vaccine.

Walvax Biotechnology Co has started trials sponsored by the China-based company, along with a Chinese military research institute.

On a different verse, Medicago is studying a plant-based vaccine and is currently at early-stage trials.

Cadila Healthcare Ltd, also at early-stage trials, has been planning to finish late-stage trials by early 2021.

Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp/NIAID/Dynavax and one other company Merck & Co Inc are also at early-stage trial.

While University of Queensland had begun human trials in collaboration with Australian biotech company CSL which is currently at early-stage testing; few others with early-stage testing are Arcturus Therapeutics and Duke-NUS, a collaboration of Osaka University, AnGes, and Takara Bio, Kentucky Bioprocessing Inc, Vaxine Pty Ltd/Medytox.

Compiled from Reuters

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