With life in a form of limbo for the past several months, one of the main hopes of pretty much the entire human race rests on the development of a vaccine against coronavirus. Barring this, our existence is at a standstill, and we can most likely never go back to our old ways of living. There are several vaccines being worked on around the world, with some even going to human trials. Here are some of the top contenders.
The NIH (National Institute Of Health) intends to start a phase 3 trial of Moderna’s vaccine in July, which is part of the US Government’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ has been given a $438 million investment. The vaccine appears to be safe and well-tolerated in human trials until now, and has a fast-tracked status from the FDA.
British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca tied up with the University of Oxford to produce a vaccine prototype which reached the clinical trial stage. The researchers have now said that they are ready to roll out their vaccine by September or October, with production for two million doses underway.
3. Johnson & Johnson
They claim they will begin human trials by July, and have inked a deal with the US government to create enough manufacturing capacity to produce more than 1 billion doses of its vaccine through 2021. Apparently, they have been able to further accelerate development based on the strength of their preclinical data.
4. CanSino Biologics Inc
This Chinese vaccine is called CanSino Bio’s Adenovirus Type 5 Vector (Ad5-nCoV), and early trials have shown it generates an immune response. This is also one of the top vaccine contenders according to the WHO. It appeared safe and was well-tolerated in healthy adults.
Pfizer and Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) have already dosed the first participants of a trial for their vaccine known as BNT162. They claim that if the trial goes well and the vaccine is safe, the company will ‘be able to deliver millions of doses by October.
This established pharma corporation said it was buying Austrian vaccine maker Themis Bioscience and would collaborate with research nonprofit IAVI to create 2 separate vaccines. Both vaccines are designed to be delivered in a single dose. The company has apparently been moving very fast and expects to start vaccinating volunteers ‘within weeks’.
China’s state-owned Sinopharm has cleared animal tests on its vaccine candidate, dubbed BBIBP-CorV. Made from an inactivated form of the virus, the vaccine induced high levels of neutralizing antibodies against coronavirus in rodents, rabbits and monkeys without triggering any serious adverse events.
Another Chinese company, Sinovac has been conducting its experimental vaccine testing in Brazil, as there are not enough cases left in China. It is made by growing the coronavirus in a lab and then killing it, making it an inactivated vaccine. If it works, the epicentre of Latin America’s outbreak could be neutralised.
9. Inovio Pharmaceuticals
This biotech firm has been conducting preclinical trials for INO-480 (a DNA plasmid vaccine with electroporation). It has been successful in triggering immune responses in mice and guinea pigs, and it is hoped that further testing can lead to better results.
Let’s hope something works out soon.