Firms advance in successfully developing COVID vaccine. Right now, around five candidates announced promising research on novel coronavirus vaccines. Let us find out the status of the COVID vaccine.
WHO states that there are around 150 Covid-19 vaccines under development. Out of this, 11 are in the late-stage testing phase, while 44 are undergoing clinical trials. Several companies have made significant progress in developing a vaccine against coronavirus.
Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine
Operation Warp Seed (a collaboration of several departments of the US federal government) funded Moderna’s mRNA-1273 is the strongest competitor at present. The company has promised a 94.5% efficacy rate based on its independent monitoring of 30,000 candidates. Only five volunteers reported illness such as fatigue, muscle aches, and injection-site pain after the second dose of the vaccine. Based on impressive results, it has announced to seek emergency-use authorization for its vaccine candidate in high-risk groups.
Moderna spokesperson claims that none of the volunteers reported significant side effects. Besides, the vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator for 30 days at -2 to 4-degree Celsius temperature, which increases its accessibility. The company plans to supply 20 million doses by the of this year.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s BNT162
The second in the race is Pfizer and BioNTech’s BNT162. The companies were the first ones to reveal the safety data of its novel vaccine candidate. Though the vaccine’s workability for high-risk groups, including older people and the efficacy rate of 90% has made it one of the top candidates, its pricing and storage remain a matter of concern.
Experts have raised their concerns over the price of more than USD 20 for one shot. Besides, it requires special storage conditions with extremely cold temperatures, which limits its reach. The vaccine needs a cold chain with a temperature of minus 70 degree Celsius which is a big challenge for several countries, including India.
The US and European Union have already signed a pact with the supplier and reserved their doses.
Bharat Biotech backed COVAXIN has also reached phase 3 of clinical trials. Tolerable immunogenicity response has been seen well. The trial involves 26,000 volunteers across 17 centres in the country. Given the efficacy rates, COVAXIN sounds promising. However, the authorities have not released a delivery timeline yet.
Ad5-nCoV, developed by China’s CanSino Biologics, has also shown developments in Phase 3 clinical trials. AstraZeneca and the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford are developing AZD1222. Trials are being conducted in the US and India at several study sites. The Lancet reported that the vaccine candidate had an “acceptable safety profile”. The Serum Institute of India announced that 100 million doses to be ready by December.
The data from the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that participants receiving multiple-dose of NVX-CoV2373 under phase one trials developed an antibody response. The vaccine developed by Novavax received funding from the US Department of Defense and OWS. It will start its phase three trials in the UK at the end of November. Also, it plans to produce one billion doses by 2021.
Others in Race
Another vaccine named Sputnik V is being developed by Gamaleya Research Institute in Russia and the Health Ministry of the Russian Federation. It is in Phase 3 trials in Russia, Belarus, and the United Arab Emirates. While its phase one trial involved 38 participants, the company has recruited about 40,000 participants in Russia alone for phase three trials. Despite the non-availability of trial data, the Health Ministry of the Russian Federation has approved Sputnik V as the first vaccine for COVID-19. The results drawn from Phase one and two trials, The Lancet declared it is having a good safety profile while inducing strong humoral and cellular immune response” in participants.
Johnson & Johnson, in collaboration with BARDA, is developing JNJ-78436735 which is also a part of Operation Warp Seed. Its phase three study trials will include 60,000 participants in the United States and internationally. Further, the company has committed to invest around one billion USD for the vaccine. Though the ENSEMBLE trial was on hold owing to a pending review of an adverse event in one of the participants, the Independent Data Safety and Monitoring Board recommended it to resume the trials. Further, CoronaVac, developed by Sinovac, is another vaccine in phase three trials. It will conduct its phase three trials in collaboration with Instituto Butantan in Brazil.
In all, there are several vaccines underway Phase-III trials which have so far shown positive results. Companies will start channelizing production after getting safety reports cleared.