In the run up to formulate an effective coronavirus vaccine, many pharmaceutical companies have expedited their trials. Some have already reached advanced stages of human trials, including Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate. The candidate will be manufactured by Serum Institute of India that aims to enrol 5,000 Indian volunteers, among others, to conduct the tests. Meanwhile, researchers and experts are still questioning the longevity of antibodies in cured COVID-19 patients. A New England Journal of Medicine research found that antibodies fell quickly than in the case of SARS.
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12:45 PM: Singapore approves COVID vaccine trials
Singapore would conduct coronavirus vaccine trials on volunteers. Health Sciences Authority has approved tests for COVOD vaccine developed by Arcturus Therapeutics and Duke-NUS Medical school. The trials would include up to 108 adults. In the preclinical data, it was found that a single 0.2, 2 or 10 microgram dose resulted in neutralising antibodies.
12:33 PM: Coronavirus vaccine possible this year, says Oxford expert
Professor Adrian Hill who is heading the team of researchers working on the Oxford vaccine has said that coronavirus is possible within this year. "If we got a result in, say, October and we had emergency use licensure (ph) by November, we would certainly hope to have many millions of doses available then in different countries from different manufacturers," he said in a interview to NPR.
12:25 PM: Oxford coronavirus vaccine to be called Covishield
The name of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine has been decided as Covishield. The doeses would be priced at Rs 1,000 or less.
12:15 PM: 'COVID vaccine by 2021 unlikely,' says French expert
French researchers have said that they do not expect a coronavirus vaccine by 2021. French epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet said that a vaccine takes several years in development. "Of course, there is an unprecedented effort to develop a vaccine, but I would be very surprised if we had that was effective in 2021. While we would probably have one that worked partially, we were very far from the end of the crisis," he said. Fontanet aid that we would probably have to live with this virus.
12:10 PM: First vaccine this year? EU seems optimistic
European Union regulators might approve the first coronavirus vaccine this year amid a flurry of candidates. "We are preparing ourselves for that possibility so that we as regulators will be ready. It will be a matter of seeing whether this data could be sufficient for allowing any kind of approval by the end of 2020," said Marco Cavaleri, head of anti-infectives and vaccines at the European Medicines Agency.
Oxford and AstraZeneca published promising results from early human tests of a shot on Monday. Pfizer-BioNTech as well as China-based CanSino Biologics also announced early positive data from their vaccine trials.
12:01 PM: China's Sinovac conducts Phase 3 trials in Brazil
Chinese pharma company Sinovac has entered the final stage of testing. The trials would be conducted in Brazil. This is the third vaccine in the world to enter Phase 3. Around 9,000 health workers across six Brazilian states will receive the vaccine, known as CoronaVac, in two doses over the next three months under the study. Sinovac is partnering with a Brazilian public health research center, the Butantan Institute
11:55 AM: China's Sinopharm enters Phase 3
Chinese company Sinopharm has entered Phase 3 of human trials for its coronavirus vaccine candidate. The tests will be conducted in Abu Dhabi. The trials will last for 42 days and will be tested on volunteers aged 18 to 60 years, said the Abu Dhabi government media office. The volunteers must be residents of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in the emirate.
11:45 AM: COVID destroying vaccine? New candidate in the mix
US-based biotech company PAI Life Sciences, noted that their vaccine candidate offered effects within two weeks after administration through injection into a muscle with the level of antibodies generated comparable to those in people who are recovering from COVID-19. They said the RNA vaccine candidate, based on the genome of the novel coronavirus, enters cells and instructs them to produce proteins that teach the body to recognise coronaviruses, and attack them with antibodies and T cells.
11:30 AM: US willing to work with China for COVID vaccine
Donald Trump said that US is willing to work with China for a coronavirus vaccine. "We are willing to work with anybody that is going to get us a good result," Trump said. This is a significant move as Donald Trump has been blaming China for the breakout of coronavirus and has been demanding answers. The US-China trade relations are also at a tumultuous juncture.
11:15 AM: Who will pay for the coronavirus vaccine?
Adar Poonawalla said that 50 per cent of all the coronavirus vaccine produced by Serum Institute would be reserved for Indians. Moreover, no one would have to pay for it as government will buy it in bulk and then distribute it. "Of course it will be given out at a very affordable price. Today, a Covid-19 test incurs Rs 2,500. There are drugs like Remdesiver that are costing tens and thousands of rupees. We are planning to put the price at around Rs 1,000 or less than that per dose. I don't think any individual will have to pay for it because the vaccines will mostly be bought by governments and then distributed free through the immunisation programmes," he said.
11:05 AM: Govt to expedite regulatory clearances for SII vaccine
The government will speed up the regulatory clearances for the Oxford vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India. "Regulatory facilitation will be ensured. It is already being undertaken. If resources need to be supplemented, that will be actively considered. The government of India will leave no stone unturned to ensure the people of India and the international community have access to an Indian vaccine as early as possible," said NITI Aayog member VK Paul.
10:50 AM: Just 30 minutes to decide the course of vaccine
Adar Poonawalla has said that the decision to manufacture coronavirus vaccine that was not a challenging one. Poonawalla and father Cyrus Poonawalla saw it a moral responsibility to join the race for coronavirus vaccine. "We just thought of it as a moral responsibility that we have to take this commitment and it was a 30-minute decision or less than that where we came to a unanimous conclusion that we have to just go ahead," said Poonawalla.
10.20 AM: COVID-19 vaccine trial to cost under Rs 1,000 per dose, says Adar Poonawalla
The COVID-19 vaccine, designed and developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, will cost under Rs 1,000 per shot, said Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India. He stated that the world's largest vaccine manufacturer will start phase-III human clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine in India from August with 4,000-5,000 volunteers.
The inoculation, designed by the University of Oxford and developed by UK-based biopharma company AstraZeneca, was found to be safe, prompting a strong immune response in over a thousand people it was administered to in early human trials.
9.45 AM: Serum to make 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidate
Serum Institute of India to make at least 1 billion doses Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine after all the necessary approvals. "We are in the process of applying for a licence to start clinical trials of the vaccine, after which we will start manufacturing the vaccine in large volumes. For that, we might have to hold back our work on other products," said Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, speaking during an online discussion organised by the women's wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
9.34 AM: Clinical trials of Covaxin start in India
The clinical trials of Covaxin being indigenously developed in India are being conducted throughout the country. Phase 1 and 2, involving 1,800 volunteers will be conducted at 12 clinical sites across the nation, including AIIMS Patna and Delhi. The clinical trials first started in Post-Graduate Institute (PGI) of Medical Sciences in Rohtak on July 17, after which AIIMS Delhi conducted the trials on July 20. Covaxin is being developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).
9.20 AM: COVID-19 vaccine candidates in India
In India, at least seven companies have joined the list of hundreds of foreign firms for vaccine development against COVID-19. Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila, Indian Immunologicals, Nynvax, Panacea Biotec, and Biological E are among the domestic pharmaceutical firms working on the COVID-19 vaccine.
9.15 AM: Ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccine: Russia
Russia has claimed that it is ready to roll out its COVID-19 vaccine by next month. The Russian Defence Ministry, which is developing the inoculation, has successfully completed its phase-II human trials. This led the country's First Deputy Defense Minister Ruslan Tsalikov to say that the country's first domestic vaccine is ready for use. He added that the trial involving a second group of volunteers ended on Monday, with all of them developing immunity from coronavirus and feeling fine. However, he did not mention when the large-scale phase-III trials would take place or when the vaccine production may begin.
9.09 AM: Serum Institute to enrol 5,000 as part of vaccine trial in India
Vaccine major Serum Institute of India's CEO Adar Poonawalla has said that the company will apply for COVID-19 vaccine trials within a week and will soon begin manufacturing the vaccine, developed by Oxford University, in large volumes. "The trials have shown promising results and we are extremely happy about it. We will be applying for licensure trials with the Indian regulator in a week's time. As soon as they grant us permission, we will begin with the trials for the vaccine in India. In addition, we will soon start manufacturing the vaccine in large volumes," said Poonawalla. He says the phase 3 clinical trials will start in August. Around 4,000-5,000 participants will take part in the trial. UK-based biopharma company AstraZeneca and Oxford University have chosen the Serum Institute to manufacture the vaccine once it is ready. Oxford scientists have said that they plan to begin human trials (of the vaccine) in India soon.
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