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Coronavirus vaccine: Moderna to start final phase in July; AstraZeneca signs $87 million deal

Coronavirus vaccine update: Moderna has said that it has selected a dose for the final stage of clinical trials. It estimated that the trials would begin in July

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | June 13, 2020 | Updated 15:05 IST
Coronavirus vaccine: Moderna to start final phase in July; AstraZeneca signs $87 million deal
Coronavirus crisis: AstraZeneca signs $87 million deal

Companies from across the globe have partnered up in the search for a coronavirus vaccine. Pharma company AstraZeneca has signed a $87 million deal with Emergent Biosolutions to manufacture Oxford University's corona vaccine while Brazil's Instituto Butantan has reached an agreement with China's Sinovac to create a COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, Moderna has said that it would start the final phase of clinical trials in July, as China's Sinopharm has cleared the animal trials. Additionally, Brussels has decided to pump billions of euros into advance purchase deals with pharmaceutical companies.

Here are the latest updates from across the world on coronavirus vaccine developments:

Leading pharma company Moderna has said that it has selected a dose for the final stage of clinical trials. It estimated that the trials would begin in July. Moderna's clinical trial for the possible coronavirus vaccine would include 30,000 people and would be conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The corona vaccine would be tested for preventing COVID symptoms.

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine update: China inches closer; Japan sets June 2021 target

AstraZeneca and Emergent BioSolutions have signed a deal for $87 million to manufacture the Oxford University's adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine. As part of the deal, Emergent would reserve large-scale manufacturing capacity for the candidate. It would also aid AstraZeneca in achieving its aim of producing more than 2 billion doses by 2021.

Brazil announced that Instituto Butantan has signed a deal with Sinovac to produce an experimental coronavirus vaccine. The tests for the same would begin in July and would include around 9,000 Brazilians. If proven effective, the corona vaccine would be produced in Brazil. "Today is a historic day for Sao Paulo, Brazil and world science. The vaccine that Butantan will produce is one of the most advanced," said Sao Paulo Governor Joao Doria.

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine update: Indian firm Panacea to make vaccine; Serum Institute puts in $100 million

Additionally, Israeli researchers have identified molecules that may lead to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, as stated by Bar Ilan University in Central Israel. BIU researchers have examined antigen molecules that could provoke an immune response of antibody production.

Chinese pharma company Sinopharm has cleared the animal trials. Sinopharm researchers picked one viral strain from a patient that showed optimal ability to replicate to make the coronavirus vaccine. The researchers evaluated mice and rhesus macaques for their findings.

The potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has reached human trial stage. The first phase of the trials taking place in Rochester would take six to eight weeks. If the vaccine works, it would simulate the recipients immune system to produce antigens to fight against the disease.

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine: Sun Pharma starts Phase 2 of trials; PM Modi pledges $15 million to GAVI

Brussels has planned to pump billions of euros into advance purchase deals with pharmaceutical companies. The EU has proposed a "large majority" of their 2.7 billion euros emergency fund to help in the efforts to fight coronavirus.

Moreover, some scientists have proposed existing vaccines be repurposed to fight coronavirus. Researchers in Israel, the Netherlands, and Australia are investigating if tuberculosis vaccine could help in the fight against COVID-19. US scientists are also looking at polio vaccines for an answer.

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine update: CCMB develops new low-cost COVID-19 tests

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