Coronavirus vaccine update: The race to launch COVID-19 vaccine is heating up. Companies in different stages of trials are preparing for a full-scale launch of their vaccine candidates to meet the global demand as coronavirus cases continue to surge. In the latest development in the vaccine world, German biotech firm CureVac has revealed its vaccine candidate has triggered an immune response during its phase 1 trials. The UK government has also started the process of the rolling review of AstraZeneca's potential coronavirus vaccine in real-time. US pharmaceutical giant has also started the final review of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Let's take a look at the latest updates on vaccine development across the world.
CureVac's experimental COVID-19 vaccine, called CVnCoV, triggered an immune response in humans, the German biotech firm said on Monday. The company has also put in place plans to start mass testing this year. "We are very encouraged by the interim Phase I data," Chief Executive Officer Franz-Werner Haas said in a statement. The biotech firm is using the so-called messenger RNA (mRNA) approach, the same as Moderna as well as BioNTech and its partner Pfizer, although they started mass testing on humans in late July. CureVac said its vaccine candidate has shown good results during initial phases and it now plans to launch the final stage of testing. The last stage trial is expected to involve over 30,000 participants.
AstraZeneca's experimental COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most advanced candidates in the race against the novel coronavirus. Many countries, including India, have high hopes from Oxford vaccine candidate. The British drugmaker has signed many supply and manufacturing deals with companies and governments around the world. In India, it has partnered with the world's largest vaccine maker, Serum Institute of India, for the development of the vaccine.
The vaccine is being developed by the University of Oxford. It was licenced to AstraZeneca in April for production on the mass scale. The vaccine is expected to be one of the first from big pharma to secure regulatory approval, along with Pfizer and BioNTech's candidate.
The company has said that the UK's MHRA's (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) has started review of its potential COVID-19 vaccine. During the regulatory rolling review, regulators can see clinical data in real-time. They also take note of the production process and rollout plans before granting approval for mass production.
Bharat Biotech has also said that it is planning to launch its vaccine candidate in the second quarter next year. The company is now preparing to seek the requisite approvals from the Indian regulatory authorities. Currently, Bharat BioTech is conducting Phase 2 trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in India. The company's vaccine candidate - Covaxin- has been developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV).
"If we get all the approvals after establishing strong experimental evidence and data, and efficacy and safety data in our last stage of trials, we aim to launch the vaccine in Q2 of 2021," Bharat Biotech International Executive Director Sai Prasad told PTI. The company is expected to start the Phase 3 trials this month after as soon as it gets approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).
With inputs from Reuters