The race for a coronavirus vaccine is continuing at break neck pace as cases mount across the world.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are 16 vaccine candidates currently in late-stage clinical trials among the 140 vaccines in different stages of development to fight COVID-19.
Of these 16 vaccine candidates, five are being researched in China, three in the US, two in the UK, and one each in Australia, Germany, and Russia.
But the big question is how far away is coronavirus vaccine? And what's the status of trials?
While many scientists and researchers anticipate that a safe and effective vaccine may take 12-18 months to develop, several others believe that if a medicine is formulated before the end of the year, it would be the fastest vaccine development in the world.
With the news of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine in its last-stage trial, the world is hopeful of an earlier than expected arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Here are the latest developments on COVID-19 vaccine trials:-
- Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine
According to the latest reports, the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate has emerged as a frontrunner in the race to find an effective cure for coronavirus. The British drugmaker has already started conducting phase III human trials of its AZD1222 (formerly known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) vaccine candidate. Around 800 people will be administered the vaccine. The developers have inked a deal to manufacture 10 crore doses of the vaccine. Brazil announced on Saturday that it had signed a $127 million deal to locally produce the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Moderna coronavirus vaccine
American biotech company Moderna, which has begun phase II trials for its vaccine candidate mRNA-1273, has collaborated with drugmaker Catalent Inc to manufacture 100 million doses starting in the third quarter of 2020. Final-stage trials of the Moderna vaccine are all set to begin in July, with tests slated to be conducted on 30,000 people.
- CanSino vaccine
China's military has received greenlight to use a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by its research unit and CanSino Biologics after clinical trials proved it was safe and somewhat efficient, the company said on Monday. The Ad5-nCoV is one of the eight vaccine candidates being developed by Chinese companies and researchers approved to be moved into human trials. The shot also won approval for human testing in Canada. China's Central Military Commission approved the use of the vaccine by the military on June 25 for a period of one year, CanSino said in a filing. The vaccine candidate was developed jointly by CanSino and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology in the Academy of Military Medical Sciences.
- Sanofi-GSK coronavirus vaccine
French pharma major Sanofi, which has developed a COVID-19 vaccine candidate with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), recently announced that it plans to start phase 1 of its clinical trial by the end of the year. If the first stage results turnout to be positive, the company will also get the approval for mass production in the second half of 2021. Sanofi is using one of GSK's proprietary additives, a compound that drives the immune response, with this vaccine. The French drugmaker plans to manufacture 10 crore doses in 2020 and another 100 crore in 2021.
Sanofi also announced that it will invest $425 million in US start-up Translate Bio to broaden its vaccine development venture.
- BNTECH-Pfizer vaccine
German company BNTECH has tied up with US-based drugmaker Pfizer for developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Their vaccine candidate is based on messenger RNA technology, similar to Moderna. Tests for the same are being conducted on volunteers in Germany and the US. The vaccine is in phase one of its clinical trials with the first set of results likely in the coming weeks. Pfizer expects to start commercial production of vaccine by October 2020.
- Novavax vaccine
American vaccine development company Novavax is carrying out human trials of its protein-based NVX-CoV2373 candidate vaccine in Australia. The results are expected by July. Novavax plans to manufacture 10 crore doses by this year and 150 crore in 2021.