As coronavirus continues its deadly march across the world, companies and research organisations are under immense pressure to produce an effective vaccine to counter COVID-19. Right now, over 100 experimental COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of development, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). From US-based Moderna Inc to China's CanSino Pharmaceuticals Inc -- some of the world's biggest companies are in the race to develop the coronavirus vaccine.
As per the latest development, China's state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and Administration Commission (SASAC) has claimed that its vaccine will be ready in the market by the end of this year. The vaccine has been developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and Beijing Institute of Biological Products. As per the claim, over 2,000 people have already received initial doses of the vaccine under Phase II of the trial. Both these companies are affiliated to China's state-owned Sinopharm, which comes under SASAC.
If successful, over 100-120 million doses of the vaccine from the Beijing Institute of Biological Products' vaccine could be produced in a year, the company claims. In total, there are over five vaccine candidates in different stages of development in China alone.
India has also made significant strides in the search for a viable coronavirus vaccine. According to the government, around 30 groups are working across the country to come up with a vaccine candidate. The national science laboratories have also rounded up six corona vaccine candidates that are making quite some progress. India is optimistic that a COVID-19 vaccine would be concocted in a year, instead of 10-15 years that is usually taken to find a vaccine.
India's Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology research has successfully isolated the virus from several isolates. What this would enable the researchers at the CCMB to do is culture the virus and work towards vaccine development. The cultures would then be used in drug screening and could be tested against potential drugs in test tubes.
Pune-based SII is one of the leading contenders in the search for a corona vaccine. The largest vaccine producer is working with the University of Oxford to find a safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccine. Oxford is conducting clinical trials and SII is speeding up work to ensure that doses of the same are available as early as October. ICMR and Bharat Biotech are working with the Thomas Jefferson University of Philadelphia for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is currently testing a "repurposed" vaccine, Sepsivac by Zydus Cadila, which is in Phase 2 of the coronavirus drug trial. It is looking to seek approval from the drug controller for wider use of the antidote.