In the latest update, a coronavirus vaccine candidate tested by American firm Pfizer and German biotech major BioNTech SE has been found to generate antibodies in people, a study showed. The research also said that the antibodies generated in participants after receiving two shots of the vaccine candidate were more than in patients receiving convalescent plasma from patients recovered from coronavirus infection. The study in the preprint server medRxiv mentioned the preliminary clinical data for the candidate vaccine -- nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA), BNT162b1.
"I was glad to see Pfizer put up their phase 1 trial data today. Virus neutralizing antibody titers achieved after two doses are greater than convalescent antibody titers," Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist from Baylor College of Medicine in the US tweeted.
As of now, there is no approved vaccine for coronavirus infection all across the world. There are 16 vaccine candidates currently in late-stage clinical trials among the 140 vaccines in different stages of development to fight coronavirus, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Among the frontrunners in the vaccine race, as identified by WHO, are the candidates developed by Oxford University - AstraZeneca and Moderna Inc. Moderna has also entered into a deal with Catalent for large-scale manufacturing of its vaccine candidate. Catalent is already in partnership with Johnson and Johnson as well as AstraZeneca. Sanofi, Inovio, Sinovac and CanSino are some of the major companies to have made significant progress.
Even as early trials by many of these candidate vaccines have shown encouraging results, a clearer picture can only emerge when a diverse population gets tested. Meanwhile, India's coronavirus tally touched 6,25,544 with the biggest single-day increase of 20,903 cases, while the death count rose to 18,213, according to the latest data.
Meanwhile, back in India, days after Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, another potential coronavirus vaccine has received approval from India's drug regulator for human clinical trials. Pharma major Zydus Cadila earlier today said that its plasmid DNA vaccine candidate for coronavirus has got the nod of the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) to begin Phase I and II (combined) human clinical trials. The vaccine is being developed locally at its Vaccine Technology Centre in Ahmedabad. The vaccine has successfully completed the preclinical phase.
The Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech's vaccine candidate COVAXIN had earlier this week received permission for advancing to human trials. COVAXIN is India's first vaccine candidate for COVID-19, developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - National Institute of Virology (NIV). Human clinical trials are scheduled to begin across India in July.