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

In China, an activated experimental corona vaccine developed by scientists  has shown effective protection against COVD-19 infection in animal trials

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | June 10, 2020 | Updated 13:35 IST
Coronavirus vaccine update: Indian firm Panacea to make vaccine; Serum Institute puts in $100 million
Remdesivir is the first drug to show improvement in coronavirus in human trials.

Indian biotech firm Panacea Biotec Ltd  has said it will join the global attempts to look for a coronavirus vaccine. Panacea said on Wednesday that it would partner with US-based Refana Inc to make a potential corona vaccine. The firms aim to make more than 500 million doses of the vaccine candidate. Around 40 million doses are expected to be ready by early next year, Panacea told the stock exchanges. Upon the statement, Panacea's shares jumped 20 per cent in morning trading on NSE.

Moreover, Serum Institute of India has said that it is investing $100 million on the Oxford vaccine. The company along with pharma company AstraZeneca has said that the AZD1222 vaccine would be supplied to India as well as other low-income countries. "Our manufacturing facility is ready and we plan to start production in two months. We are spending more than $100 million for this facility. Till the trials are completed successfully for safety and efficacy, vaccines will not be distributed either in India or anywhere else in the world. Having said that we will start making a few millions of doses and stockpiling it at personal risk," said Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII.

In China, an activated experimental corona vaccine developed by scientists  has shown effective protection against COVD-19 infection in animal trials. The vaccine candidate, BBIBP-CorV, induced animal models with high levels of neutralising antibodies, according to the findings published in the journal Cell. Inactive vaccines use the killed version of germs that causes a disease or infection. Neutralising antibodies protect a cell against a pathogen or infectious particles. The paper said that 2 doses of BBIBP-CorV vaccine protects rhesus macaques.

Cancer researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in the US have used cancer tools for the development of a coronavirus vaccine. "In many ways, cancer behaves like a virus, so our team decided to use the tools we developed to identify unique aspects of childhood cancers that can be targeted with immunotherapies and apply those same tools to identify the right protein sequences to target in SARS-CoV-2," said John M. Maris, MD, at CHOP.

Additionally, Brazil, one of the most-severely impacted countries in the world has signed up for the clinical trials of the Oxford vaccine, after receiving the nod from health regulator Anvisa. Japan has said that it anticipates a COVID-19 vaccine to come into use by June 2021.

CORONAVIRUS DRUG

Gilead Sciences has said that its antiviral drug Remdesivir has prevented lung disease in macaque monkeys infected with coronavirus. In the study, 12 monkeys were deliberately infected with the virus and half of them were given early treatment of Remdesivir. Macaques that received the drug did not show any signs of respiratory disease. Remdesivir is the first drug to show improvement in coronavirus in human trials.

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