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Coronavirus vaccine, drug: Latest updates from around the world

BusinessToday.In     June 16, 2020

As researchers across the globe work together to find a coronavirus vaccine, pharma companies have also intensified their efforts to find a drug that can help in the treatment. Latest vaccine-related developments include Moderna saying the efficacy results of its COVID vaccine could be out by Thanksgiving and Chinese company Sinovac entering Phase 3 of its trials.

As for medicinal treatment, IISc in Bengaluru has said that there are 29 drugs that can be used for the virus. In the US, the US drug regulator has revoked its decision to treat coronavirus patients with hydroxychloroquine.

Here are the latest updates from across the world on the development of coronavirus vaccine and drug:


Moderna: US biotech firm Moderna has said that it will enter the final stage of clinical trials with 30,000 people participants in July. Moderna's framework for the study was approved by the US FDA. Moderna has received $483 million (382 million pounds) in US government funding.

AstraZeneca: British drugmaker AstraZeneca has reached a deal with New Jersey-based Catalent to help with the final stages of the manufacturing of coronavirus.  As part of their agreement, Catalent will help AstraZeneca to produce millions of doses in August 2020, if the vaccine receives full regulatory approval. Last week,  AstraZeneca and Emergent BioSolutions signed a deal for $87 million to manufacture the Oxford University's adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine.

Sinovac: Chinese pharma firm Sinovac Biotech has reported positive preliminary data from the Phase I/II clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, named as CoronaVa. Sinovac Biotech chairman, president and CEO Weidong Yin also stated that the Phase I/II study shows CoronaVac was safe and could induce an immune response.  Last week Brazil announced that Instituto Butantan had signed a deal with Sinovac to produce an experimental coronavirus vaccine. The tests would begin in July. If proven effective, the corona vaccine would be produced in Brazil.

Pfizer: US Pharmaceutical firm Pfizer has claimed the coronavirus vaccine will be ready by the end of October 2020. The pharma firm is conducting clinical trials in the US and Europe for the BNT162 vaccine programme.

Johnson & Johnson: Johnson and Johnson (J&J) human clinical trial of the coronavirus vaccine is likely to begin by the end of July. The company is hopeful of getting the green signal for its Covid-19 vaccine by early 2021. J&J has received funds from the US government's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development (BARDA) to expedite its vaccine development programme

GSK-SANOFI: UK-based GSK, in collaboration with Sanofi has planned to roll out a billion doses of coronavirus vaccine in the second half of 2021. The company said it will be using, 'adjuvant' technologies along with Sanofi's protein-bases antigen technology both to scale vaccine doses. GSK has invested 4 billion pounds in its vaccine over the last 10 years.


The US FDA withdrew the emergency use authorisation of anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The FDA said these drugs might not be effective to cure the virus infections and lead to greater risks than any potential benefits.

Antiviral remdesivir has been placed on top of the possible contenders for coronavirus drugs. According to experts, Remdesivir has helped people recover faster, and is lowering the death rate among critically ill patients. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April, Remdesivir mimics the genetic material of the coronavirus. When the virus copies its RNA or genetic material, the drug replaces some of the pathogen's building blocks.

Intial results had shown that patients who received remdesivir experienced a 31 per cent faster recovery time.

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine: UK to begin trial of latest candidate this week

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine, drug: Patanjali claims to find cure; Johnson & Johnson nears human trials

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