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How soon can we expect coronavirus vaccine? Crucial data expected by October-end

BusinessToday.In     September 30, 2020

Given the rising cases of COVID-19, there is tremendous pressure on pharma companies to develop a vaccine. There are around 40 different coronavirus vaccines in clinical trials. Those being developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford University, Novavax, Moderna, Pfizer Inc and Johnson & Johnson are already in an advanced stage of testing. Some of COVID-19 vaccine developers may release interim data from their final stage trials over the next few weeks.

Recently, Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech said that the companies expect phase 3 data by the end of October and that an FDA application could soon follow. The company had enrolled more than 35,000 participants for phase 3 trial, and more than 24,000 had received their second doses. It aims to expand its trial to 44,000 participants.

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While results from late-stage clinical trials of US-based Moderna Inc's coronavirus vaccine candidate is also expected soon after, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax have recently started their phase 3 trials and could release data over next few months.

Meanwhile, clinical trials of the University of Oxford's potential COVID-19 vaccine that has been licensed to AstraZeneca have resumed in the United Kingdom after a brief safety pause. AstraZeneca, that had paused its trials after observing a single event of an unexplained illness in the UK phase 3 trial, resumed trials after the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority confirmed that the testing are safe. Serum Institute of India, which has partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine candidate, is conducting phase 3 trials in India.

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Among other vaccine candidates that are being tested in India includes Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D. Bharat Biotech's vaccine candidate is in phase 2 of trials, while Zydus Cadila is waiting nod for starting phase 3 clinical trials for its vaccine.

By Chitranjan Kumar

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