The most promising vaccines against the coronaviru

Since the declaration of the SARS – Cov 02 pandemic, that has caused millions of deaths all around the world and provoked a financial tsunami of extraordinary proportions, the pharmaceutical industry is working against the clock to develop a vaccine that neutralizes the pathogen.

But the challenge to find a solution is not limited to discovering a effective vaccine against the virus in the shortest possible timeframe, but also that it has to go quickly into production on a global scale, and, once those challenges are met, to guarantee the implementation of mass vaccination programs to all of the population. While on average it takes yeas to develop a vaccine, a coordinated effort between public and private entities all around the world is succeeding in shorten the time spent in research. On the other hand, there are stages that cannot be shortened.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged a total of 142 projects directed at developing a vaccine, of which 13 are on the clinical trials phase. Here below we take a quick look at the most advanced ones, in which stage of development they are and who’s sponsoring them.

The frontrunner is the one sponsored by the Jenner Institute of the University of Oxford (UK) in collaboration with the British pharma AstraZeneca. The vaccine is at phase 2b of the clinical trials and their researchers estimate a probability of success of 80% and optimistically forecasting it can be available by the end of this year, even though for a limited usage. Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands have agreed with the company to administer up to 400 million doses that would be made available throughout the European Union.

Also on phase 2 we can find the research being promoted by the US biotech Moderna in conjunction with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) (USA), which is expected to go onto phase 3 during the month of July, with an universe of 30.000 individuals. The objective of the vaccine, according to a release from the company, is to prevent the Covid-19 symptoms to develop, as well as that the disease progress into critical stages and the patients have to be hospitalized.

The pharma lab Sinopharm in collaboration with the Wuhan Virology Institute (China) has recently announced that during the month of July is will start to perform some phase 3 clinical trials at the United Arab Emirates. The Chinses pharmaceutical has stated that hers is the first candidate of a vaccine that has favorable safety and immunogenicity – the capacity to develop a reaction on the immunological system.

Some other optimistic research is being conducted by the Chinese pharma Cansino Biological at the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology (China), that has tests at the phase 2 level with promising results, according to their sponsors. A study published by the prestigious The Lancet medical magazine has shown that the vaccine has proven to be safe and that it generated an immunological response during the tests. 

Side by side to those four promising projects, there are other candidates on phase 1 of their trials.

Sinopharm/Instituto de Productos biológicos de Pekín (China). Phase 1/2

Sinovac (China). Phase 1/2

BioNtech /Fosun Pharma / Phizer (Alemania y Estados Unidos). Phase 1/2

Inovio Pharmaceuticals (Estados Unidos). Phase 1

Novavax (Estados Unidos). Phase 1/2

Instituto de Biología Médica (China). Phase 1

Imperial College de Londres (Reino Unido). Phase 1

Gamaleya Research Institute (Rusia). Phase 1

Curevac (Alemania). Phase 1

Despite all of the hopeful positive results, the WHO maintains a cautious posture, warning that a vaccine will not be available for this year as independently to the expectations of a fast development there are deadlines to be respected that cannot be shortened, while stating that good news about treatments are expected to be made public in the next couple of weeks.

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