Many potential treatments have shown promising results in the clinical trial stage, while some are carrying on production. We recap all the recent development as the world waits for a COVID-19 vaccine with bated breath:
AstraZeneca close to "rolling out" vaccineBritish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, who has joined hands with the University of Oxford was one of the first ones to produce a vaccine prototype which reached the clinical trial stage. After early hiccups and observations, the researchers have now said that they are all set to "roll out" their vaccine candidate for the masses in the months of September or October, with production for two million doses underway.
Oxford vaccine gets the go-ahead for clinical trials in Brazil
The news comes after researchers producing the vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 got approvals to start mid-scale trials in Brazil, which is one of the worst affected countries in the world.
In a statement, its chief executive said that developments are on track,
“Our present assumption is that we will have the data by the end of the summer, by August, so in September we should know whether we have an effective vaccine or not.”
AstraZeneca signs pacts with US, UK for vaccine production
The British drugmaker has signed a pact to produce upto 400 million doses for America, 100 million for the United Kingdom and more for developing and low-income countries if human trials see positive results going forward.
Japan hopeful of producing a vaccine before 2021
Japan, which had to postpone the Olympics scheduled for 2020 has said that the officials are working round the clock to test a vaccine against COVID-19. According to reports, production is underway and plans to launch the vaccine for the population is set to roll out by the first half of 2021. Japan has also decided to pool resources with other countries to speed up production and vaccine development.
Just recently, health officials approved the usage of an experimental drug, Avigan for treatment of coronavirus, which will also be made available to other countries.
US ready to fight COVID-19 with two million vaccine doses 'ready'
The United States, which has recorded a surge of coronavirus cases in the recent months, has come ahead and said that they have procured over two million doses to be administered to prevent the spread of the virus if they meet necessary safety checks. The government has shortlisted five companies to speed up the production of an effective vaccine in the global race.
Singapore expedites work on a novel vaccine
Leading scientists from Singapore have expedited the process of vaccine development, with positive hopes of starting the human trial stage as soon as next month. The Singaporean vaccine is similar to that of the vaccine produced by Moderna Inc, which has received positive reviews in phase 1 of its clinical trials. However, even with production done in a speedy way, the Prime Minister of the country said it will take a minimum of a year or more before the vaccine becomes widely available for public consumption.
Researchers from Singapore meanwhile, have also produced a one of its kind test kit, 'cPass' which can help detect antibodies in the body and rule out chances of active coronavirus infection in just an hour.
Sanofi-GlaxoSmithKline to jointly work to develop a vaccine prototype
In a more positive development, pharma companies, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline joined hands to work on the development of a new vaccine prototype which aims to work by spiking up production of antibodies in the body. As per the partnership, Sanofi will be contributing the Spike protein COVID antigen, while GlaxoSmithKline will be making use of its technology to trigger an immune response in the body and effectively "neutralize" the virus.
The vaccine prototype, which will be soon entering the clinical trial stage is expected to be available for the masses by the second half of 2020, the two companies promised.
China to deploy vaccines soon; clinical trials underway
China, which is leading the way in the race with work on five vaccine prototypes has ramped up production. Even as pre-clinical and other relevant clinical studies are underway for the same, latest reports suggest that the country, which was the first to be hit by the pandemic will start administrating the vaccine to people 'at-risk' and necessary dosing and safety guidelines are being drafted for the same.
What is the status of vaccine development in China?
All of China's homegrown vaccines, five of them have reached phase II of trials, with most of them giving positive results, Sinovac Biotech's vaccine remains the most touted one.
Serum Institue of India speeding up production of vaccine
One of the largest vaccine makers in the world, Serum Institute of India (SII) has partnered with University of Oxford to ramp up trials and vaccine development so that early prototypes of the safe vaccine would be made available to developing countries as early as October 2020. The private company has also struck a deal with US biotech firm Codagenix to develop a live-attenuated vaccine (based on a weakened strain) as well as an Austrian biotech company, Themis Bioscience which is modelling a vaccine based on a measles viral strain.