Lancet editor tweets Oxford Covid-19 vaccine results to be out today, while Covaxin gets AIIMS Delhi approval for human clinical trials
As the world eagerly waits for a vaccine to combat the coronavirus which has ravaged through the world resulting in more than 600,000 deaths, there was buzz in the medical fraternity after the editor of medical journal The Lancet wrote on Twitter that he will announce the results of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine study.
Globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is tracking around 140 candidate vaccines, of which around 24 are in various phases of human clinical trials.
Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech is moving into phase III trials in Brazil while University of Oxford and pharma major AstraZeneca is in a combine phase II/III trial in the United Kingdom and has recently gone into phase III trials in South Africa and Brazil.
Among other major players, German firm BioNTech is collaborating with pharma giant Pfizer to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. The two pharmaceutical companies have received fast track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for two investigational vaccine candidates being developed to help protect against the virus — SarS-CoV-2.
Meanwhile, Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has reportedly said it would start human trials of the Oxford- AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine candidate from next month. Earlier in July, the company’s CEO Adar Poonawalla had said that SII is hoping to develop a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020. Poonawalla told news agency Press Trust of India that SII is focusing on a ‘good and safe’ product and is not in a rush.
Apart from Oxford’s vaccine, the pharmaceutical firm is working on several candidates for coronavirus, including a live attenuated vaccine in association with US-based biotech firm Codagenix. According to Poonawalla, the experimental vaccine is presently in pre-clinical trials.
SII has signed a deal with AstraZeneca to exclusively manufacture and supply 1 billion doses of Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine to India and Gavi countries. The vaccine, which was developed by Oxford’s Jenner Institute, is already in large-scale phase 3 clinical trials to see whether it can protect humans from the highly infectious virus.
Around seven Indian pharmaceutical firms are working to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, joining global efforts to find a cure for the deadly virus.
In a positive development, the Bharat Biotech and Indian Council of Medical Research’s vaccine candidate has received approval from the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) for human clinical trials.
Covaxin would be tested on 100 healthy individual volunteers, who will be kept under observation for almost five months, news agency IANS reported. Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR, and NIV, Pune.
UK government signs deals for 90 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine
The United Kingdom government has signed pacts for 90 million doses of promising Covid-19 vaccines that are being developed.
The coronavirus vaccines are being researched by an alliance between the pharmaceutical companies BioNtech and Pfizer as well as the firm Valneva.
The new deal is in addition to the 100 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca.
Although it is still uncertain which of the experimental vaccines may work.
Research is taking place at an unprecedented scale as a coronavirus vaccine is widely seen as the best chance of getting our lives back to normal.
The world became aware of coronavirus in early 2020, and already more than 20 vaccines are in clinical trials.
Some of the vaccines can trigger an immune response, but none has yet been proven to protect against coronavirus infection.