Even if we get a vaccine for Covid-19 before the end of the year, it would probably be the fastest development of a vaccine in the world. The news of Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine entering a late-stage trial has raised hopes of an earlier than expected arrival of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Currently, about 140 vaccines are in different stages of trials around the world. All of them aim to contain the novel coronavirus. According to the World Health Organisation, 16 vaccines candidates have entered late-stage trials-clinical trials. Of these 16 vaccines candidate, five are being studied in China, three in the US, two in the UK and one each in Australia, Germany and Russia.
1. Latest reports say that the Oxford University-Astra-Zeneca vaccine candidate is ahead in the race with preparations for large-scale human trials. Around 800 people would be administered the Oxford University’s vaccine. The developers have already signed a deal for producing 10 crore doses of the vaccine. In another human trial in the UK, 300 people would be administered a vaccine at the Imperial College of London.
2. Astra-Zeneca has signed at least 10 deals for production and supply of its vaccine candidate called AZD1222. It was earlier known as ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. Brazil, one of the worst-affected countries by Covid-19, announced a deal for local production of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
3. Another front-runner vaccine candidate is the one being developed by American firm Moderna Inc. It has already stated phase-II trials for its vaccine candidate mRNA-1273.
4. Moderna has signed an agreement with drugmaker Catalent Inc to manufacture 10 crore doses of its vaccine. The production is expected to begin by the end of September this year. Moderna plans final stage trials of its vaccine on 30,000 people starting in July.
5. Catalent will be responsible for packaging, labelling, storing and distributing the Covid-19 vaccine. Catalent is also in partnership with AstraZeneca, and Johnson and Johnson, whose candidate vaccine is in pre-clinical trial stage.
6. Sanofi-GlaxoSmithKline is another player in the Covid-19 vaccine candidate trials. Sanofi — a French company — has tied up with British pharmaceutical firm GSK for development and production of vaccines. Sanofi has said it is working on multiple vaccine candidates and plans to produce 10 crore doses in 2020 and another 100 crore in 2021.
7. German firm BNTECH is in partnership with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for producing their Covid-19 vaccine. Their vaccine candidate is based on messenger-RNA technology for which tests are being conducted on volunteers in Germany and the US. Pfizer hopes to begin commercial production of vaccine by October 2020.
8. Chinese company Sinovac Biotech has said it is ready for phase-III trials of its inactivated vaccine called CoronaVac in China and Brazil. It said the trials of the first two phases showed the vaccine candidate is safe.
9. Another Chinese company CanSino Biologics has claimed that its vaccine candidate Ad5 has triggered immune response among more than 80 per cent participants within seven days of being administered the vaccine.
10. US-based biotech firm Novavax is conducting human trials of its protein-based NVX-CoV2373 candidate vaccine in Australia. It expects results of trials to be known by July. Animal testing showed effective results even with low doses. Novavax plans to produce 10 crore doses this year and 150 crore in 2021.