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Covid-19 Vaccine Status: Here's All You Need To Know

Here is the latest update on COVID-19 vaccines from different pharmaceutical companies

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COVID-19 pandemic has opened up the formidable task before specialists and researchers to steadily progress in the direction of finding a reasonable antibody at the earliest as the number of cases increasing at a fast pace.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), at present, around 140 antibodies are in various phases of development around the globe, while only 16 vaccine candidates have entered the last phase of clinical trials with University of Oxford's AstraZeneca tops the list.

A typical vaccine takes years to reach chemist shops. However, Oxford University-AstraZeneca candidate has entered the phase 3 clinical trials with 8,000 volunteers already enrolled. This last-stage trail news has raised a ray of hope of early arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Here is the latest update on COVID-19 vaccines:

Oxford University-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine
A leading scientist behind the University of Oxford's potential COVID-19 vaccine said on Wednesday the team has seen the right sort of immune response in trials but declined to give a firm timeframe for when it could be ready.

Speaking at a parliamentary hearing, Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the university, said 8,000 volunteers had been enrolled for the Phase III of its trial into the vaccine, AZD1222, which was licensed to AstraZeneca.

"We're very happy that we're seeing the right sort of immune response that will give protection, and not the wrong sort," Gilbert said.

The project has started Phase III of the human trials to assess how the vaccine works in a large number of people over the age of 18, and how well the vaccine works to prevent people from becoming infected and unwell with COVID-19.

The race is on to develop a working COVID-19 vaccine, with fears that the pandemic could re-intensify towards the end of the year, in the northern hemisphere's winter season.

Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Government Vaccine Taskforce, said that, excluding the Oxford vaccine programme, she hoped there would be a breakthrough by early 2021.

Gilbert said she hoped that her Oxford vaccine would make progress earlier, but was not more specific as she said the timeline for when the vaccine might be ready depends on the results of the trial. (Reuters)

Bharat Biotech's coronavirus candidate 'Covaxin'
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted permission to Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) to conduct Phase I and II Human clinical trials to develop an indigenous vaccine for COVID-19 - in the name COVAXIN.

For this, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and BBIL had partnered to develop a fully indigenous vaccine for COVID-19 using the virus strain isolated at ICMR's National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. "The Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO)--the office of DCGI has granted permission to initiate Phase I & II Human clinical trials after the company submitted results generated from preclinical studies, demonstrating safety and immune response. Human clinical trials are scheduled to start across India in July 2020," stated the spokesperson of Bharat Biotech.

The indigenous, inactivated vaccine developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) high containment facility located in Genome Valley in Hyderabad.

BioNTech-Pfizer Vaccine
German biotech firm BioNTech and US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer joined hand to develope COVID-19 vaccine to fight with deadly virus. They have announced preliminary data from the most advanced of four investigational vaccine candidates from their BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine program, Project Lightspeed, against SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the current global pandemic. The BNT162 program is evaluating at least four experimental vaccines, each of which represents a unique combination of mRNA format and target antigen.

At day 28 (7 days after dose 2), all subjects who received 10 or 30 mg of BNT162b1 had significantly elevated RBD-binding IgG antibodies with geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) of 4,813 and 27,872 units/ml which are 8- and 46.3-times, respectively, the GMC of 602 units/ml in a panel of 38 sera of convalescent patients who had contracted SARS-CoV-2.

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Coronavirus Vaccine

An experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc showed promise and was found to be safe in an early-stage human trial, the company said on Tuesday.

The vaccine, one of 17 being tested in humans and part of the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed program, induced immune responses in 34 of the 36 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 50 years, Inovio said.

The Phase 1 clinical trial of INO-4800 initially enrolled 40 healthy adult volunteers 18 to 50 years of age at two U.S. sites with funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

The participants were enrolled into 1.0 mg and 2.0 mg dose cohorts; each participant received two doses of INO-4800 four weeks apart. Each dose was administered by intradermal injection using INOVIO's CELLECTRA® 2000 device. An independent Data Safety Monitoring Board reviewed the safety data. INO-4800 was generally safe and well-tolerated in all participants in both cohorts through week 8; all ten reported adverse events (AEs) were grade 1 in severity, and most were local injection site redness. There were no reported serious adverse events (SAEs).

In addition to positive interim Phase 1 data, INO-4800 has been shown to protect mice in SARS-CoV-2 viral challenge studies, where vaccination with INO-4800 prevented viral replication in the lungs of animals challenged with SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, INO-4800 is currently being tested in a ferret challenge model as well as in NHP challenge studies as part of Operation Warp Speed.

CanSino Biologics Coronavirus Vaccine
China's military has received the greenlight to use a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by its research unit and CanSino Biologics after clinical trials proved it was safe and showed some efficacy, the company said on Monday.

The Ad5-nCoV is one of China's eight vaccine candidates approved for human trials at home and abroad for the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus. The shot also won approval for human testing in Canada.

China's Central Military Commission approved the use of the vaccine by the military on June 25 for a period of one year, CanSino said in a filing. The vaccine candidate was developed jointly by CanSino and a research institute at the Academy of Military Science (AMS).

The Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of the CanSino's vaccine candidate showed it has the potential to prevent diseases caused by the coronavirus, which has killed half a million people globally, but its commercial success cannot be guaranteed, the company said.

(With inputs from companies' website and agencies)