Chinese vaccine company CanSino Biologics Inc is in the process of developing a potential vaccine for Coronavirus and is being considered by WHO as one of the top contenders. The vaccine being created is Adenovirus Type 5 Vector using a Non-Replicating Viral Vector platform. The Ad5-nCoV vaccine candidate have begun the process of clinical trials in the month of April and Phase 1 will end in December 2020. CanSino Biologics Inc has a good history as it has already manufactured an approved vaccine for Ebola.
This Beijing based company is working on China’s most promising vaccine candidate for Coronavirus. It has already completed phase 1 including the first dosing of the vaccine for the volunteers. Its earlier vaccine candidate PiCoVacc had successfully induced virus-specific neutralizing antibodies in trials on animals.
The trial was done by injecting two different doses of the potential vaccine into eight monkeys, four of which were given high dosage while the other four were given low dosage.
The monkeys with the high dosage were largely protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection and were left with no detectable traces of the virus in their lungs. However, those given low dosage had an increased viral load in their bodies, but it appeared to control on its own.
Sinovac had earlier created a vaccine against SARS but production had to be stopped at phase 1 as the disease was contained.
University of Oxford
University of Oxford is currently developing a potential coronavirus vaccine with the collaboration of UK-based AstraZeneca. The vaccine ‘ChAdOx1 nCoV-19’ was created within three months by the University’s Jenner Institute. For making the vaccine work, a weakened strain of common cold virus (adenovirus) was used that causes infections in chimpanzees.
A clinical trial on humans has already started since late April. The medical experts conducted an important trial on monkeys in which six monkeys were infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus and the potential vaccine has shown to prevent damage to the lungs. A late-stage clinical trial is expected to begin by the middle of this year.
Sanofi is a French pharmaceutical group that initially said that the US will be the first to be given access to the vaccine whenever it develops as “the US government invested in taking the risk.” The US agency Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority were the first ones to give funding to Sanofi’s vaccine research. However, this lead to a backlash from the French government, after which a statement was released by the company that the vaccine will be available for all the nations.
According to reports, Sanofi is using an existing technology, designed for influenza, to apply it to the new virus that causes COVID-19 disease. The official website of the company further states that the candidate vaccine will enter clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and will become available by the second half of 2021.
British American Tobacco (BAT)
The cigarette company British American Tobacco is also developing a vaccine using protein from tobacco leaves that hopes to conduct a human trial. The company stated that its experimental vaccine showed a positive immune response in pre-clinical trials and now is pending approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to proceed to phase 1 trial on humans.
The Indian status of COVID-19 vaccine
India will start clinical trials of its Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine on 6000 high-risk individuals. It will be conducted for understanding its safety and efficacy in boosting immunity against Coronavirus and whether or not the BCG shots will reduce the severity of the disease.
This (BCG) vaccine is generally used against tuberculosis for boosting the immunity of the individual.
Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) is in collaboration with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for developing a vaccine. One of the world’s largest vaccine maker of the world by volume, Pune’s Serum Institute of India is working with the University of Oxford for making millions of potential coronavirus vaccine doses. The Indian government has also allocated Rs 100 crore from the PM-CARES fund for the production of a COVID vaccine.