Positive development for Indian COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna moves to second phase testing

  • 1 month ago
It has officially been more than six months since the COVID-19 pandemic, since it started to spread.
 
According to the latest figures, the infection cases have breached the 6 million mark, with 1,98,700 cases reported out of India alone.
 
The rising number of cases across the world have paved the way for speedy clinical trials as the hunt for an effective vaccine or cure continues. Experts still suggest that it could take anywhere between 12-16 months for the world to get a ready vaccine to counter the virus. Even so, more than 110 groups around the world are in contention to manufacture a vaccine right now. Some have advanced to the second phase, while others are experimenting with alternative medicines. We give you an update on the latest round of development of the most promising vaccines right now.
 
Bharat Biotech Vaccine study shows promising results
 
The vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has shown positive development with lead researchers pinpointing the next month as the most "crucial" stage. While the makers haven't let a word out on the status of human trials, they have high hopes on the working of the vaccine, which is modelled on building up the body's immunity. In a statement given to IANS, CEO Dr Krishna Mohan Ella said, "The vaccine development is moving in a positive direction. The next month is very crucial. I am a scientist and I believe in science."
 
Even though the latest developments are promising and first of a kind for any Indian company, it could take anywhere between 6-12 months before we see the vaccine ready and dosing starts.
 
How does Bharat Biotech vaccine work?
 
The vaccine under works has been developed by isolating a spike protein and increase production of antibodies to fight against the spread.
 
The vaccine maker has also started testing another vaccine, CoroFlu against COVID-19, which has been developed in collaboration with global virologists and researchers.
 
What other vaccine trials are underway in India?
 
Apart from this, there are seven other Indian vaccines in the works which have been okayed by the WHO, some of which are all set to proceed to the human clinical trial phase. Serum Institue of India, amongst them, has partnered with Oxford University in their vaccine clinical trials.
 
Moderna vaccine enters the second stage
 
US-based Moderna Therapeutic's innovative messenger RNA-1273 prototype is being seen as one of the most promising contenders globally. The pharma group has proceeded to conduct stage 2 of the clinical trials and has started dosing patients accordingly, a statement released by the company said. In the second phase of its trial and plans to enrol around 600 more patients moving forward.
 
How safe is Moderna's vaccine
 
Early data collated from the first phase of the vaccine trial have been by and large successful which showed that mRNA-1272 spike protein was able to speed up the production of neccessary antibodies in healthy patients. If deemed effective, the pharmaceutical giant plans to start mass-scale production to fight the ongoing battle.
 
Examining possible side-effects
 
While the vaccine is being tested in a speedy way, just last week, the vaccine makers hit a low when a report observed possible side-effects in volunteers who had taken part in the trial. One of the patients who had taken part in a trial reported getting chills, nausea and aching cramps and muscle pain after getting the second dosage for the same. The critical observations are being looked onto for the same.
 
Russia to start testing clinical drug, vaccine trial underway
 
Russia, which has recorded the third-highest number of COVID-19 positive cases has made steady developments in medical intervention. While the country plans to start administrating the first country produced coronavirus drug, Avifavir to patients starting June 11, plans are underway to kickstart clinical trials for another vaccine in the next two weeks and standard testing is underway.
 
One of the companies behind the production of the Russian vaccine is state-run Vektor Institue, Siberia, who are positive about complete clinical trials by September. Animal trials have already started for the same.
 
Sinovac 99% sure of vaccine working against COVID-19
 
The Chinese pharma company, Sinovac Biotech, who has been working on producing a vaccine earmarked CoronaVac are hopeful of getting good results and have even said that they are 99% sure that the vaccine could help curb the spread of the virus.
 
Just like its competitors, the company too is in stage 2 of trials. The vaccine has shown promising results in the first phase where it was tested on monkeys and if reports are to go by, stage 3 trials will be kickstarted in parts of the United Kingdom soon enough. They have already received neccessary funding and factory space to spruce up productions if all the safety checks are passed going forward.
 
More vaccines under development in China
 
Interestingly, there are many more vaccines are in the work in China and over 5 of these have reached the human trial stage. Another promising vaccine candidate is being jointly developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products and China National Biotec Group Co. Phase 2 testing is underway and if neccessary approvals are received, the vaccine can be ready for sale by the end of the year or early year. Experts say that the vaccine will employ the use of a killed novel coronavirus strain which will help trigger an immune response in the body once injected.
 
Status of CanSino vaccine
 
CanSino vaccine, which is developed by a China-based company also became the first of its kind to proceed to stage 2 of the study and for its preliminary results to get peer-reviewed. In the testing done so far, participants who received a single dose of the vaccine produced certain immune cells, called T cells, within two weeks while the antibodies needed for immunity peaked at 28 days.
 
Patanjali group kickstarts Ayurveda clinical trials
 
While on one hand traditional vaccine makers are experimenting with prototypes in the development phase, yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali group has also entered the race to hunt for a preventive vaccine to fight COVID-19. The company, which is basing its trials on Ayurvedic supplements have got the ready approvals and are now proceeding to start the tests. In the first phase, the tests will be done in cities like Indore and Jaipur.
 
Using Ayurveda herbs for coronavirus
 
The company has said that they will be focussing on finding a cure for COVID-19, instead of just simply building the body's immunity. They have screened more than 1000 phytochemicals (including those with anti-viral properties like ashwagandha, giloy, tulsi) which could control or suppress virus entry into the cells. The company's director, Acharya Balkrishna has also said that they have successfully treated many COVID-19 affected patients with ayurvedic medicines.

Source: TOI

Comments