Recent reports by the United Nations and World Health Organisation claimed that we are still 12 to 18 months away from developing a vaccine for the novel COVID-19, almost 30 vaccine cases are being tested in hopes of finding a preventative measure or cure for the pandemic which has uprooted countries all over the world.
“Potential Vaccine Trials”
Several vaccine cases have entered into human trials which is the fastest development among vaccines for any disease, with the first-ever human trial of a potential vaccine conducted in Seatle and developed by the National Institutes of Health.This was a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against coronavirus disease that has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle.
Another pharmaceutical company, namely Inovio, has been approved by the FDA in order to begin human trials for yet another investigational vaccine. Another such vaccine is being developed and is said to be in the pre-clinical trial stage as a result of the collaboration of the Serum Institute of India with New York-based Codagenix Incorporated.
On 3 March 2020 Friday, the biopharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech Ltd has announced that it has partnered with a US-based company called FluGen and the University of Wisconsin-Madison to help engineer a vaccine.
The vaccine developed through the partnership is called CoroFlu which is based on the
company FluGen’s existing flu vaccine M2SR. Officials from Bharat Biotech Ltd have stated that they plan on taking gene sequences from the coronavirus SARS-CoV2. These sequences will be inserted into the candidates to build additional immunity against COVID-19. It is also presumed to be a vaccine that would help influenza patients due to the similarities between the structures and sequences. Similar to the M2SR, the CoroFlu vaccine is said to be administered intranasally, that is, it will be insufflated through the nose as to have a more local and systemic effect. This method would allow the vaccines to take the natural route of both eh COVID-19 and influenza.
Bharat Biotech has agreed to largely increase production in Hyderabad to ensure proper safety and efficacy for human testing, which is presumed to be followed by human clinical trials. The team expects the CoroFlu vaccine testing on laboratory animals to take a period of three to six months and will be conducted at Wiscon-Madison University. The Bharat Biotech Head of business development Raches Ella stated that they expect the commencement of human trials by the fall of 2020.
Further as part of the partnership, Bharat Biotech has agreed to undertake the responsibilities of manufacturing the vaccine, conducting trials and preparing close to 300 million doses that can be distributed globally. FluGen Company has agreed to transfer its manufacturing systems and processes to Bharat Biotech to aid them in scaling up production.