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Covid Vaccine- How close are we?

Covid Vaccine: Why did the need arise?

In December 2019, reports flocked out of central city in Wuhan, China that a new coronavirus is causing a cluster of pneumonia cases in the city. On March 11, 2020, WHO declared the coronavirus as a pandemic and since then things have changed drastically. The deadly virus has affected more than 188 countries around the globe and has taken a toll over human lives.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected more than 11 million (as of 3 July, 2020) people around the world. According to the Worldometer data, more than 6 million have recovered, yet 524,581 have succumbed to the virus. Hence, researchers are pushing forward with their efforts to develop the treatments and vaccines to slow down the pandemic and lessen the disease’s impact, as soon as possible.

As the countries go into lockdown, various industries have been facing plethora of  challenges to continue serving customers and ensuring profits. The COVID-19 pandemic is much more than a health crisis and is affecting livelihoods and econ­omies at their core. While the impact of the pandemic varies from country to country, it has increase unemployment, poverty and inequalities at a global scale. The global economies are decreasing day by day and therefore, there is a need to scale up the research, so that we can get an answer to this unprecedented situation as soon as possible.

Top Affected Countries

Country

Total Cases

Deaths

United States 2,837,237 131,485
Brazil 1,501,353 61,990
Russia 667,883 9,859
India 628,205

18,241

 

The search for COVID- 19 vaccine began in January 2020 with the deciphering of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The first vaccine human safety trials were started in March 2020, but the road ahead remains uncertain.

There are currently more than 140 projects around the world focused on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

covid vaccine

Figure 1: Number of Covid vaccines under development in different phases

Types of Covid Vaccine Developed till Date

covid vaccine

Figure 2: Types of Covid vaccine under development

 

Candidate Developer Stage
ChAdOx1-S University of Oxford/AstraZeneca Phase 3
Adenovirus Type 5 Vector Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, CanSino Biological Phase 2
LNP- encapsulated mRNA Moderna/NIAID Phase 2
Inactivated Wuhan Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm Phase 1/2
Inactivated Beijing Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm Phase 1/2
Inactivated + alum Sinovac Phase 1/2
Full length recombinant SARS CoV-2 glycoprotein nanoparticle vaccine adjuvanted with Matrix M Novavax Phase 1/2
3 LNP-mRNAs BioNTech, Fosun Pharma, Pfizer Phase 1/2
Inactivated Institute of Medical Biology , Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Phase 1
DNA plasmid vaccine with electroporation Inovio Pharmaceuticals Phase 1
DNA Vaccine (GX-19) Genexine Consortium Phase 1
Adeno-based Gamaleya Research Institute Phase 1
Native like Trimeric subunit Spike Protein vaccine Clover Biopharmaceuticals Inc./GSK/Dynavax Phase 1
Adjuvanted recombinant protein Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical, Institute of Microbiology & Chinese Academy of Sciences Phase 1
LNP-nCoVsaRNA vaccine Imperial College London Phase 1
mRNA Curevac Phase 1
mRNA People’s Liberation Army, Academy of Military Sciences, Walvax Biotech. Phase 1
Recombinant spike protein with Advax™ adjuvant

 

Medytox / Vaxine Pty Ltd

 

Phase 1

 

Table 1: Covid 19 vaccine under clinical development stage

Latest Development in Covid Vaccine

1. DCGI gives approval for India’s first Covid-19 vaccine candidate for human clinical trials

  • A prominent vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology (NIV), has been given permission by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to commence the Phase I&II human clinical trials for India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate against COVID-19 ‘Covaxin’.
  • The vaccine was developed and manufactured at the company’s BSL -III high containment facility at Genome Valley in Hyderabad.
  • The human clinical trials will initiate across India in July, 2020. Results expected to be out by October 2020, following which further clinical trials will be conducted.

2. Biontech and Pfizer’s Coronavirus vaccines has shown potential in human trials

  • Pfizer and BioNTech have announced positive preliminary results from the ongoing BNT162b1’s Phase I/II clinical trials, a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
  • It is the most advanced among the four COVID-19 vaccine candidates being evaluated as part of ‘Pfizer and BioNTech’s BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine programme’.
  • They revealed that the preliminary data demonstrated that BNT162b1 could be administered in a well-tolerated dose and it also generated dose-dependent immunogenicity,”
  • These results, along with additional data i.e. preclinical and clinical data, is expected to aid in establishing a dose level and select among various other vaccine candidates to proceed to a larger, global Phase IIb/III trial planned for the coming month.

3. Oxford University- AstraZeneca vaccine leading the race

  • The vaccine candidate, developed by Oxford University- AstraZeneca, has emerged as a frontrunner in the COVID-19 vaccine race.
  • It has already started conducting phase III clinical trials of its AZD1222 vaccine candidate.
  • The developers have signed a deal with Brazil at $127 million to locally produce the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the country.

4. Inovio Pharmaceuticals Corona Virus vaccine status

  • Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a US based company, part of the Operation Warp Speed program, recently announced that their experimental Covid-19 vaccine had shown significant results in preliminary clinical trials.
  • The firm revealed that INO-4800, a DNA vaccine, triggered an immune response in 94% volunteers who successfully completed the phase 1 clinical trial.
  • It now plans to start a combined Phase 2/3 trial to assess the vaccine’s efficacy.

5. Cansino Biologics Corona virus approved for limited use

  • The vaccine candidate, developed by Cansino Biologics, has been approved for China’s military use after human trials proved it was safe and somewhat efficient.
  • An approval to use the vaccine for the military purpose was given by Central Military Commission of China, on June 25 for an year period.
  • The Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials revealed that the candidate had the potential to prevent disease caused by coronavirus.

6. Moderna Corona virus vaccine

  • Moderna, an American biotech company, which has recently begun its phase II trials for their vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, has collaborated with Catalent Inc to manufacture 100 million doses of the vaccine. The process will commence in the third quarter of 2020.
  • Final stage clinical trials of the Moderna vaccine are all set to start in July, with tests \ to be conducted on 30,000 people.

Covid Vaccine Tracker

Platform

Type of Candidate vaccine Developer 
DNA DNA plasmid vaccine S,S1,S2,RBD &N National Research Centre, Egypt
DNA DNA with electroporation Karolinska Institute / Cobra Biologics
(OPENCORONA Project)
DNA DNA with electroporation Chula Vaccine Research Center
DNA DNA plasmid vaccine Osaka University/ AnGes/ Takara
Bio
DNA DNA Takis/Applied DNA
Sciences/Evvivax
DNA Plasmid DNA, Needle-
Free Delivery
Immunomic Therapeutics,
Inc./EpiVax, Inc./PharmaJet
DNA DNA plasmid vaccine Zydus Cadila
DNA DNA vaccine BioNet Asia
DNA DNA vaccine University of Waterloo
DNA DNA vaccine Entos Pharmaceuticals
DNA bacTRL-Spike Symvivo
Inactivated Inactivated whole
virus
National Research Centre, Egypt
Inactivated Inactivated Beijing Minhai Biotechnology Co.,
Ltd.
Inactivated TBD Osaka University/ BIKEN/ NIBIOHN
Inactivated Inactivated + CpG
1018
Sinovac/Dynavax
Inactivated Inactivated + CpG
1018
Valneva/Dynavax
Inactivated Inactivated Research Institute for Biological
Safety Problems, Rep of Kazakhstan
Live Attenuated
Virus
Codon deoptimized live attenuated
vaccines
Codagenix/Serum Institute of India
Live Attenuated
Virus
Codon deoptimized live attenuated
vaccines
Indian Immunologicals Ltd/Griffith University
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
Adeno-associated virus vector
(AAVCOVID)
Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Massachusetts General
Hospital/AveXis
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
MVA encoded VLP GeoVax/BravoVax
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
Ad26 Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies
Non- Replicating Viral Vector Simian Adenovirus (GRAd) i.e. replication defective encoding
SARS-CoV-2 S
ReiThera/LEUKOCARE/Univercells
Non- replicating
viral vector
MVA-S encoded DZIF – German Center for Infection Research/IDT Biologika GmbH
Non- replicating
viral vector
MVA-S IDIBAPS-Hospital Clinic, Spain
Non- Replicating Viral Vector NasoVAX adenovirus-based expressing SARS2-CoV spike
protein
Altimmune
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
[E1-, E2b-, E3-] hAd5- COVID19-
Spike/Nucleocapsid
ImmunityBio, Inc. & NantKwest, Inc.
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
Ad5 S (GREVAX™
platform)
Greffex
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
Oral Ad5 S Stabilitech Biopharma Ltd
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
adenovirus-based  + HLA-matched
peptides
Valo Therapeutics Ltd
Non- Replicating Viral Vector Oral Vaccine platform Vaxart
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
MVA expressing structural proteins Centro Nacional Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Spain
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
Dendritic cell-based vaccine University of Manitoba
Non- Replicating Viral Vector parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5)-based vaccine expressing the spike
protein
University of Georgia/University of Iowa
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
Recombinant deactivated rabies
virus containing S1
Bharat Biotech/Thomas Jefferson University
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
Influenza A H1N1 vector National Research Centre, Egypt
Non- Replicating
Viral Vector
Inactivated Flu-based SARS-CoV2 vaccine +
Adjuvant
National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
(BIOTEC) /GPO, Thailand
Protein Subunit Subunit Ogbomoso & Trinity Immonoefficient Laboratory,
Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria, Helix Biogen Consult,
Protein
Subunit
Protein Subunit
S,N,M&S1 protein
National Research Centre, Egypt
Protein
Subunit
Protein Subunit University of San Martin and
CONICET, Argentina
Protein
Subunit
RBD protein fused
with Fc of IgG + Adj.
Chulalongkorn University/GPO,
Thailand
Protein
Subunit
Capsid-like Particle AdaptVac (PREVENT-nCoV
consortium)
Protein Subunit Drosophila S2 insect cell expression system
VLPs
ExpreS2ion
Protein
Subunit
Peptide antigens
formulated in LNP
IMV Inc
Protein
Subunit
S protein WRAIR/USAMRIID
Protein
Subunit
S protein +Adjuvant National Institute of Infectious
Disease, Japan
Protein Subunit VLP-recombinant protein + Adjuvant Osaka University/ BIKEN/  National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation,
Japan
Protein
Subunit
microneedle arrays S1
subunit
Univ. of Pittsburgh
Protein
Subunit
Peptide Vaxil Bio
Protein
Subunit
Adjuvanted protein
subunit (RBD)
Biological E Ltd
Protein Subunit Peptide Flow Pharma Inc
Protein
Subunit
S protein AJ Vaccines
Protein
Subunit
Ii-Key peptide Generex/EpiVax
Protein
Subunit
S protein EpiVax/Univ. of Georgia
Protein
Subunit
Protein Subunit EPV-
CoV-19
EpiVax
Protein
Subunit
S protein (baculovirus
production)
Sanofi Pasteur/GSK
Protein
Subunit
gp-96 backbone Heat Biologics/Univ. Of Miami
Protein Subunit Molecular clamp stabilized Spike
protein
University of Queensland/GSK/Dynavax
Protein
Subunit
Peptide vaccine FBRI SRC VB VECTOR,
Rospotrebnadzor, Koltsovo
Protein
Subunit
Subunit vaccine FBRI SRC VB VECTOR,
Rospotrebnadzor, Koltsovo
Protein
Subunit
S1 or RBD protein Baylor College of Medicine
Protein
Subunit
Subunit protein, plant
produced
iBio/CC-Pharming
Protein Subunit Recombinant protein, nanoparticles (based on S-protein and
other epitopes)
Saint-Petersburg scientific research institute of vaccines and serums
Protein Subunit COVID-19 XWG-03
truncated S (spike)
proteins
Innovax/Xiamen Univ./GSK
Protein
Subunit
Adjuvanted
microsphere peptide
VIDO-InterVac, University of
Saskatchewan
Protein Subunit Synthetic Long Peptide Vaccine candidate for S and M
proteins
OncoGen
Protein Subunit Oral  E. coli-based protein expression system of S and N
proteins
MIGAL Galilee Research Institute
Protein
Subunit
Nanoparticle vaccine LakePharma, Inc.
Protein
Subunit
Plant-based subunit
(RBD-Fc + Adjuvant)
Baiya Phytopharm/ Chula Vaccine
Research Center
Protein
Subunit
OMV-based vaccine Quadram Institute Biosciences
Protein
Subunit
OMV-based vaccine BiOMViS Srl/Univ. of Trento
Protein subunit structurally modified spherical particles of the tobacco mosaic
virus (TMV)
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Protein
Subunit
Spike-based University of Alberta
Protein
Subunit
Recombinant S1-Fc
fusion protein
AnyGo Technology
Protein
Subunit
Recombinant protein Yisheng Biopharma
Protein
Subunit
Recombinant S
protein in IC-BEVS
Vabiotech
Protein
Subunit
Orally delivered, heat
stable subunit
Applied Biotechnology Institute,
Inc.
Protein
Subunit
S-2P protein + CpG
1018
Medigen Vaccine Biologics
Corporation/NIAID/Dynavax
Protein
Subunit
Peptides derived from
Spike protein
Axon Neuroscience SE
Protein
Subunit
Protein Subunit MOGAM Institute for Biomedical
Research, GC Pharma
Protein
Subunit
RBD-based Neovii/Tel Aviv University
Protein
Subunit
RBD-based Kentucky Bioprocessing, Inc
Protein Subunit Outer Membrane Vesicle (OMV)-
subunit
Intravacc/Epivax
Protein
Subunit
Outer Membrane
Vesicle(OMV)-peptide
Intravacc/Epivax
Protein
Subunit
Spike-based (epitope
screening)
ImmunoPrecise/LiteVax BV
Replicating
Viral Vector
YF17D Vector KU Leuven
Replicating
Viral Vector
Measles Vector Zydus Cadila
Replicating Viral Vector Measles Vector Institute Pasteur/Themis/Univ. of Pittsburg Center for Vaccine
Research/Merck
Replicating
Viral Vector
Measles Vector FBRI SRC VB VECTOR,
Rospotrebnadzor, Koltsovo
Replicating
Viral Vector
Measles Virus (S, N
targets)
DZIF – German Center for Infection
Research/CanVirex AG
Replicating
Viral Vector
Horsepox vector
expressing S protein
Tonix Pharma/Southern Research
Replicating Viral Vector Live viral vectored vaccine based on attenuated influenza virus backbone
(intranasal)
BiOCAD and IEM
Replicating Viral Vector Recombinant vaccine based on Influenza A virus, for the prevention of COVID-
19 (intranasal)
FBRI SRC VB VECTOR,
Rospotrebnadzor, Koltsovo
Replicating Viral Vector Attenuated Influenza expressing
an antigenic portion
of the Spike protein
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz and Instituto Buntantan
Replicating
Viral Vector
Influenza vector
expressing RBD
University of Hong Kong
Replicating Viral Vector Replication- competent VSV chimeric virus
technology (VSVΔG) delivering the SARS- CoV-2 Spike (S)
glycoprotein.
IAVI/Merck
Replicating
Viral Vector
VSV-S University of Western Ontario
Replicating
Viral Vector
VSV vector FBRI SRC VB VECTOR,
Rospotrebnadzor, Koltsovo
Replicating Viral Vector VSV-S Israel Institute for Biological Research/Weizmann Institute of
Science
Replicating Viral Vector M2-deficient single replication (M2SR)
influenza vector
UW–Madison/FluGen/Bharat Biotech
Replicating Viral Vector Newcastle disease virus vector (NDV-
SARS-CoV-2/Spike)
Intravacc/ Wageningen Bioveterinary Research/Utrecht
Univ.
Replicating
Viral Vector
Avian paramyxovirus
vector (APMV)
The Lancaster University, UK
RNA LNP-mRNA Translate Bio/Sanofi Pasteur
RNA LNP-mRNA CanSino Biologics/Precision
NanoSystems
RNA LNP-encapsulated mRNA  cocktail
encoding VLP
Shanghai JiaoTong University/RNACure
Biopharma / Fudan University
RNA LNP-encapsulated mRNA encoding RBD Shanghai JiaoTong University/RNACure
Biopharma/ Fudan University
RNA Replicating Defective SARS-CoV-2 derived
RNAs
Centro Nacional Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Spain
RNA LNP-encapsulated
mRNA
University of Tokyo/ Daiichi-Sankyo
RNA Liposome-
encapsulated mRNA
BIOCAD
RNA Several mRNA
candidates
RNAimmune, Inc.
RNA mRNA FBRI SRC VB VECTOR,
Rospotrebnadzor, Koltsovo
RNA mRNA China CDC/Tongji
University/Stermina
RNA mRNA Arcturus/Duke-NUS
RNA LNP-mRNA Chula Vaccine Research Center/University of Pennsylvania
RNA mRNA in an intranasal
delivery system
eTheRNA
RNA mRNA Greenlight Biosciences
RNA mRNA IDIBAPS-Hospital Clinic, Spain
VLP Enveloped Virus-Like
Particle (eVLP)
VBI Vaccines Inc.
VLP S protein integrated in HIV VLPs IRTA- CReSA/Barcelona Supercomputing
Centre/Grifols/ IrsiCaixa AIDS Research
VLP VLP + Adjuvant Mahidol University/ The Government Pharmaceutical
Organization (GPO)/Siriraj Hospital
VLP Virus-like particles, lentivirus and
baculovirus vehicles
Navarrabiomed, Oncoimmunology group
VLP Virus-like particle,
based on RBD
Saiba GmbH
displayed on virus-like
particles
VLP Plant-derived VLP Medicago Inc./ Université Laval
VLP ADDomerTM
multiepitope display
Imophoron Ltd and Bristol
University’s Max Planck Centre
VLP Unknown Doherty Institute
VLP VLP OSIVAX
VLP eVLP ARTES Biotechnology
VLP VLPs peptides/whole
virus
Univ. of Sao Paulo
Unknown Unknown Tulane University

Table 2: Vaccines under pre-clinical development

Conclusion

  • We all are aware that the COVID-19pandemic has caused a huge amount of financial and social burden.
  • The vaccine research have accelerated, but most of it Is still in infancy and will require a lot more time and funds to translate into approved treatment of SARS Cov 2 virus.
  • However, there is still a hope and a vision to fight against this pandemic as soon as possible. And, in fact, across the world countries have united to fight this challenge as soon as possible.
  • As a citizen, our obligation is to abide to all official advisories, wear masks, practice social distancing and not believe in myths.

References 

 

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