While communities around the world work to slow the spread of the coronavirus with a number of precautions, event cancellations and more, several pharmaceutical companies are working hard to get possible vaccines into clinical trials.
As shared by Biospace, Moderna shipped its experimental vaccine to the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the end of February. Researchers are now looking to assemble a panel of 45 healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 years of age for a trial to test Moderna’s possible vaccine in Seattle. The potential vaccine does not utilize the actual coronavirus but contains a protein that is supposed to trigger an immune response, killing COVID-19.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals is also working to fast track their vaccine with planned clinical trials this April while Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is projecting that they will begin human trials in August, per CEO Leonard Schleifer.
“How quickly that can deployed will depend on some of the early data that we have, some animal data, what we will see in patients,” Schleifer shared. “I think that we can get a lot done very quickly.”
Adding, “We already have tubes with lots of antibodies in them. Over the course of the next weeks we’re going to screen them for the best couple that we think could block this virus,” said Schleifer, who founded Regeneron in 1988.
“Then we’re going to use our tricks to immediately get it into scale up and be making 200,000 prophylactic doses by August time frame,” Schleifer said.
A handful of other drug manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi are also working to develop a vaccine. But while many companies are fast-tracking the process, Federal Health Officials have shared that a successful vaccine is still roughly a year away.
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