Trials of Hope: The latest updates on Covid-19 vaccine

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As many as 13 experimental shots are being tested in humans and more than 120 others are in earlier stages of development as the trials of hope continue to produce a magic bullet against the deadly disease.

Glaxo ties up with Clover

GlaxoSmithKline has collaborated with Clover Biopharmaceuticals in China to start tests in humans. The drug relies on the UK company’s adjuvant system, a booster designed to enhance the body’s immune response. Glaxo has said it can reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose, allowing more people to be immunized, and create longer-lasting immunity.

Nigerian Breakthrough

A team of Nigerian scientists, under the banner of Covid-19 Research Group, claimed to have discovered a unique vaccine that may help prevent the Covid infection. Dr Oladipo Kolawole, a specialist in Medical Virology, Immunology and Bioinformatics, at Adeleke University, Ede in Osun, and leader of the research team, said the vaccine was being developed locally in Africa for Africans. But it may take 18 months to make it available for public use.

Clover Biopharmaceuticals

Clover Biopharmaceuticals has said the first participants have been dosed with its COVID-19 S-Trimer sub-unit vaccine candidate (SCB-2019) in the Phase 1 first-in-human study. The development makes it the sixth Chinese developer of a potential Covid-19 vaccine to move into human trials.

Institute of Medical Biology

An inactivated Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the Institute of Medical Biology under the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences has entered phase-2 clinical trials in China as subjects are from southwestern province of Yunnan. 200 volunteers were given shots in phase-1 that started in May.

Israel Institute

The Israel Institute for Biological Research has claimed it had completed successful coronavirus vaccine trials on rodents and they hope finish vaccine in a year, or possibly even earlier. “Importantly, single-dose vaccination was able to protect hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 challenge, as demonstrated by the abrogation of body weight loss of the immunized hamsters compared to unvaccinated hamsters,” researchers wrote in the report.

MMR vaccine

US researchers have claimed that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine might offer extra protection against Covid-19 and proposed conducting of clinical trials. In a paper published in mBio, the researchers suggested that the MMR vaccine could help reduce septic inflammation associated with Covid-19 infection. “A clinical trial with MMR in high-risk populations may provide a low-risk-high-reward preventive measure in saving lives during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dr Paul Fidel, Associate Dean for Research at Louisiana State University Health School of Dentistry.

Three Covid-19 Drugs Already in India

Remedesivir: Cipla has launched its own remedesivir under the name of Cipremi. The medicine is lyophilized powder for injection 100mg. The drug will be marketed by both the government and market channels.

FabiFlu by Glenmark: Priced at Rs 3,500 for 34 tablets, the dosage is 200 mg X 9 tablets on day one and 200 mg X 4 tablets a day for 14 days. Global trials show the efficacy of over 80-88%; Japan, Bangladesh and UAE already use the drug for COVID-19 treatment. The drug will be available both through hospitals and the retail channel. Reportedly, Strides Pharma, Brinton Pharmaceuticals, Lasa Supergenerics and Optimus Pharma among firms readying its launch.

Covifor by Hetero: The drug will be available in 100 mg injectable form which has to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Hetero has confirmed that Covifor would cost between 5,000 to 6,000 per dose. The COVID-19 treatment by Covifor will cost not more than 30,000 per patient. Six dozes of the medicine will be given in this timeframe.



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