COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates: 6 Front-Runners - COVID-19 Clinical Trial
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COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates: 6 Front-Runners

While the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is well underway with over 40 hopeful candidates, only three have entered “Phase I” of clinical trials, the first of three stages of human testing before drug approval.Phase I testing is only a test to see if the vaccine is safe. Researchers won’t know if it’s effective until Phase II is studied. Below is a brief overview of these three candidates, plus three promising ones that are still in earlier stages of development. 


mRNA-1273 – The front-runner in the U.S., which is backed by the NIAID and developed by Moderna Therapeutics, is based upon a specific type of genetic material, mRNA. 

Ad5-nCoV: The front-runner across the globe, Ad5-nCoV, was developed by the Beijing Institute of Biotech and CanSino Biologics, a Chinese biopharmaceutical company. 

ChAdOx1: The University of Oxford is one of the most recent groups to bring its vaccine candidate into human studies — a major milestone. 


BNT162: Biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer, along with partner company BioNTech, is working on an mRNA-based vaccine that is similar to Moderna’s model. 

INO-4800: An entirely different technology is being developed by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a company that uses a proprietary platform for “activation immunotherapy.” 

Sanofi recombinant DNA vaccine (unnamed): Last month, Sanofi Pasteur announced that it was partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create a DNA-based vaccine

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