Stanford Medicine is now part of a Phase 3 clinical trial for a possible vaccine for COVID-19. The vaccine is from a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. Investigator Phil Grant, M.D. says the formula relies on a disabled virus to carry instructions for creating anti-COVID proteins into the body, something like a Trojan horse. And he believes it could also have another important advantage.
“The other benefit for this is you get the body to produce a fair amount of spike protein on its own. And the early studies show you only need one shot as opposed to an initial shot and a booster,” says Dr. Grant. The vaccine also has the advantage of not requiring specialized deep-cold refrigeration for storage, potentially making it easier to ship and distribute. Johnson & Johnson used a similar virus technique during a recent Ebola outbreak in Africa delivering a successful vaccine. The company believes early safety data on this version is also promising. “The same Trojan horse as you describe has been given to thousands of people, and over a thousand are already in phase 1-2,” Dr. Grant points out. Dr. Yvonne Maldonado has helped organize a number of COVID-19 drug trials.
Oxford COVID-19 Vaccine Results Due Next Month, Raising Hopes of 2021 Rollout
The University of Oxford hopes to present late-stage trial results on its COVID-19 vaccine candidate this year, raising hopes that Britain could start to roll out a successful vaccine in late December or early 2021. A vaccine that works is seen as a game-changer in the battle against the coronavirus, which has killed more than 1.2 million people worldwide, shuttered swathes of the global economy and turned normal life upside down for billions of people.
“I’m optimistic that we could reach that point before the end of this year,” Oxford Vaccine Trial Chief Investigator Andrew Pollard told British lawmakers of presenting trial results this year. Pollard said working out whether or not the vaccine worked would likely come this year, after which the data would have to be carefully reviewed by regulators and then a political decision made on who should get the vaccine.
“Our bit – we are getting closer to but we are not there yet,” Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said. Asked if he expected the vaccine would start to be deployed before Christmas, he said: “There is a small chance of that being possible but I just don’t know.” The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be one of the first from big pharma to be submitted for regulatory approval, along with Pfizer and BioNTech’s candidate. “If I put on my rose-tinted specs, I would hope that we will see positive interim data from both Oxford and from Pfizer/BioNTech in early December and if we get that then I think we have got the possibility of deploying by the year end,” Kate Bingham, the chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, told lawmakers.