As the coronavirus continues to be a global pandemic, researchers and health care officials are working around the clock to find treatment. Now while there is no confirmed medication to treat the virus, there has been progress, on the road to recovery. The World Health Organization has confirmed there are two candidate vaccines that have been created for the novel virus with both entering the first phase of human clinical trials. In addition to these two are 60 candidate vaccines that are currently being tested in pre-clinical studies.
Biopharmaceutical Company, CanSino Biological Inc and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology have joined forces to develop a new investigational vaccine for COVID-19. Its name “Adenovirus Type 5”. Adenoviruses are common viruses that cause pneumonia and can produce potential antigens to accelerate the creation of antibodies that work against a disease. The candidate virus is built on the same platform used to develop the groundbreaking vaccine used to fight the Ebola virus infection. In preclinical animal studies of the candidate vaccine, its results showed that it can induce strong immune response in animals while also showing it was safe to use.
Chairman and CEO of CanSinoBIO, Xuefeng Yu, says the company and its partners have been working since late January, determined to develop the vaccine. “Having committed to provide unconditional support to fight against the global epidemic, CanSinoBIO is determined to launch our vaccine product candidate as soon as possible with no compromise on quality and safety,” said Yu.
Moderna, a US-based biotech firm and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have created the second candidate vaccine. The lipid nanoparticle encapsulated vaccine operates on an RNA platform in conjunction with multiple candidates. Genetic information from the virus is de-coded from the DNA to create proteins. Messenger RNA, also know as mRNA, acts as the middleman between the genetic information in the DNA and the amino acid sequence of proteins, giving the cells the go ahead to create proteins to fight the viruses.
While neither candidate vaccine has been approved, this is a step in the right direction. With these two candidate vaccines already up and running in clinical trials and 60 other vaccine candidates in pre-clinical trial stage, there is more testing to be done and more clinical trials to be performed. Experts estimated that it can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months before a vaccine has become available to the public.