Seventy vaccines against the new coronavirus are being developed worldwide. Three companies are also already engaged in clinical trials with test subjects. This is evident from a document from the World Health Organization (WHO). Earlier, a professor argued that a vaccine could be ready by September.
According to the Bloomberg news agency, the document shows that Hong Kong’s CanSino Biologics is the most advanced in the vaccine development process. To this end, it collaborates with the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology. Two American companies have also started clinical research. These are Moderna and Inovio Pharmaceuticals.
In addition, according to the WHO document, pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer and Sanofi are also trying to create a vaccine. Vaccines are also being worked on at Janssen Pharmaceutica, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. The pharmaceutical giant hopes to have a vaccine ready by the beginning of next year. The first experiments on mice are already “encouraging”. Production will be started up before people will be tested in September.
It usually takes ten to fifteen years to market a new vaccine. But the pharmaceutical companies have speeded up the speed considerably. For example, to save time, the usual animal experiments are skipped.
Already a vaccine by September?
A professor is arguing that a vaccine against the covid-19 could be ready by autumn. ‘I think there is a high chance that this will work on the basis of other things we have done in the past,’ said vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert.
Sarah Gilbert is Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University and leading a team of researchers in developing a vaccine against the coronavirus, which has so far infected more than 1.7 million people worldwide and cost more than 100,000 lives.
The vaccinologist told the British newspaper ‘The Times’ that she is “80 percent confident” that the vaccine developed by her team will be successful in protecting people from the disease.
“I think there’s a good chance it will work on the basis of other things we’ve done in the past,” Gilbert said. “It’s not just a hunch. And after every week that has passed, we have more data to analyze.”
Most experts believe it can take up to 18 months for a vaccine to develop and spread worldwide. Still, the professor wants to speed up clinical trials by deploying volunteers who have become naturally infected.
She said that deploying volunteers from regions where no quarantine measures were imposed would lead to more efficient results. “If there appears to be a high degree of virus transmission in one of those places, we will know very quickly how effective the vaccine is. That’s a strategy to accelerate vaccine development time,” she explained.
Developing an effective vaccine by September is possible when “just about everything is going perfectly,” the professor added, but warned that “no one could promise it would work.”