More than 70 coronavirus vaccines in development
April 15, 2020 - More than seventy coronavirus vaccines are in development globally -- with four drugmakers already running clinical trials.
Of the three vaccine studies already in human trials, the first uses an adenovirus as a vector to deliver the SARS-CoV-19 spike protein as an antigen to trigger antibody and cellular immune responses. The developers are CanSino Biological Inc. and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology.
A second adenovirus approach entered clinical trials on April 16 in the United Kingdom. Professor Sarah Gilbert’s team at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute have made a vaccine based on the Chimp adenovirus, ChAdOx1. This vaccine also uses the spike protein gene from the coronavirus.
Boston-based Moderna, Inc., in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has developed a messenger RNA (mRNA) lipid-nanoparticle–based vaccine. Clinical trials for the vaccine candidate are taking place in Seattle, Washington. The sequence for the vaccine candidate, called mRNA-1273, also contains genetic code for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
One study by U.S. company Inovio Pharmaceuticals has Federal Drug Administration approval for its DNA vaccine INO-4800 with first Phase I trials starting on April 6.
The DNA vaccine uses plasmids -- small circles of double-stranded DNA -- genetically engineered to carry the spike protein gene. Inovio’s candidate vaccine is delivered using electroporation (EP) – which uses a small electrical current to make the human cells more permeable. EP treatment can boost antigen delivery by nearly 1000-fold.
The World Health Organization has identified another 67 preclinical vaccine candidates.
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