Amid an increasing number of coronavirus cases globally, Chinese researchers have begun the second phase human trial of a possible coronavirus vaccine. It follows an ongoing phase-1 study which has recruited about 200 participants since May, the Institute of Medical Biology at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (IMBCAMS) said on Sunday. The phase-2 trial will evaluate the shot's dose and continue to determine whether the potential vaccine can safely trigger immune responses in healthy people.
There is no approved drug for treatment of coronavirus patients as of now. Over 100 experimental COVID-19 vaccines are in various stages of development, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO). From US-based Moderna Inc to China's CanSino Pharmaceuticals Inc, some of the world's biggest companies are in the race to develop the coronavirus vaccine.
Germany and partner countries in the European Union recently pledged funds for the production of an experimental vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. Britain and the United States had previously made commitments to secure hundreds of millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is based on so-called viral vector technology, as developers across the world prepare to produce even before their candidates are shown to work in trials.
Brazil recently announced that Instituto Butantan has signed a deal with Sinovac to produce an experimental coronavirus vaccine. The tests for the same would begin in July and would include around 9,000 Brazilians. Israeli researchers have identified molecules that may lead to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Chinese pharma company Sinopharm has cleared the animal trials.
Even though initial trials by many of these candidate vaccines show encouraging results, a clearer picture can only emerge when a diverse population gets tested.