Coronavirus vaccine update: Russia may partner India for producing vaccines

The novel coronavirus has so far infected over 22.7 million people across the globe and claimed nearly 800,000 lives. With the virus spreading rapidly, every hope is now pinned on coronavirus vaccine development. More than 150 possible vaccines are being developed and tested around the world, including in India, Britain, China, the US, Russia and Israel, to try to control the pandemic. Several companies, including Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer Inc, say they expect to make more than 1 billion doses of a vaccine each next year.

German biotechnology firm CureVac and India's ICMR have not ruled out a speedy approval process for a prospective vaccine and expect to have it on the market by mid-2021 and December-end, respectively. Meanwhile, Russia says its vaccine will be rolled out by the end of this month.

As many as 25 coronavirus vaccine candidates, including those of Moderna, AstraZeneca, BioNTech, Novavax, Sinovac, CanSino Biologics, Bharat Biotech and Inovio, are in the human-trials stage.

Coronavirus treatment: Updates on coronavirus vaccine development

1. Russian coronavirus vaccine update: Vaccine will be rolled out by the end of this month

Mass testing of Russia's first potential Covid-19 vaccine "Sputnik V" to get domestic regulatory approval will involve more than 40,000 people and will be overseen by a foreign research body when it starts next week, backers of the project said on Thursday. These were the first details on the shape and size of the upcoming late-stage trial of the vaccine given by its developers, who are aiming to allay concerns among some scientists about the lack of data provided by Russia so far.

The vaccine, called "Sputnik V" in homage to the world's first satellite launched by the Soviet Union, has been hailed as safe and effective by Russian authorities and scientists following two months of small-scale human trials, the results of which have not been made public yet.

2. Russia looking to partner India for producing coronavirus vaccines

Russia is looking for a partnership with India for producing Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said on Thursday.

3. EU, CureVac in advanced talks for 225 million coronavirus vaccine doses

The European Commission and German biotech firm CureVac has said they had concluded a first round of talks for the supply of at least 225 million doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine to EU states. The European Union's executive arm is also in talks with Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi for their vaccines under development, and agreed last week an advanced purchase deal with AstraZeneca for at least 300 million doses of the shot it is developing with Oxford University.

4. Coronavirus vaccine's emergency authorisation could be considered if govt decides, says ICMR

A top ICMR official told a parliamentary panel on Wednesday that phase-two clinical trial of two indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine candidates have almost been completed and emergency authorisation of a vaccine could be considered if the Centre decides so.
The coronavirus vaccine candidates coordinated by Bharat Biotech and Cadila are nearing completion of phase-two trails.

5. Australia to give free coronavirus vaccine doses to citizens

Australia has secured access to a "promising" potential coronavirus vaccine, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. The country would manufacture it and offer free doses to the entire population. Australia has reached a deal with Swedish-British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to receive the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with Oxford University.

"The Oxford vaccine is one of the most advanced and promising in the world, and under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian," he said.

6. Serum Institute initiates phase 2, 3 clinical study for coronavirus vaccine

Serum Institute of India has initiated the phase 2, 3 clinical trials to evaluate the safety and immune response of 'Covidshield' coronavirus vaccine on healthy Indian adults. A total of 1,600 eligible participants of more than or equal to 18 years of age will be enrolled in the study, which will be conducted on 17 sites in India. These sites include-- Andhra Medical College (Visakhapatnam), JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, (Mysore), Seth G. S. Medical College and KEM Hospital (Mumbai), KEM Hospital Research Centre (Vadu), B J Medical College and Sassoon General Hospital (Pune), All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (Jodhpur), Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, (Patna), Institute of Community Medicine ( Madras), Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University Medical College and Hospital (Pune), Jehangir Hospital ( Pune), AIIMS (Delhi), ICMR- Regional Medical Research Centre ( Gorakhpur), TN Medical College & BYL Nair Hospital (Mumbai), Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (Sewagram) and Government Medical College (Nagpur).

7. China coronavirus update: Pakistan to conduct phase-III clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has given a nod for phase-III clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with a Chinese company. According to a statement from the National Institute of Health (NIH), it has obtained "formal approval" from the DRAP for phase-III Clinical Trial of Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Adenovirus Type 5 vector (Ad5-nCoV) developed by CanSinoBio and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology China (BIB)".

8. Moderna stands to earn $300 million for quick coronavirus vaccine approval, up to $6.6 billion for extra doses

Moderna's coronavirus vaccine deal with the US, announced last week with a $1.525 billion price tag, would be worth far more if all options are exercised—and if the mRNA biotech meets an aggressive timeline for the shot's arrival.

The company stands to gain up to a whopping $8.125 billion, according to a Moderna securities filing that details the price for follow-up doses and the windfall for an early FDA approval.

9. Oxford coronavirus vaccine ready by December 2020?

Serum Institute of India CEO, Adar Poonawalla said the country could get priority access to the Oxford vaccine, which will be marketed as 'Covishield' in India. According to Poonawala, first batch of doses could be ready for deployment as early as December 2020.

10. Israel institute to start coronavirus vaccine trials in humans soon

An Israeli research institute that is overseen by the Defence Ministry intends to begin human trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine as early as October, Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday.

The Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR) would start the trials in conjunction with the Health Ministry after a series of Jewish holidays ends in October, Gantz said. The IIBR has been working on a vaccine for six months and began animal trials in March.

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