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COVID-19 Vaccine Development Progress and Updates

When will we overcome the fear of SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2)? When will we stop tracking COVID-19 updates and news? Of course, we all know it’s never going to happen until we have a vaccine against the virus. Hundreds of potential vaccines are under development around the world.

St. Jude Pharma takes a look at the significant developments in the direction that cold help us win the battle for ever.


The monoclonal neutralising antibody developed at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), as claimed by Israel’s Defence Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday, can neutralise the disease-causing coronavirus inside carriers’ bodies. The director of IIBR on Monday (4th May 2020) was quoted saying that the patent process is in progress. Afterwards, the organization will share the formula with a pharmaceutical manufacturing firm to mass produce it.


Italy has also reached the advanced stages of developing a potential vaccine, which can neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 in the human cells. The vaccination triggered the production of antibodies in mice. The vaccine has been tested in the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome. Out of the five vaccine candidates, two best candidates were shortlisted based on the density of antibodies present in them.


Out of the many biopharmaceutical companies in this hardest-hit country in the run up to developing a potential vaccine, Pfizer and BioNTech seems to be taking the lead. It has named the vaccine as BNT162. The companies have jointly announced about its Phase 1/2 clinical trial where the vaccine has been administered to first participants to determine the safety, immunogenicity and optimal dose level of four mRNA vaccine candidates.


Of the myriad COVID-19 vaccine development programs in England, the Oxford University seems to be the frontrunner. The vaccine named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19- was developed under three months by the University’s Jenner Institute. Its phase-1 human clinical trial started on April 23, and it has been given to more than 320 people to date and the results are satisfactory. The vaccine makes use of a weakened strain of common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees. However, it has been genetically modified to neutralize its impact on human beings. The construct so obtained is muted with the genetic material of the spike glycoprotein (S) present on the surface of SARS-CoV-2. Remember, the spike protein punctures the human cells to cause infection.

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