Two potential vaccines to protect against the novel coronavirus – one from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc and the other from CanSino Biologics in China – elicited immune responses in healthy volunteers without causing d ‘dangerous side effects, according to studies published Monday in The Lancet.
A third type of vaccine different from Pfizer Inc and German biotech BioNTech also showed promise in a small, early study published on Monday, adding to hopes that at least one will prove to be safe and effective.
Here are five takeaways from Monday’s developments, taken in part from an editorial in the medical journal The Lancet:
1. The Oxford / AstraZeneca and CanSino teams have released the results of the first COVID-19 vaccine trials that use harmless versions of another virus, or viral vector, to deliver the genetic material of the novel coronavirus into cells. in order to generate an immune response. Both trials were primarily designed to test the safety of vaccines and provide potential clues to efficacy. Subjects in both studies experienced mild side effects such as fever and pain at the injection site, but no serious side effects were reported. Vaccines have traditionally been made using a weakened or inactivated form of the virus to trigger an immune response and prevent infection, but these vaccines are not easy to develop quickly. Viral vector vaccines do not need to be frozen, although they do need to be refrigerated. On July 1, Johnson & Johnson’s Ebola vaccine became the first viral vector vaccine approved in Europe.
2. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated other new types of vaccine technology. The candidate Pfizer and BioNTech, which had initial data from a German study of 60 healthy volunteers, was shown to elicit an immune response and was well tolerated. The data was in line with that from another early-stage U.S. trial published earlier this month. This vaccine uses a different new platform – ribonucleic acid (RNA) – the chemical messenger that contains instructions for cells to produce proteins. RNA vaccines are designed to work by instructing cells to make proteins that mimic the surface of the coronavirus, which the body then sees as a foreign invader and learns to target with an immune response. Although the technology has been around for years, there has never been an approved messenger RNA vaccine.
3. The number of people in whom investigational COVID-19 vaccines have been tested so far is small, but researchers say measurements of immune system responses are encouraging. Yet, much is still unknown about the COVID-19 vaccines in development, particularly the persistence of immune responses and their effectiveness in the elderly or other specific groups, including those with chronic health conditions. and ethnic or racial groups more seriously affected by the disease. Other open questions include: Will a single dose be sufficient? Do they stimulate enough neutralizing antibodies and T lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps the immune system destroy infection; Do T cell responses correlate with long-term protection? Is there a possibility that a vaccine will put a person at risk of more serious infection?
4. More than 150 possible vaccines are under development to prevent COVID-19. J&J is also developing a viral vector vaccine against the coronavirus and plans to begin human trials this month. Moderna Inc said last week that its experimental RNA vaccine for COVID-19 has been shown to be safe and elicited immune responses in all 45 healthy volunteers in an ongoing early stage study. Moderna plans to start full-scale testing before the end of July. Once the vaccines overcome the first hurdles to safety, they will need to be tested on thousands of subjects to ensure that they can be administered safely to millions or billions of healthy people.
5. The studies published on Monday bode well for much larger randomized controlled trials to assess their efficacy and safety. AstraZeneca has advanced stage trials underway in the UK, Brazil and South Africa and aims to start studies in the US, where the prevalence of the coronavirus is higher. Results can be accumulated much faster in areas with high rates of active infection. AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said the company hopes the vaccine will be available this year depending on how quickly late-stage trials can be completed, given the declining prevalence of the virus in Grande -Brittany. Although CanSino has yet to launch large-scale clinical trials to assess how well its vaccine prevents infection, it has been approved for use in the Chinese military. Pfizer and BioNTech said they plan to start a trial later this month with up to 30,000 subjects with the aim of demonstrating the vaccine’s effectiveness.
(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)