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Where are we with coronavirus vaccines? Here are the promising nine


According to the updated list of the WHO, nine vaccine candidates are in phase 3 trials for Covid-19 — in a record eight months since the pandemic hit the world. This means in the next one month, data will be out on whether these candidates are ready for emergency approval or not. There were several developments regarding vaccines and drugs this week, including the tie-up between the makers of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and Dr Reddy’s.
Divya Rajagopal reports:

Nine candidates in Phase 3 trials

The WHO lists the vaccines being developed by the following: AstraZenecaOxford, CanSino, Gamaleya Research Institute, Janssen Pharma, Sinovac, Sinopharm (2), Moderna, Pfi zer/BioNTech

Russia’s RDIF ties up with Dr Reddy’s for distribution of Sputnik V

The sovereign fund of Russia RDIF this week announced that it will partner Dr Reddy’s to distribute its Sputnik V vaccine in India. If the trials are successful, then Dr Reddy’s will receive 100 million doses initially. RDIF CEO told ET that it is in talks with other Indian drug companies for similar deals. And if everything goes well, the vaccine should be available by the end of this year.

SII and Novavax extend deal

Serum Institute of India has extended the deal with US-based Novavax to double the production of the antigen component of NVX-CoV2373, Novavax’ COVID-19 vaccine candidate, to 2 billion. These companies aim to be ready with 2 billion doses of the vaccine for global supply through 2021.

Aurobindo teams up with CSIR Hyderabad-based Aurobindo

Pharma said it, along with the Council of Scientifi c and Industrial Research (CSIR), will begin Covid-19 vaccine development this month. The work is partly sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology.

Pfizer expands trial base

Pfizer, which is expected to read out its phase 3 trial data this week, said it will be expanding the number of trial participants to 44,000 from the current 30,000. Pfi zer said the expansion, which includes adolescents as young as 16 years of age and people with chronic, stable HIV, Hepatitis C, or Hepatitis B infection, will help increase trial population diversity, and provide additional safety and effi cacy data.

USFDA leaves AZ high and dry

US Food and Drug Administration has kept UK-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca waiting for permission to restart its Covid-19 vaccine trial in the country. The FDA is not satisfi ed with the UK regulator’s approval to resume trials of the Oxford vaccine, which was halted after one of the participants fell ill. The FDA wants additional data. There are 30,000 participants in the US trial.

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