The health crisis with the new coronavirus will not go away any time soon, but we are getting more and more reports of potential treatments that could cure or even prevent COVID-19,media BGR reported. Vaccines are “magic drugs” that can prevent SARS-COV-2 infections, but they are still a year away from the market. Despite reports that the first drug candidates will be approved for emergency use as soon as September. While preclinical and clinical trial data may be promising, there is no guarantee that these drugs will work in humans. If Oxford University’s breakthrough drug ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 proves to be efficient and safe, the Us will buy as many as 300 million doses of the first 1 billion doses of vaccine son from AstraZeneca in the future.
To ensure supply, the U.S. government has pledged $1.2 billion for the pharmaceutical company’s new coronavirus vaccine development.
The U.S. Department of Health agreed to pay the $1.2 billion fee to speed up research and development and secure supplies, Reuters reported. “This contract with AstraZeneca is an important milestone in Operation Warp Speed, which aims to achieve safe, effective and widely available vaccines by 2021,” said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary John Azhar.
Earlier this week, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the UK would receive 30m doses of the vaccine, which will be delivered in September – a result of the assumption that the vaccine is safe and effective. Since then, AstraZeneca says it has reached an agreement for at least 400million doses of the vaccine, ensuring the production of 1 billion doses of the vaccine. The first vaccines could be delivered as soon as September. The company is also in negotiations with other governments and the Serum Institute of India. The U.S. deal includes a Phase 3 clinical trial involving 30,000 U.S. volunteers.
Scientists at the University of Oxford have previously published their study detailing the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine for macaques. The work allowed Oxford University to move on to Phases 1 and 2 trials, which were launched a few weeks ago. About 1,000 people aged 18-55 in southern England were vaccinated against Oxford, and the results will soon come out.
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 is a weakened version of the chimp common cold virus and cannot reproduce in humans. The role of the virus is to carry a specific protein in the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 in the body, which causes the immune system to respond. As a result, when a true coronavirus attacks the host, the immune system already has antibodies that can prevent infection. The vaccinated monkeys did show the presence of the virus in their nasal swabs, which some believe is an invalid sign. But the virus is almost non-existent in monkeys’ lungs, and it cannot be replicated. Autopsy results showed that none of the vaccinated monkeys showed signs consistent with COVID-19 lung lesions.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford partnership is on Morgan Stanley’s list of six most likely successful COVID-19 vaccines, but that’s just speculation.
Interestingly, the U.S. government’s investment in AstraZeneca’s drugs came after Moderna partially disclosed the success of its candidate vaccine in human trials. Moderna pioneered phase 1 trials and said it had evidence that the RNA vaccine was effective. Many questionthed how Moderna chose to share data on this potential COVID-19 therapy. The company did not disclose key information in its announcement last week. As a result of the investment that began in 2013, AstraZeneca also owns 7.7 per cent of Moderna.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) did not respond to the findings in any way. NIAID is a partner of Moderna. A few weeks ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, said of the company’s mRNA-1273 that the first vaccine could be available in early 2021 if all goes well.
But, as Reuters points out, the U.S. has also struck deals with other companies, including Johnson and Johnson and Sanofi. The two companies are also on Morgan Stanley’s list, but they have not moved their coronavirus vaccine candidates to clinical trials.