There is a storm of uncertainty, humans often unknowingly infected with disease, at this time, the vaccine is the “heart-stopping pill.” After the 2019 outbreak of the new coronavirus (2019-CoV) pneumonia spread from Wuhan, Hubei Province, scientists at home and abroad also focused on vaccine development.
On January 23rd, local time, the Alliance for Innovation in The Prevention of EpidemicS (CEPI) announced that it would give a total of $12.5 million to three companies to develop the 2019-CoV vaccine. “That’s what CEPI is going to do,” said Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, which is trying to set a new record for the speed of vaccine development and testing. “
The 2014 outbreak of the Ebola virus directly led to 11,000 deaths, contributing to the establishment of CEPI. A non-profit organization formally established in 2016, several governmentand and private foundations, working with countries affected by the epidemic, are developing anti-virus vaccines, and are also dedicated to funding and funding for the development of vaccines for emerging infectious diseases to control the spread of epidemics.
Each of the three jobs supported by CEPI began within hours of Chinese researchers releasing a series of 2019-CoV genome sequencing in a public database for the first time. The work began on the evening of January 10, local time, in Bethesda, Maryland, where the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is located, Science reported.
Barney Graham, deputy director of the NIAID Vaccine Research Center, began analyzing the sequence with his team the following morning, January 11, local time. On January 13, Graham discussed his findings with researchers at vaccine manufacturer Moderna. On 14 January, they signed a cooperation agreement.
Moderna produces the vaccine with the help of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. When the vaccine is injected into the body, mRNA causes the body to produce antigens and trigger an immune response. Moderna’s chief executive, St?phane Bancel, said there were already nine vaccines in clinical trials that used mRNA “platforms.” “Making the first one is a very, very difficult scientific challenge, but once the first job is done, the next one becomes very easy: get a new sequence, and then produce another vaccine, the same working pattern,” Bancel said. “
One of the nine vaccines developed by Moderna in collaboration with NIAID is middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS), a coronavirus that is different but similar to 2019-nCOV. However, the vaccine has only been tested in animals, and the MERS vaccine relies on a protein called spike on the surface of the virus.
In theory, all the team needs to do is exchange gene sequences to fit the 2019-nCoV spike protein to produce a new vaccine. “We have a lot of information about how to make (spike protein),” Graham said. “MERS’s spike protein produces a stronger immune response when it is in a “stable” conformation, so his team has adapted the mRNA accordingly.” Graham hopes the same technique can be applied to the development of the 2019-nCoV vaccine.
Another company that developed the 2019-nCoV vaccine with the help of CEPI is Inovio, which also started vaccine development on the morning of January 11. Inovio also has a MERS vaccine that is faster than Moderna’s and has been tested in humans.
Both Moderna and Inovio say they will be able to produce enough vaccines to start animal trials within a month from now. Inovio’s chief executive said he was looking forward to a research and development competition with Moderna.
CEPI’s third grant will be granted to researchers at the University of Queensland. The vaccine they are developing is made up of viral proteins produced in cell cultures, an older vaccine technique. Molecular virologist Keith Chappell, one of the project’s leaders, said the “ideal goal” was to be able to prepare candidate vaccines for upcoming human tests 16 weeks from now. “It’s incredibly fast,” Chappell said. Our team is doing everything we can. Let’s be assured that we are not the only team that needs to be productive. “
However, there is still a long way to go before the candidate vaccine is available. The researchers will test them in animals to see if they are safe and produce an immune response. After this, the company will then have to obtain regulatory approval to start phase I human trials. Phase I human trials will test safety and immune responses in a small number of volunteers who are not at risk of developing the disease. FDA approval usually takes up to 1 month.
While conducting human trials, researchers hope to test how the vaccine protects animals that are deliberately exposed to the virus.
It is worth mentioning that the domestic deployment of vaccine-related work.
On January 26, Xu Wenbo, director of the Virus Institute of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the center has started vaccine development for the new coronavirus, which has successfully isolated the virus and is sifting seed strains. In addition, the Cdc is conducting a drug screening of the new coronavirus pneumonia.
The latest news also includes the collaboration between Tongji University Oriental Hospital Translational Medicine Platform and Snu (Shanghai) Biotech Co., Ltd., relying on the task of “Shanghai Zhangjiang National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone Stem Cell Strategy Library and Stem Cell Technology Clinical Transformation Platform” – mRNA synthesis platform results, Rapidly promote the development of a new coronavirus mRNA vaccine. Recently, the project has been urgently completed project filing.
However, as long as new drug development takes longer, vaccines are also unfast.
In reality, vaccines have played a relatively limited role in slowing the Zika epidemic that swept Latin America in 2016, the devastating Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016, and the pandemic that began in 2009, Science reported. “Vaccines always keep up. “
The new coronavirus is leading the way in the race against disease, science writes, and that it may be too late to stop the epidemic as vaccines prove their value in clinical trials and manufacturers prepare to expand production. But scientists want them to make a difference.
At its best, Graham said, the Moderna vaccine would perform well in the first phase of the study and prepare for larger, more realistic human tests in the summer. However, past efforts to combat epidemics and secure new vaccines have often experienced unexpected slowdowns.
Even if experimental vaccines work in clinical trials, rapid mass production of them can be a huge challenge. If Moderna puts all of its vaccine production capacity into one product, Bancel says, it could produce 100 million doses a year. Kim said Inovio could now produce only 100,000 doses a year, but was “actively negotiating with larger manufacturers”, which could increase its production to “millions”. The Queensland team says it could make 200,000 doses in six months.
In a worst-case scenario, these vaccines will not be able to protect the global population. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified the global risk of a new coronavirus outbreak as high risk in its new coronavirus report on January 26 and January 27. Bancel says vaccine preparation is always a precautionary measure. “No body knows what’s going to happen,” Says Bancel, “we all want to never use these vaccines.” “