The race for cures: a vaccine could be ready by the end of the year

La course aux remèdes: un vaccin pourrait être prêt d’ici la fin de l’année

The British could offer to the planet, this year, a Christmas gift priceless : an effective vaccine against the COVID-19.

The University of Oxford and his partner, private company AstraZeneca announced this week in the scientific journal The Lancet has crossed a critical step in the development of a vaccine against the coronavirus.

Trials combined phase 1 and phase 2 on 1077 volunteers have had significant results, resulting in an immune reaction is double, that is to say, both in the production of antibodies in the activation of killer cells.

The british minister of Health, Matt Hancock, said that the vaccine could be ready by Christmas, ” in the best-case scenario “, he said, according to european media.

He stressed that the vaccine would then be offered to humanity by the Great Britain. “We won’t object [to the vaccine to be copied elsewhere] “, he explained. “We are going to act as a global citizen “, he added.

The bold efforts of the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca could, therefore, be subject to a fee. The two partners have, in effect, adopted a strategy of clinical trials ever seen until now by combining the test phases to save time.

Two billion doses

The manufacturing capacity of AstraZenaca has also been put to use. The company says it is ready to quickly produce 2 billion doses. To save time, the vaccine will be manufactured before even obtaining her registration, even at the risk of being wrong.

The vaccine is based on a virus that causes colds in chimpanzees, significantly altered that the human body may believe to be in the presence of the COVID-19.

Thousands of miles away in China, a vaccine developed by the company CanSino Biologics in the region of Wuhan, where the pandemic has taken birth, has also given encouraging results, which have been the subject of a publication this week in The Lancet.

However, the researchers of CanSino conceded that it is uncertain as to the dosage of the vaccine, including for older people.

In the United States, the government Trump also puts the foot on the accelerator. Earlier this week, the company Pfizer has been awarded $ 2 billion in grants to produce 600 million doses of vaccine, of which $ 100 million before the end of the year. Tests of phase 3 should start soon, but, of course, no absolute guarantee of success.

Teams are active everywhere

  • According to a count recently of the world health Organization (WHO), currently there are around the world an impressive number of 24 potential vaccines rendered to the step of phase 1, 2 or 3.
  • Among them, we find that of the quebec company Medicago, the only one in Canada to have launched trials in human volunteers.
  • The WHO lists no less than 142 projects of the vaccine in preclinical testing, so not yet tested in humans. From Turkey to Japan, passing through Egypt and Kazakhstan, the list reveals that teams of researchers are active everywhere in an attempt to curb a pandemic ruthless that has already cost the lives of almost 650 000 people.

The race to the vaccine by the numbers

  • 166 vaccines tested around the world
  • 24 vaccines to the stage of clinical trials
  • 142 vaccines to the stage of preclinical trials
  • 51 vaccine trial in Europe
  • 29 vaccine trial in the United States
  • 10 vaccines to be tested in Canada, including in Medicago

It progresses in Quebec also

A voluntary participant in the phase I trial of Medicago for its candidate vaccine against the COVID-19.

The company Medicago Quebec has passed, last week, at the stage of testing in humans in the development of its vaccine against the coronavirus. It is of clinical tests of phase 1 180 volunteers. These tests are not intended to determine whether the vaccine is effective or not, but rather, if it does not cause adverse effects. If all goes as planned, the Company hopes to produce 100 million doses in 2021.

140 000 volunteers

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the national institute of infectious diseases american.

The appeal launched by the agency that is headed by the renowned Dr. Anthony Fauci has not gone unnoticed. Nearly 140,000 Americans have volunteered with the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases to participate in the testing on the vaccines for the COVID-19, according to an assessment of the beginning of the week. This success makes Dr. Fauci is optimistic. “This will allow us to conduct trials on the vaccine in an expedited manner “, he said.

A vaccine Russian ?

The Russian ministry of Defense argued that an effective vaccine against the COVID-19, developed in the country, would be already ready to be used. This announcement was greeted with skepticism, and this, even in Russia. “They have not even started the phase 3 trials […] The reason why they are so in a hurry is totally incomprehensible,” said a Russian researcher, Sergei Netesov, in an interview this week with Bloomberg.

Long time

Scientists at a chinese laboratory, photographed last spring, conducting tests to find a treatment against the COVID-19.

The development of a vaccine is not an easy thing, as pointed out recently, the site Business Insider. To demonstrate this, the site that brought to light the number of years between the establishment of the first knowledge on the operation of a disease and the availability of a vaccine. We gave several examples, including the following three : shingles : 53 years ; the human papilloma virus : 25 years of age ; and hepatitis B : a 16-year-old.

This thinks of that the doc Béliveau

A wind of optimism

La course aux remèdes: un vaccin pourrait être prêt d’ici la fin de l’année

Richard Béliveau
A doctor in biochemistry

The accelerated development of several vaccines against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can now look forward with optimism that was unthinkable 6 months ago barely : a vaccine against the COVID-19 available one year after the start of the pandemic, a scientific feat unheard of. The vaccine developed by the British seems to be particularly promising, but he remains, however, to achieve the final stage of clinical studies of phase 3 where we will be able to assess in more detail its efficacy and safety (90% of the vaccines fail to take this step due to adverse effects severe). In addition, the vaccine has been tested, as usual, only in young caucasian in good health, and it is necessary to ensure that it can be also effective in people at higher risk of complications related to the COVID-19, in particular the elderly and those with comorbidities (obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes).

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