The race for cures: trials for massive human

La course aux remèdes: essais massifs sur les humains

In the coming weeks, the research efforts to discover a vaccine against the COVID-19 would be a crucial step : that of trials for massive human.

The three teams of researchers the most advanced on the planet will undertake tests of phase 3, along with tens of thousands of human guinea pigs, during the month of July.

The hope is to be able to produce a vaccine as early as next fall. We will seek, first, on a limited basis, health care workers, first-line, and then, probably at the beginning of the next year, we will offer to all of the world’s population.

The company Moderna, based in Massachusetts, is the most ambitious of the three teams. It intends to conduct tests on 30 000 people in the United States starting in July with a vaccine using an innovative technology, but never used with success.

Instead of using an inactivated virus, Moderna isolates a part of the genetic code of the COVID-19, and the uses to cause the activation of the immune system of those injected.


The optimistic scenario is to produce the first doses in the fall. But the CEO of Moderna, the French Stéphane Bancel admits that this goal is achievable if ” all goes well “.

“(But) there are 50 reasons for there to be delays “, was he warned in an interview with the daily Le Figaro, at the end of may.

The other two teams that are in the testing phase of phase 3 – it is the step just prior to the final approval of a vaccine are that of the chinese company Sinovac and the university of Oxford and the pharmaceutical AstraZeneca.

Both of them have chosen Brazil for testing in phase 3 during the month of July, about 9,000 people in the case of Sinovac and 2000 people to the university of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

Doses as early as this fall

To speed things up, the manufacturing process of the vaccine in Oxford will be launched before the end of the trials, at the risk of taking the wrong road if the tests fail. In this way, the first doses could be ready in October.

For its part, Sinovac aims at the beginning of 2021 for the production of the doses. It employs the proven technique of the inactivated virus, however, risky since it is necessary to grow real viruses in the laboratory.

Across the globe, according to the survey, the most recent of the world health Organization, there have been 11 potential vaccines that are in the stage of clinical trials (phases 1, 2 and 3) and 128 to that of the pre-clinical testing.

Risking his life for a test

Lehua Gray, a young woman of 32 years old from Texas, is ready to be inoculate the COVID-19 to test a vaccine against the disease.

Would you be willing to risk to catch the COVID-19 to test a vaccine ?

Thousands of people around the world have answered yes to this question, in order to accelerate the discovery of a cure for this disease is ruthless.

For ethical reasons, the current programs of testing vaccines do not allow for a direct inoculation of the disease on human guinea pigs.

We prefer to rely on exposure to the virus, which occurs naturally in the countries where the disease is present.

The site has collected the names of nearly 30,000 people around the world willing to volunteer. This is the case of Lehua Gray, a 32 year old woman from Texas, who was interviewed recently by the Washington Post.

As she is young, she says to not be afraid of the effects of the sars coronavirus. “If I can save lives in the current little risk, I said to myself : why not ?” she explained to the newspaper.

She claims to be motivated by the desire to see his grandmother, who suffers from respiratory problems, be immunized.

For the moment, no team in development of a vaccine has not accepted the offer of these volunteers.

The operation Warp Speed

The Americans have a gift for the formulas imaged for the characterization of situations out of the ordinary. The White House has given the name of operation Warp Speed (in French, superluminal velocity) to its program to accelerate the development of a vaccine against the COVID-19. The expression comes from the series of Patrol of the cosmos (Star Trek).

So far, five projects qualified for the program and three of them have already received $ 2.2 billion in federal funds (including Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca, see text at right).

Dr. Anthony Fauci, an expert in public health the most respected in the United States and famous for having clashed publicly with the president, Donald Trump, place a lot of hope in this program. He said he is cautiously optimistic in the face of the rapid development of a vaccine.

It seems even on the same wavelength in this regard that the president Trump, who recently wrote on Twitter : “vaccines are progressing very well. “

However, Dr. Fauci is concerned about their duration of action because of particular mechanisms of the COVID-19. There are fears that their efficacy is limited to only one year.

This thinks of that the doc Béliveau

Vaccines : The speed of development of different vaccines is really impressive and we must be optimistic for the future. However, even if the science underlying each of these vaccines is very strong, the clinical trials that will start soon are the moment of truth when we will finally determine the true potential preventive of these vaccines.

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