Here is our weekly roundup on the latest research and scientific efforts against the coronavirus.
Oxford University and AstraZeneca
Phase 1/2 data has indicated that the vaccine candidate, AZD1222, induced a strong immune response against SARS-CoV-2 virus. The data showed that the vaccine was effective in provoking a T-cell response within 14 days of vaccination and an antibody response within 28 days.
Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford University and co-author of the trial added; ‘The interim phase 1/2 data for our coronavirus vaccine; shows that the vaccine did not lead to any unexpected reactions and had a similar safety profile to previous vaccines of this type.’
Read more here.
Phase 1 trial results have demonstrated that its lead vaccine candidate, SNG001, reduced the risk of a patient developing covid-19 by 79% compared to placebo.
Tom Wilkinson, professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Southampton and chief investigator of the trial confirmed that the drug ‘has huge potential as an inhaled drug to be able to restore the lung’s immune response, enhancing protection, accelerating recovery and countering the impact of SARS-CoV-2 virus.’
Read more here.
Pfizer and BioNTech
Following the early positive data of two candidates from their mRNA-based covid-19 vaccine programme, the US government will pay $1.95bn to secure US access to an initial 100 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s covid-19 vaccine.
This agreement was arranged alongside the US Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defence, in order to reach the government’s Operation Warp Speed programme to deliver 300 million doses of a covid-19 vaccine in 2021.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said, ‘Through Operation Warp Speed, we are assembling a portfolio of vaccines to increase the odds that the American people will have at least one safe, effective vaccine as soon as the end of this year.’
In addition to this, the UK has announced an agreement with Pfizer and BionNTech to acquire 30 million doses of their BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, subject to clinical success and regulatory approval.