Currently, no medication has been recommended to treat COVID-19, and no cure is available. However, trials are underway in laboratories across the world, with several companies and governments doubling their efforts to find a permanent cure for the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified top eight candidates for the coronavirus vaccine:
Moderna/NIAID: The American biotechnology company has made significant progress with its preventative experimental COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-127, in the recent week, gaining the US FDA approval for phase 2 clinical trials.
CanSino Biological Inc/Beijing Institute of Biotechnology: China’s CanSino Bio’s Adenovirus Type 5 Vector (Ad5-nCoV) has been listed as a top contender by the WHO.
University of Oxford: ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, jointly developed by Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca, has shown promising results in rhesus macaque monkeys and without any side effects. The vaccine, which is currently undergoing human trial, appeared to prevent damage to the lungs and other organs severely affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in animals.
Sinovac Biotech: Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech’s inactivated COVID-19 vaccine candidate PiCoVacc was successfully tested in rhesus macaques. The vaccine could help protect the animals from coronavirus by triggering an immune response to produce antibodies against the virus.
Wuhan Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm: The inactivated vaccine developed by Wuhan Institute of Biological Products under the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences is another Chinese COVID-19 vaccine that has entered the phase 2 clinical trials on the WHO list.
Beijing Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm: Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm made substantial progress in vaccine race for COVID19 as its second inactivated vaccine won clinical trial approval from the National Medical Products Administration. The vaccine targetting the contagion is co-developed by a unit under CNBG-Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals: Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a leader in coronavirus DNA vaccine development, is expediting the development of its vaccine ‘INO-4800’ created to protect against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The biotech firm plans to make 1 million doses by the end of 2020.
Pfizer and BioNTech: Pfizer and BioNTech have dosed the first participants in the US in phase 1/2 clinical trial for the BNT162 vaccine program to prevent novel coronavirus infection. BNT162 vaccine is based upon mRNA and is being jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.