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Archived news – SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development

Sanofi is preparing to manufacture 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines (April 24) – There are 76 vaccine candidates for COVID-19, five of which are in clinical trials. It will take at least 18 months to determine if these vaccines are effective and safe enough to distribute en masse. Then, distributing them to millions of people will require an incredible feat of manufacturing. To address this problem, the company is looking at how it can use existing manufacturing space to ramp up COVID-19 vaccines.

Single-Dose Adenovirus-Based COVID-19 Vaccine Planned (April 24) – Three European biotech companies agreed to collaborate on the development and large-scale manufacture of a novel adenoviral vector-based vaccine against COVID-19. The vaccine candidate is expected to enter clinical trials during summer 2020 with large-scale vaccine production planned to start soon after.

Coronavirus: UK scientists start mass producing vaccines while trials are still under way (April 18) – Oxford University researchers say the world can’t afford to wait for vaccines to go through trials before production starts.

Manufacturing Platform Developed for Large-Scale Production of COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate (April 14) – MilliporeSigma and The Jenner Institute report that the Institute has begun preparations for the large-scale production of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. 

Sanofi Expands COVID-19 Pipeline with Translate Bio Partnership (March 27) – The COVID-19 collaboration—whose value was not disclosed—is intended to combine vaccine expertise and external research networks of Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi’s vaccines global business unit, with Translate Bio’s mRNA platform, which the companies will apply to discover, design, and manufacture SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates.

First Results From Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine May Take Two More Months (March 25) – Moderna announced dosing the first patient in the early stage study of mRNA-1273 on March 16. The trial in 45 healthy people is being run by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, with patients in the study getting two doses of the vaccination 28 days apart. While NIH has control over when results will be disclosed, management guided to data availability in the near-term and suggested that the first data release will likely include a full cohort (>3-5 patients) to reflect the totality of the scientific picture.

Mount Sinai to Begin the Transfer of COVID-19 Antibodies into Critically Ill Patients (March 24) – The Mount Sinai Health System plans to initiate a procedure known as plasmapheresis, where the antibodies from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 will be transferred into critically ill patients with the disease, with the expectation that the antibodies will neutralize it. The process of using antibody-rich plasma from COVID-19 patients to help others was used successfully in China, according to a state-owned organization, which reported that some patients improved within 24 hours, with reduced inflammation and viral loads, and better oxygen levels in the blood.

As the First Coronavirus Vaccine Human Trials Begin, Manufacturer Is Already Preparing to Scale Production to Millions (March 23) – The vaccine will be studied first in a group of 45 healthy volunteers, who have not been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In this group, scientists are looking to see if the shots are safe, and to test three different dosages to see which seems to activate the strongest immune response. Moderna uses mRNA, a genetic form of the virus’ genome, in its vaccine. When it’s injected into people, cells then process it so immune cells can recognize it and target it for destruction. Unlike the processes used to make most traditional vaccines, this method does not require growing huge amounts of the virus, which is time-consuming.

Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus Vaccines (March 4) – As Covid-19 spreads, the pressure is on for drugmakers to get a vaccine to market. But it’s not that easy. Includes a list of companies working on a vaccine with a breakdown of the 30+ candidates in development (so far).

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