Covid-19 vaccine race has about 200 candidates worldwide; meet –...

Covid-19 vaccine race has about 200 candidates worldwide; meet –...
Covid-19 vaccine race has about 200 candidates worldwide; meet –...

There is still no vaccine approved for use in the population that fights Covid-19. Dozens of immunizers are being tested, coming from different countries and using different technologies.

Follow the global race for the vaccine, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), see which candidates are closest to mass production and which ones have an agreement for production or use in Brazil.

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This is the last stage before approval for use in the population. There is no specific forecast for the duration of this stage, as tests can be suspended and resumed. There, based on the results of safety and possible effectiveness, thousands of people are vaccinated and thousands more receive placebo (an injection that does not contain the immunizer itself) to quantify the immunization potential of the vaccine candidate.

Oxford University / AstraZeneca

Country: UK

  • Agreement in Brazil: Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the Ministry of Health
  • Estimated timeframe: By December 2020, the government expects to receive the first 15 million doses (temporarily stopped in September due to an adverse event; tests already resumed)
  • Technology: non-replicating viral vector – modified and inactivated chimpanzee adenovirus (ChAdOx1)
  • Production capacity: MS signed an agreement to purchase 100 million doses
  • Storage: 2˚ to 8˚ C (refrigerator)

Sinovac – Coronavac

Country: China

  • Agreement in Brazil: Instituto Butantan (Government of São Paulo)
  • Estimated deadline: by December 2020, the government plans to receive the 46 million doses
  • Technology: virus inactivated
  • Production capacity: the agreement provides for 46 million doses from China; Butantan has the capacity to produce an additional 60 million doses by May 2021.
  • Storage: 25˚C for 42 days, 37˚C for 28 days and refrigerated at 2˚ to 8˚C for up to five months

Gamaleya Institute / Russian Direct Investment Fund – Sputnik V

Country: Russia

  • Agreement in Brazil: Partnership with União Química to produce in the country, still without details. The government of Bahia closed the purchase of 50 million doses of Sputnik V; the government of Paraná also intends to produce the vaccine.
  • Promised deadline: the Russian government has already registered the vaccine, the first in the world to obtain certification; large-scale production is expected by the end of 2020.
  • Technology: non-replicating viral vector (combines two cold adenoviruses in humans, Ad26 and Ad5)
  • Production capacity: RDIF expects to produce up to 1.2 billion doses, 230 million of which for Latin America
  • Storage: 2˚ to 8˚C (refrigerator)

Pfizer/BioNTech – BNT162b1 e BNT162b2

Country: United States and Germany

  • Agreement in Brazil: Pfizer Brasil (clinical trials in the country)
  • Estimated deadline: until the end of 2020
  • Technology: RNA (uses the genetic material of the virus to induce an immune response)
  • Production capacity: intends to produce 100 million doses for different countries by 2020, with a capacity of 1.2 billion by the end of 2021
  • Storage: -70˚C (deep freezer)

Modern / Niaid

Country: USA

  • Agreement in Brazil: none
  • Estimated deadline: until the end of 2020
  • Technology: RNA
  • Production capacity: the US government signed an agreement to purchase 100 million doses by the end of 2020, with the capacity to produce an additional 400 million doses
  • Storage: -20˚C (freezer)

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

Country: Belgium

  • Agreement in Brazil: only for clinical trials in the country
  • Estimated deadline: Early 2021
  • Technology: non-replicating viral vector – Ad26 adenovirus
  • Production capacity: 1 billion doses per year
  • Storage: two forms, one frozen, kept at -20˚C, and one in powder, which can be kept at 2˚ to 8˚C (refrigerated)

Covax Facility (OMS)
Country: consortium of countries – World Health Organization

  • Agreement in Brazil: federal government signed its participation in the consortium
  • Phase: several vaccines are under development with different deadlines
  • Production capacity: participating countries will receive doses to vaccinate up to 20% of their population; in Brazil, the agreement provides for 10% of the population

Novavax – NVX-CoV2373

Country: USA

  • Agreement in Brazil: none
  • Estimated period: none, but the pharmaceutical company has expanded its capacity to produce
  • Technology: protein fragments
  • Production capacity: up to 2 billion doses

Institute of Virology and Biotechnology Vector – EpiVacCorona

Country: Russia

  • Agreement in Brazil: none
  • Technology: virus protein fragments
  • Production capacity: Russian government has not released production information or estimated timeframe (phase 3 has not yet started)

CanSino Biologics

Country: China

  • Agreement in Brazil: none
  • Technology using: non-replicating viral vector – Ad5 adenovirus
  • Production capacity: the Chinese government approved limited use in the country for Army military personnel in June, but there is no data on large-scale production

Sinopharm and Wuhan Biological Products Institute

Country: China

  • Agreement in Brazil: none
  • Estimated deadline: until the end of 2020
  • Technology: virus inactivated
  • Production capacity: 200 million doses per year (announced)
  • Storage: 2˚ to 8˚ C

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At this stage, with a few hundred volunteers, one wonders whether the drug, in addition to being safe, is likely to work. In the case of a vaccine, the idea is for antibodies to be generated against the pathogen (it remains to be seen whether they actually immunize). It is a phase that, when there is urgency, can be combined or practically suppressed.

Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical/Institute of Microbiology/Chinese Academy of Sciences

Country: China
Technology: direct application of proteins or fragments thereof

Institute of Medical Biology/Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences

Country: China
Technology: virus inactivated

Inovio Pharmaceuticals – INO-4800

Country: USA
Technology: DNA (protein S coding sequence)

Osaka University/AnGes/Takara Bio – AG0301-Covid19

Country: Japan
Technology: DNA

Cadila Healthcare Limited

Country: India
Technology: DNA (protein S coding sequence)

Genexine Consortium – GX-19

Country: South Korea
Technology: DNA

Bharat Biotech – BBV152

Country: India
Technology: virus inactivated

Kentucky Bioprocessing Inc. – KBP-Covid-19

Country: United States
Technology: direct application of proteins or fragments thereof

Duke University/Arcturus – ARCT-021

Country: USA
Technology: RNA

Curevac

Country: Germany
Technology: RNA

Research Institute for Biosafety Problems

Country: Kazakhstan
Technology: virus inactivated

Sanofi Pasteur/GSK

Country: France
Technology: proteins or fragments of it

SpyBiotech/Instituto Serum

Country: India
Technology: VLPs (virus-like particles)

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In the stage that opens the clinical phase of the trials, the test is done, for the first time, with dozens of healthy human beings. The idea is to see if the drug is safe and does not cause side effects. This research phase can take several months, and many vaccine candidates fail. When there is urgency, regulatory authorities allow it to be carried out in combination with the next phase.

Clover Biopharmaceuticals Inc./GSK/Dynavax

Country: China, United Kingdom and United States
Technology: direct application of proteins or fragments thereof

Vaxine Pty Ltd./Medytox

Country: Australia
Technology: direct application of proteins or fragments thereof

University of Queensland / CSL / Seqirus

Country: Australia
Technology: direct application of proteins or fragments thereof

Pasteur Institute / Themis / University of Pittsburg CVR / Merck

Country: United States and France
Technology: virus inactivated

Imperial College London

Country: UK
Technology: RNA

Medicago Inc.

Country: United States
Technology: VLPs (virus-like particles)

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Sciences/Walvax Biotech

Country: China
Technology used: RNA

Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corporation/NIAID/Dynavax

Country: USA
Technology it uses: direct application of proteins or fragments thereof

Beijing Minhai Biotechnology Company

Country: China
Technology using: virus inactivated

ImmunityBio, Inc. & NantKwest Inc

Country: USA
Technology: adenovirus as a vector

ReiThera/LEUKOCARE/Univercells

Country: European country consortium
Technology: adenovirus as a vector

CanSino / Biotechnology Institute, Military Medical Sciences Academy

Country: China
Technology: adenovirus as a vector

Vaxart

Country: USA
Technology: adenovirus as a vector

Ludwig-Maximilians – University of Munich

Country: Germany
Technology: uses viruses as a vector

Finlay Vaccine Institute

Country: Cuba
Technology: proteins or fragments of them

West China Hospital, Sichuan University

Country: China
Technology: proteins or fragments of them

Tuebingen University Hospital

Country: Germany
Technology: proteins or fragments of them

Covaxx

Country: USA
Technology: proteins or fragments of them

Merck Sharp & Dohme / IAVI

Country: USA
Technology: uses viruses as a vector

Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy/Universidade Xiamen

Country: China
Technology: uses viruses as a vector

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Pre-clinical research
These are the tests done before the tests on humans, involving, for example, understanding how the pathogens attack the host organism and the search for possible antigens. It may take several years for this body of knowledge to be solid enough.

In the case of the vaccine to contain the SarsCoV-2 virus, one way to shorten the deadline is, at this stage, to take advantage of the knowledge acquired about the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and Mers (Middle East respiratory syndrome) viruses, both coronaviruses .

Other procedures that can delay the process

  • Factory building As a rule, the construction of the factory can take years and only happens after the approval of the vaccine, since it may prove to be unsafe or ineffective in any of the stages of clinical research, and the work becomes a lost investment. With the pandemic of the new coronavirus, however, large industries and consortia are considering building factories in parallel with clinical trials.
  • Large-scale production Producing a vaccine requires specific equipment and also specific techniques – while some vaccines are produced after infection of chicken eggs with viruses, others depend on the production of antigens by microorganisms, for example. When it is desired to speed up the process, industrial production begins with proof of partial effectiveness to the regulatory authorities. In the case of the vaccine for Covid-19, Anvisa will accept 50% effectiveness.
  • Distribution In addition to guaranteeing the necessary amount to potentially immunize the whole of humanity, it is necessary to have the means for it to reach different countries. To shorten the period, the vaccine can start to be distributed even before its effectiveness has been fully proven, and it can be used to immunize health and safety professionals, for example.

Sources: Diego Moura Tanajura (Federal University of Sergipe), NIH, Harvard University, Oxford University

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