Coronavirus: after Pfizer's announcement, where are the announced vaccine projects?

Nearly 200 vaccine candidates against the coronavirus are being studied around the world. 198, precisely, counted the World Health Organization, ten of which entered the third phase of testing, the one before marketing. This Monday, Pfizer hit the headlines by announcing convincing results, but where are the others?

These are the first positive results for a large-scale clinical trial of a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. An announcement so hopeful that it made the Western stock markets soar, Wall Street and Paris. The Pfizer laboratory announced Monday that its experimental vaccine was more than 90% effective against COVID-19.

The American pharmaceutical giant and its German partner BioNTech are the first to report positive results for a large-scale clinical trial of a vaccine against the new coronavirus. The two companies said on Monday that they had so far not seen any serious problems in terms of adverse effects from this vaccine candidate.

Their study is carried out on 44,000 patients. 94 participants developed the Covid-19. The pharmaceutical group did not specify how many sick people had received the vaccine. The latter was given twice about three weeks apart and was shown to be effective in 90% of participants who received it.

The vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech uses messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which is based on synthetic genes. The two companies plan to apply to the United States for an emergency use authorization during the month of November, for people aged 16 to 85.

     Oxford and AstraZeneca: first results within a month

The University of Oxford hopes to present the results of advanced trials of its coronavirus vaccine candidate developed with AstraZeneca this year. Designated “AZD1222” or “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19”, it is based on a chimpanzee adenovirus, modified to introduce into its genome the coding part for the peak protein of SARS-CoV-2.

The third phase of vaccine trials, which began in late summer, was halted after health problems were observed in one of the participants, a Briton. It resumed some time later and the participants' immune response would be "strong" for the elderly, and "robust" for the 18 to 55-year-old tench, according to the Financial Times.
The results will be announced in the coming month. If they are positive, a European marketing authorization will follow.

     Sanofi and GSK: the Frenchman hopes to catch up

Sanofi is currently carrying out a phase I / II clinical trial for its candidate vaccine against COVID-19 developed in partnership with the British GlaxoSmithKline. At the same time, he is developing another vaccine candidate in partnership with Translate Bio, for which he should soon conduct human trials.

Neither vaccine is among the more advanced projects, but Sanofi hopes its experience with the flu vaccine will ultimately give it an advantage. The first could be tested in phase 3 from December. The second has, according to Sanofi, delivered encouraging elements, namely the production of neutralizing antibodies "significantly higher than those observed in patients infected" by the coronavirus.

     Moderna: the American start-up still in the game

Managed by a Frenchman, Moderna, based in Boston, could apply to the American administration for authorization to market its vaccine, mRNA-1273, from the end of November, even if it does not. has not yet communicated on its results.

Biotech has already received 1.1 billion orders, its principle being again that of the ATN messenger. At the end of October, 36,000 participants in phase 3 of its tests had received the second dose of the candidate vaccine, analyzes on its effectiveness being expected shortly.

     CureVac: phase 3 also expected at the end of 2020

  CureVac's experimental vaccine triggered an immune response in humans, the lab announced on November 2. But it is still only at the beginning of clinical trials, the first results of phase 1 being analyzed. The launch of the large-scale phase, with 30,000 participants, is planned for the end of the year.

CureVac also works with messenger RNA (mRNA), a molecule that allows the human body to create viral proteins that will trigger an immune response. The laboratory explained that the volunteers had developed a level of neutralizing antibodies comparable to that of people recovered from a severe form of Covid-19.

    Four Chinese in the ranks, including an institute in ... Wuhan

The Sinovac company, the ... Wuhan Institute of Biological Products and the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, both associated with the giant Sinopharm have also launched their vaccine candidate in phase 3, according to the latest research census carried out by the WHO , November 3. This is also the case for the alliance of CanSino Biological and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology.

In Russia, the Gamaleya research institute saw its vaccine project officially sold by President Vladimir Putin as operational. At the United Nations, he presented the Russian vaccine as having "proven its reliability, its safety and its effectiveness", which did not necessarily convince the rest of the planet. Phase 3 of Sputnik V is not complete. The Johnson & Johnson-Janssen project was delayed after an unexplained illness was observed in a participant in the phase 3 study. NVX-CoV2373 from Novavax entered phase 3 at the end of September. Novavax is developing a subunit vaccine: it sends copies of the virus spike protein to the body to stimulate an immune response.

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