Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine

May 13, 2020 | Biotechnology

Fresh from GEN – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, here is an interesting Biotech article for you:

About 48 hours after a Seattle woman received the first dose of an experimental vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, scientists in China—not to be outdone—announced that they had regulatory approval to launch an ambitious vaccine trial as well. The Seattle volunteer received a messenger RNA vaccine that Moderna Therapeutics developed to prevent infection with the pandemic virus. The Chinese scientists, representing CanSino Biologics, described their plans to evaluate a recombinant vaccine.

The worldwide scientific mobilization to produce a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine has become a race against time—and an escalation in the heated rivalry among competing companies. All are scrambling toward the same goal: producing a vaccine against a viral menace that emerged in central China late last year and is now circling the globe.

At the time of this article’s preparation, in mid-April, more than 2 million people around the world had become infected with the novel coronavirus, and deaths had already breached the 100,000 mark, with no end to the pandemic’s exponential growth in sight. It will be months, public health officials say, before it is known whether either of the vaccines entering clinical trials will be widely used to effectively immunize populations against SARS-CoV-2. Multiple other candidate vaccines are being studied by research teams globally, and several are set to be launched into clinical testing within the next few weeks to months.

“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority,” Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), said in a statement. He added that it is impossible to give a precise date when a vaccine will be ready for what will amount to tens of millions of immunizations.

Developers looking to make the most of a head start

The first U.S. candidate vaccine to reach clinical trials—mRNA-1273—was... Want to read more? Visit the GEN – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News​ Blog.

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