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With nearly 10 million Covid-19 patients across the globe and over 4.8 coronavirus fatalities, the need for a Covid-19 antidote becomes more urgent by the day.
The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc.’s experimental vaccine, ChAdOx1-S, has become the first to enter the final stages of clinical trials against the coronavirus disease.
But Oxford and AstraZeneca’s collaborative initiative is not the only one in the race to arrive at a potential Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the World Health Organisation’s draft landscape of Covid-19 vaccines, there were 10 candidates in the advanced clinical trials and 115 in preclinical evaluation stages on June 12. On June 22, 13 experimental vaccines were there in clinical trials and another 129 in the preclinical evaluation stage. The latest WHO draft notifies 16 experimental vaccines to be in clinical trials and another 125 in the preclinical evaluation stage as of June 24.
CanSino Biological Inc./Beijing Institute of Biotechnology; Moderna/NIAID; Wuhan Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm; Beijing Institute of Biological Products/Sinopharm; Sinovac; Novavax; BioNTech/Fosun Pharma/Pfizer; Institute of Medical Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences; Inovio Pharmaceuticals; Genexine Consortium; Gamaleya Research Institute; Clover Biopharmaceuticals Inc./GSK/Dynavax; Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical/Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Imperial College London and Curevac are 15 other contenders who have their experimental vaccines in the clinical trials phase, WHO’s latest draft landscape states.
Spearheading the effort to formulate a Covid-19 vaccine are US-based Moderna Inc. and China’s Sinovac Biotech – both will enter the final stage of trials next month.
Beijing-based China National Biotec Group Co. is the latest to receive regulatory approval to conduct phase 3 trials of its Covid-19 vaccines in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
Indian companies are also partnering to develop vaccine candidates that are currently in the preclinical trial stages.Serum Institute of India (SII) has partnerships with US-biotech firm Codagenix, Austria’s Themis Bioscience and Oxford-AstraZeneca.
Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad is working on three vaccine candidates. Delhi-based Panacea Biotec is partnering with Refana Inc. in the US to develop an inactivated whole virus vaccine. Zydus Cadila in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad-based India Immunologicals have also formed partnerships to develop Covid-19 vaccines.