Trevor Noah joins forces with Bill Gates to educate on Covid-19

Henrietta Brewer
April 8, 2020

While the United States has already started a human trial for Coronavirus vaccine in Seattle in March, another US-based company is getting ready to begin for a safety test of a different vaccine against the COVID-19.

Bill Gates said a few weeks ago that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will spearhead the development of COVID-19 vaccines by starting work on no fewer than seven distinct production lines for potential candidates.

Inovio is not the only company in the USA that has developed a coronavirus vaccine and started human testing.

According to INOVIO, upon attaining initial safety and immunogenicity data from Phase 1 studies, INOVIO plans to advance INO-4800 to Phase 2 efficacy studies as rapidly as possible.

The study is a first step to see if the vaccine appears safe enough for larger tests needed to prove whether it will protect.

A Hyderabad-based vaccine maker and an Australian university have joined forces to develop a prophylatic, active, single-dose immunisation against coronavirus. Earlier the company tested the vaccine on animals which showed an encouraging outcome. In the case of MERS, INOVIO's DNA vaccine was found to be well tolerated and induced high levels of antibody responses in 95% of subjects and produced broad-based T cell responses in nearly 90% of study participants. It is hoped that an effective vaccine could be available in just 18 months.

It said clinical trials of the vaccine candidate in up to 40 healthy adult volunteers began on Monday in two locations: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Kansas City, Missouri.

The pharmaceutical receives resources from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, as well as the Coalition for the Innovations of Preparation for Epidemics.

The Indian ImmunologicalsLimited (IIL), a leading vaccines-manufacturing company, isgoing to commence research for developing avaccine forcoronavirus which has infected over a million and killedabout 55,000 people across the world so far.

As part of the process, each participant would be given two doses of INO-4800 four weeks apart and study supplies of INO-4800 arrived at centres last week. INOVIO plans to have one million doses of the vaccine available by year-end for additional trials and emergency use, pending appropriate regulatory guidance and funding.

The INO-4800 DNA vaccine from Inovio has shown promise in preclinical trials, and the conclusions of the Phase 1 study will be ready this summer.

Professor Suresh Mahalingam, of the Menzies Health Institute at Griffith University, said: "As this vaccine will be a live attenuated vaccine, it is expected to be highly effective by providing very strong cellular and antibody immune responses against the virus".

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