The corona vaccine will not be available for a while yet. At the moment there are 9 vaccines worldwide that have reached the clinical research stage (phase 3). Yesterday, the Janssen pharmaceutical company announced that it will now start trials of its corona vaccine on test subjects in the United States (US), South Africa, and a number of South American countries.
This vaccine, which was developed by Janssen Vaccines based in the Dutch city of Leiden, is one of the six vaccines that have been reserved by the European Commission. An effective treatment is not expected to become available until the first or second quarter of next year.
Vaccine from Janssen and Johnson & Johnson
Phase 2 testing of the vaccine is presently also underway in Spain. These trials already kicked off on September 14. Phase 2 trials will soon be held in the Netherlands and Germany as well. There are a total of 550 volunteers for the trials in these three countries.
Some135 people are being recruited in the Netherlands. This is the first corona vaccine to be tested in the Netherlands. The trials are being held in the hospitals of Utrecht, Leiden, and Groningen.
AstraZeneca has resumed testing on the British Oxford vaccine. The tests were stopped for four days from September 8 to 12 due to an illness affecting one test subject. Innovation Origins previously had reported on this suspension of the trial.
Together, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy already ordered 300 to 400 million vaccines from AstraZeneca this June. The European Commission (EC) then took over the task of procuring the vaccine. The EC has renegotiated the contract with AstraZeneca. The new deal covers at least 300 million doses of the vaccine. If these are proven to be safe and effective, 100 million will be added to this amount.
It was unclear at first whether this illness was a direct result of the vaccine. This turned out not to be the case after an investigation. Testing is still at a standstill in the US and South Africa.
Despite the interruption, AstraZeneca expects that the vaccine will still be ready at the end of the year. This implies that this vaccine is expected to be the first on the market.
Vaccine from BioNTech and Pfizer
On July 27, the German company BioNTech started collecting test candidates in the US for the phase 2/3 clinical trials. These trials have subsequently started.
The vaccine has also been approved by German authorities for research involving test subjects. On September 7, a Phase 3 clinical trial got off the ground there too. Some 25,000 volunteers have already been recruited for this clinical trial. The goal is to get this figure up to 30,000. BioNTech and the U.S. company Pfizer have also indicated that they are looking for candidates from Argentina and Brazil.
The European Commission had previously reached a preliminary agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech. This deal concerns the purchase of two hundred million vaccines. An option for an additional hundred million has been left open in the agreement.
The vaccine from the American biotech company Moderna presents a promising prospect. Interim results of their tests indicate that the vaccine does work. The vaccine is especially effective for people over 60 years of age. At the end of September, the company hopes to publish the research findings from the final phase.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s vaccine center released a tracker in April. This tracker shows the up-to-date developments of various corona vaccines. Direct access to the results of clinical trials can also be found via the tracker.