Pharma chiefs see coronavirus vaccine by year-end, but challenges 'daunting'

Grant Boone
May 29, 2020

GSK has prioritized its efforts towards making its pandemic adjuvant technology available to partners developing promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are suitable for use with an adjuvant.

According to a regularly-updated document maintained by the World Health Organization, there are 10 vaccines in clinical trials for COVID-19, and 115 in preclinical development.

The London-listed company said it was in talks with governments on backing for the programme, which would effectively allow for a scaling up of production of future successful vaccines for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

It could prove crucial in at least seven of the experimental jabs being looked at by scientists, including one proposed by French pharma group Sanofi, with whom Glaxo signed a collaboration deal last month.

"More than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic", Roger Connor, president of Glaxo's vaccines operation, said in the statement.

Ontario reports 383 new COVID-19 cases today
It's the first time in 10 days that the province has come close to its goal of completing 16,000 tests per day. The province says 833 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, with 137 being treated in intensive care units.

In the US, biotech company Novavax has just started human testing on participants in Australia, with the hopes of releasing a proven version this year.

AstraZeneca and Oxford University's viral vector approach, where harmless viruses instruct human cells to make virus-like proteins, also needs no adjuvants.

As well as its collaboration with Sanofi, GSK has contributed the adjuvant to alliances involving Chinese biotech firms Clover Biopharmaceuticals and Xiamen Innovax, as well as the University of Queensland, Australia.

How quickly those studies can determine whether the vaccines are safe and effective depends in part on how widely the coronavirus is still spreading.

Following a long history of partnership, including the announcement on 7 February of an agreement between The Jenner Institute and IRBM's Advent to manufacture ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, Advent has now manufactured its first batch of vaccine in just over one month from receiving the seed stock, whilst ensuring high standards of quality control. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. "We are encouraged by the willingness of our private sector counterparts to come together as force multipliers to expedite vaccine development and to help save lives". We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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