Covid-19: a vaccine before the end of the year? and what drugs are used
China has announced that it plans to market a vaccine for the new coronavirus before the end of 2020. Where are the other vaccine and drug projects?
China announced on Saturday May 30, 2020 that it will be able to market a Covid-19 vaccine before the end of the year. Considering that experts insist that there are many incompressible delays related to testing and industrial deployment, this seems like very good news. What is presented as serum is developed by the Beijing Biology Institute and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Clinical trials have entered phase 2, the vaccine is being tested in 2,000 people, China said. According to the Public Goods Supervision and Administration Commission, the Beijing Institute for Biological Products will be able to produce between 100 and 120 million doses per year. Commercialization is scheduled for late 2020 or early 2021.
What drug is used against the coronavirus?
The preferred treatment would be tocilizumab, marketed by the Roche laboratory under the name Actemra. A Chinese study reports this protocol. "A single dose of tocilizumab has been used in 21 patients in China with severe respiratory syndrome during CoviD-19 infection, at a dose of 400 mg intravenously, in addition to routine treatment. Within a few days, 90% of the patients recovered and the pulmonary opacities disappeared, "Julien Lion, a postdoctoral fellow in an Inserm research unit at the Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris, explained in Le Figaro. Additionally, Necker Hospital will begin an experiment with another IL-6 inhibitor, sarilumab.
EIDD-2801, an antiviral tested in cell cultures of the human respiratory tract, inhibited the viral replication of SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-1 without causing toxicity. This treatment has not yet been tested in mice to detect Covid-19, but has been shown to be effective in animals for MERS and SARS. In the journal Science Translational Medicine, the research team estimated that "if another SARS or MERS virus were to spread in the future, [EIDD-2801] would likely be sensitive to the antiviral activity of this treatment." Timothy Sheahan, the study's first author, said in a statement: "This antiviral could be tested in compassionate use and human clinical trials. The goal is to attack the virus directly, alleviate symptoms, decrease pathogenesis, and save lives."
Since March 20, the Discovery project has been carried out on a European scale. This study aims to evaluate 3,200 European patients hospitalized for severe forms of Covid-19 treatment. Directed by the Thematic Institute of Immunology, Inflammation, Infectiology and Microbiology in France, this clinical trial, coordinated by Inserm, involves 800 French patients hospitalized in five establishments (in Paris, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Strasbourg). Each quarter of the patients will receive a different treatment: symptomatic (which treats the symptoms, but not the disease itself), or Remdesivir (this antiviral prevents the virus from adapting its genetic code to the patient), or Kaletra (used for HIV patients ) or Kaletra in combination with beta interferon. Another will focus on the plasma of recovered people reinjected into the sick.
The chloroquine trial in a large sample of patients has been discontinued.
Tocilizumab is a serious avenue against Covid-19. A randomized study conducted by Hospitals de Paris - Public Assistance showed that this medicine "significantly improves the prognosis of patients with moderate or severe covid pneumonia." This immunosuppressant may prevent the formation of "cytokine storms" (serious lung conditions linked to a disproportionate immune response). The study was conducted in 129 patients: 65 received tocilizumab, the others a regular treatment. However, these promising results must be confirmed by "additional trials".
Is there a coronavirus vaccine?
RNA vaccine. At the moment there is no vaccine against Covid-19, but a hundred projects are being developed. Some laboratories, such as Moderna, which hopes to be commercialized in early 2021, are applying a new vaccine strategy. "It involves directly injecting synthetic RNA into humans, which will allow the body to directly produce one of the coronavirus or plasma proteins. Following the Discovery program, a plasma clinical trial began in early April." This clinical trial consists of the transfusion of plasma from cured patients of Covid-19, which contains antibodies directed against the virus and that could transfer this immunity to a patient suffering from Covid-19, "explained in a press release the Assistance Public Hospitals of Paris, the french establishment of sangre and the National Institute of Medical and Health Research.