There are 70 vaccines in development as scientists around the world race to find a treatment for the novel coronavirus. Though there is no frontrunner yet, three are in the human trials testing stage, with one further along than the other two. The trial sizes are small including between 40 and 45 participants.
There are a total of three clinical trial phases established by the World Health Organization for human subjects. This ensures potential vaccines are well-tested and assessed for safety before submitted for approval. An experimental vaccine being developed by CanSino Biologics and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology is currently in phase two. But, just because the drug has made it this far in the process doesn’t mean it will work. This is why it’s a good thing there are many different options simultaneously in development.
Coronavirus Vaccine in Human Trials
The other two vaccines currently in human trials are being developed by drugmakers in the United States. Moderna began human trials in March 2020 and Inovio Pharmaceuticals began trials in early April. The first tests are being conducted on individuals considered low-risk and are in overall good health. Researchers will closely monitor patient results to see how well the medication is tolerated, if these new vaccines cause side effects, and if they provoke an effective immune response. If everything goes well the vaccine then moves into stage two then three. These stages involve larger sample sizes, longer observation periods, and a more diverse population.
One Year to Market
Though one year may sound like a long time before these vaccines will be on the market, it is actually lightning speed in terms of this kind of medicine. Vaccines typically take between 10 and 15 years to hit the market after scores of animal trials. But, in these unprecedented times, with a deadly virus killing thousands around the world, we’re expediting the process to find a treatment. Creating an effective vaccine while simultaneously protecting everyone’s health and safety are urgent priorities.