Covid-19: Top 20 organizations who are working on coronavirus vaccine

About 40 companies around the globe are currently getting into a race to develop the coronavirus vaccine. Some of them are preparing their candidates for human trials. We compiled a brief on how they are doing and what are their plans?

Covid-19: Top 20 organizations who are working on coronavirus vaccine

Besides the efforts of scientists and researchers all around the world, the coronavirus vaccine development is still a distant dream. But, even if they succeed to develop any vaccine, there are many hurdles before going in a feasible form for global immunization.

Although, there is hiking demand of vaccine at large that ultimately ends the pandemic, scientists state that the developed vaccine must undergo strict trial and testing before applied globally.

1. Moderna

This US biotech firm is best known for working on personalized cancer vaccines. The company has a history of involvement in public health threats, including the 2015 Zika outbreak.

Moderna has already produced an RNA-based vaccine, which codes for a stabilized form of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Phase I, safety trial is set to begin in April this year.

2. CureVac

This German company uses lab-made mRNA to spur the production of coronavirus proteins, triggering immune cells to produce antibodies against it. The company expects to test its vaccine on humans within a few months.

3. Inovio

A US biotech that uses DNA instead of RNA to make medicines. The company started preclinical testing in January 2020. So far, it has produced 3,000 doses for trials to be conducted in patients in US, China, and South Korea.

4. Applied DNA Sciences / Takis Biotech

The New York-based company is partnering with Italy-based Takis Biotech to deliver its own DNA-based vaccine candidates. The two companies working to have four versions available to test in mice.

One candidate comprises the complete spike gene. The remaining three preclinical vaccines are designed as variants that build on epitope mapping and assembling the related ‘S’ gene parts into a new synthetic LinearDNA gene, along with codon optimisation.

5. Stemirna Therapeutics

This is a Chinese mRNA-based vaccine project, manufacturing has already begun, and doses could be ready for human testing in mid-April. this mRNA vaccine has been used in preliminary trials on primates to gauge safety and effectiveness.

6. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

GSK is one of the world’s leading vaccine manufacturers. GSK is lending its technology to a Chinese firm called Clover Biopharmaceuticals to work on a coronavirus vaccine to work on a coronavirus vaccine, who will be producing viral proteins.

7. Novavax

This US company previously worked on vaccines against SARS and MERS. The company announced in February that it had generated several candidates comprised of recombinant protein nanoparticles derived from the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Soon they expect to complete animal testing.

8. Altimmune

This US company is developing a vaccine that gets sprayed into patient’s nasals. It previously developed a nasal-spray flu vaccine. It had completed the design and prototyping of a vaccine against Covid-19.

9. Vaxart

This is the only biotech company struggling to develop an oral vaccine against Covid-19. In January this year, the company announced plans to generate candidates.

10. Expres2ion

This Denmark-based biotech firm is leading a European consortium of Covid-19 vaccine developers. It uses insects’ cells from fruit flies to produce viral antigens. The company plans to test its candidate vaccine in animal models later this year.

11. Generex Biotechnology

Four companies in China have contracted with US-based Generex to develop a vaccine, using the company’s proprietary immune-activating technology. A candidate could be ready for human trials in June this year.

12. Vaxil Bio

This Israeli immunotherapy company specializes in cancer. But last in February, it announced the discovery of a combination of proteins, that might be an effective vaccine against Covid-19. 

13. iBio

This US-based biotech uses modified relatives of the tobacco plant to grow viral proteins for vaccines. The company is partnering with a Chinese vaccine company to put its “FastPharming” platform to work on a Covid-19 vaccine.

14. Baylor College of Medicine / New York Blood Center

This group is looking for funding to test their SARS vaccine against the Covid-19. They already have about 20,000 doses ready to be deployed for clinical trials. The new vaccine is based on the binding receptor domain of the new virus.

15. University of Queensland

A team of Australian researchers have developed a vaccine candidate, they claimed that it is ready to move forward into human testing. The candidate vaccine relies on a “molecular clamp” technology, which helps stabilize viral protein. So that, they have the same shape which they would have on the surface of the virus.

16. University of Saskatchewan

A team of Canadian university researchers is working on a vaccine against Covid-19. They have used the virus’s published genome sequence to begin building protein-based candidates. They are waiting for live versions of the virus to begin testing in animal models.

17. University of Oxford / Advent Srl

A team of researchers at the University of Oxford had been working on a vaccine against MERS, which they quickly tailored to the new coronavirus. The scientists are planning to produce the first 1,000 doses for human trials.

18. Sanofi

Sanofi has been working since 2004 on pandemic preparedness. The company is not focusing on a coronavirus vaccine, using the company’s recombinant DNA platform. The platform involved swapping in parts of the coronavirus’ RNA with genetic material from a harmless virus. A vaccine candidate to test in animals could be ready within six months.

19. Johnson & Johnson

The company is planning to deactivate the virus by producing a vaccine that triggers an immune response without causing infection.

20. Geovax Lab / BravoVax

US-based GeoVax partnered with BravoVax Wuhan, China, to collaborate on development of coronavirus vaccine. GeoVax will use its MVA-VLP vaccine platform and expertise to design and construct the vaccine candidate using genetic sequences from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.