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Vaccine Development

[Interview] A Company on the Cutting Edge of COVID-19 Vaccine Development

   by Andrii Buvailo    1415
[Interview] A Company on the Cutting Edge of COVID-19 Vaccine Development

Recently, COVAXX announced it would soon enter human trials as the company is focused on rapidly developing a Multitope Peptide-based Vaccine (MPV) against SARS-CoV-2. While the biotech industry is now on a race to develop vaccines to curb COVID-19 pandemics, with several dozen players competing for the future market, COVAXX is a special case that can not be taken lightly.

Not only COVAXX’s new vaccine candidate is constructed off a commercially proven peptide-based vaccine platform by United Biomedical (UBI), a leader with a 30-year history in creating vaccines with over 500 million doses sold annually and 5 billion -- cumulatively in animal health indications for infectious disease that has demonstrated safety and efficacy. But it is also co-founded by two biotech “stars” of modern-day: Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., founder and executive chairman of XPRIZE, executive founder of Singularity University, and a dozen other tech companies, a popular science author; and Mei Mei Hu, co-founder of United Neuroscience, a member of Fortune “40 Under 40” and TIME “100 Next List”.

A Leader in COVID-19 Vaccine Race, and the Bright Future for mRNA

   by Ivan Kondratov    835
A Leader in COVID-19 Vaccine Race, and the Bright Future for mRNA

Recently my favorite website ENDPOINTSNEWS published a rating of key players in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine race. Compared to many vaccine developers with announced initiatives in this space, all the 28 organizations in the ENDPOINTSNEWS list stated at least preliminary positive results of their vaccine programs, and are firmly advancing them towards later stages of development. 

By the way, a notorious “Russian vaccine” by The Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology also made its way to this list under the number 6, but I prefer not to touch upon this development. A lot has been said already about this story - to the point, and not so much. 

In this post I would rather talk about the number one in the list, a development undeservedly underrated by the media, which however might be the first to actually enter the global SARS-CoV2 vaccine market…

Arena International Announces the Brand New Direct-to-Patient and Virtual Clinical Trials Digital Experience

   by Kadin Luong    251
Arena International Announces the Brand New Direct-to-Patient and Virtual Clinical Trials Digital Experience

London – Arena International announced today the first-ever Direct-to-Patient and Virtual Clinical Trials (https://arena-international.com/dtpvirtual/) will be held as a Digital Experience on Thursday, 9 July 2020. As COVID-19 has forced the market to move towards decentralized and remote models, this event provides the perfect opportunity for clinical trial professionals to hear, meet and learn from top-class speakers around the world to discuss challenges and innovations in this critical time.

Chemspace collaborates with ChemAlive

   by Kateryna Shtereverya    312
Chemspace collaborates  with ChemAlive

Chemspace and ChemAlive (the largest repository of quantum chemical data, a Contract Research Company that develops software products to obtain accurate and reliable data on molecular properties, synthetic reactions, verification of molecules using quantum chemistry), announced the launch of the collaboration to provide accurate molecular structural information about commercial small molecules.

How Pharma Reacts To Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

   by Andrii Buvailo    4966
How Pharma Reacts To Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

UPDATE April 04. 2020.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID19 approaches 1M globally. Since too many drug repurposing programs and vaccine development projects have been urgently initiated, we decided to summarize them in a separate post:

A Running List Of COVID-19 Treatments And Vaccines In Development

With this, we stop further updates of this news roll, all new COVID research will be reported the Running List -- stay safe and healthy!


UPDATE March 18, 2020:

BREAKING: China says a flu drug favipiravir approved in Japan was effective in a study of 340 coronavirus patients. According to official sources, the drug is effective in mild or moderate cases. Patients treated with favipiravir  turned Covid-19-negative after a median of 4 days since the initial positive test -- which is a substantial improvement compared with a median of 11 days for the untreated patients. X-rays examinations confirmed improvements in lung condition in about 91% of the patients treated with favipiravir vs 62% or those without the treatment.

Favipiravir formula

UPDATE March 17, 2020: The first clinical trial for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine has started in the US from today on -- for mRNA based vaccine developed through a partnership between the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Moderna Therapeutics. Notwithstanding the record-breaking speed for this Phase 1 clinical trial to have begun, the vaccine will be available to the general public not earlier than a year from now, in the best-case scenario. 


UPDATE March 14, 2020: FDA Approves Roche’s Coronavirus Test, which will speed up testing by an order of magnitude. This is the first commercially-available test which takes around 3.5 hours. 

A detailed live statistics for Wuhan coronavirus shows the current number of 155,209 cases, 5,811 deaths, 74,262 recovered. A full list of biotech companies rallying in this space -- at the end of this post.

UPDATE Feb 5, 2020: 

Utah medtech Co-Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ: CODX), a developer of a test for the Wuhan virus strain 

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) has already shipped synthetic genes for use in the pursuit of coronavirus vaccines, and customized oligonucleotide probes and primers to help accurately detect the Wuhan virus.

Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) uses proprietary technology to treat the SARS strain, currently looking to adapt its approach to the novel virus

- Distributed Bio is developing Centivax, a new kind of universal vaccine, but it is unclear how and when it can be applied to the current strain

GenScript is freely offering to researchers a qRT-PCR detection assay based test for coronavirus, which might be helpful to detect infection early

Mammoth Biosciences develops a toolbox for the next generation of CRISPR-based diagnostics, partners with SF based researchers developing a precise diagnostics test against coronavirus.

Sherlock Biosciences is a biotech startup developing CRISPR-based test for coronaviruses -- it requires a blood, urine, or saliva sample for the analytics.

AbCellera is trying to identify antibodies that can neutralize the virus and block transmission.



UPDATE Feb 04, 2020: A number of biotech companies also join the race to develop treatments or vaccines against Wuhan coronavirus, including US biotech companies such as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Vir Biotechnology. Regeneron studies a combination of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies REGN3048 and REGN3051, while Vir is "working to rapidly determine whether its previously identified anti-coronavirus monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) bind and neutralize 2019-nCoV, also referred to as 'Wuhan coronavirus.'" Shares of Vir Biotechnology surged as much as 38% upon announcement to join the race.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, a total death toll raised up to 427, with more than 20.500 infected people confirmed globally.

UPDATE Jan 31, 2020: WHO declared Wuhan coronavirus a global health emergency, hours after the first registered case of human-to-human transmission in the US. A total death toll raised 213, with almost 10,000 cases confirmed globally.


A Wuhan coronavirus outbreak was first reported in early January 2020 and since that time more than 4,500 people have been confirmed to be infected, and 106 dead (actual as of Jan 28th) -- primarily in an 11 million city of Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese province Hubei. More than 70 cases were reported in 17 other places outside China, including at least 5 cases in the US. 

What is Wuhan coronavirus?

Wuhan virus (WHO 2019nCoV) is a positive sense, single stranded RNA beta coronavirus, a member of Beta-CoV lineage B (subgenus Sarbecovirus), supposedly able for human-to-human transmission -- according to Zhong Nanshan, head of the health commission team which investigates the outbreak. The RNA sequence is around 30 kb in length.