Effective medicines for the treatment of coronavirus
The first Covid-19 vaccine in China is expected to be ready for clinical trials by the end of April, according to Xu Nanping, China’s vice-minister of science and technology. Inovio Pharmaceuticals plans to begin clinical trials on a coronavirus vaccine in April this year.
Health officials from WHO have noted that Gilead’s remdesivir has demonstrated efficacy in treating the coronavirus infection.
Favilavir, the first approved coronavirus drug in China
The National Medical Products Administration of China has approved the use of Favilavir, an anti-viral drug, as a treatment for coronavirus. The drug has reportedly shown efficacy in treating the disease with minimal side effects in a clinical trial involving 70 patients. The clinical trial is being conducted in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.
Pharmaceutical companies involved in developing coronavirus drugs/vaccines
Here is a list of the major coronavirus drugs that pharmaceutical companies across the world are developing that have the potential to become major coronavirus vaccines or antivirals for treating the contagious coronavirus infection.
Novel coronavirus vaccines
Listed below are the coronavirus vaccines in various stages of development, across the world.
Altimmune’s intranasal coronavirus vaccine
An intranasal Covid-19 vaccine is being developed by US-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, Altimmune.
Design and synthesis of the single-dose vaccine has been completed, while animal testing will follow.
The coronavirus vaccine is being developed based on a vaccine technology platform that is similar to NasoVAX, an influenza vaccine developed by Altimmune.
INO-4800 by Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology
Inovio Pharmaceuticals has collaborated with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Company to advance the development of the former’s vaccine, INO-4800, as a novel coronavirus vaccine. The company has started pre-clinical testing for clinical product manufacturing.
The vaccine development is supported by a $9m grant from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
Inovio announced an accelerated timeline for the development of the vaccine on 03 March. Preclinical trials are ongoing and the design for human clinical trials have been completed. The company has also prepared 3,000 doses for human clinical trials planned to be conducted across the US, China, and South Korea. Plans for large-scale manufacturing have also been developed.
Human clinical trials in 30 healthy volunteers are expected to commence in April 2020 in the US, followed by China, and South Korea. A phase one clinical trial is planned to be conducted in parallel in China, by Beijing Advaccine. Results from the clinical trials are expected to be available in September 2020.
Inovio aims to produce one million doses of the vaccine by the end of 2020 to perform additional clinical trials or emergency use.
NP-120 (Ifenprodil) by Algernon Pharmaceuticals
Algernon Pharmaceuticals has announced that it is exploring its NP-120 (Ifenprodil) as a potential treatment Covid-19. Ifenprodil is an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NDMA) receptor glutamate receptor antagonist sold under the brand name Cerocal. It has demonstrated efficacy in improving survivability in mice infected with H5N1.
APN01 by University of British Columbia and APEIRON Biologics
A drug candidate developed by APEIRON Biologics named APN01 is being tested in China in a phase one pilot trial as a treatment for Covid-19. APN01 is based on research conducted by a professor at the University of British Columbia for treating SARS. The research revealed that the ACE2 protein was the main receptor for the SARS virus.
The clinical trial will test the drug’s efficacy in reducing the viral load in patients. Data from the trial will be used to determine if additional clinical trials are required to be conducted in larger number of patients.
mRNA-1273 vaccine by Moderna and Vaccine Research Center
Moderna and the Vaccine Research Center, a unit of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), have collaborated to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. The vaccine targets the Spike (S) protein of the coronavirus.
The first vials of the vaccine have been manufactured at Moderna’s Massachusetts manufacturing plant and shipped to NIAID for phase one clinical trial, which is scheduled to start in April.
Avian Coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) vaccine by MIGAL Research Institute
The MIGAL Research Institute in Israel announced that an Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) vaccine developed to treat avian coronavirus has been modified to treat Covid-19. The vaccine has demonstrated efficacy in pre-clinical trials conducted by the Volcani Institute.
The IBV vaccine was developed after four years of research and has high genetic similarity to the human coronavirus. The institute has genetically modified the vaccine to treat Covid-19 and will be available in the oral form.
The institute is currently exploring potential partners for producing the vaccine in the next eight to ten weeks and obtaining the necessary safety approvals for in-vivo testing.
TNX-1800 by Tonix Pharmaceuticals
Tonix Pharmaceuticals has partnered with Southern Research, a non-profit research organisation, to develop a coronavirus vaccine named TNX-1800. The vaccine is a modified horsepox virus developed using Tonix’s proprietary horsepox vaccine platform.
TNX-1800 is designed to express a protein derived from the virus that causes the coronavirus infection. Southern Research will be responsible for evaluating the efficacy of the vaccine, under the partnership.
Brilacidin by Innovation Pharmaceuticals
Innovation Pharmaceuticals announced that it is evaluating Brilacidin, a defensin mimetic drug candidate, as a potential treatment for coronavirus. Brilacidin has shown antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties in several clinical trials.
The company is planning to explore research collaborations and seek federal grants to develop the coronavirus drug. It is already investigating the drug for inflammatory bowel disease and oral mucositis in cancer patients.
Innovation has signed two material transfer agreements with a university in the US and biocontainment labs in the US for evaluation of Brilacidin as a treatment for Covid-19.
Recombinant subunit vaccine by Clover Biopharmaceuticals
Clover Biopharmaceuticals is developing a recombinant subunit vaccine using its patented Trimer-Tag© technology. The company is developing the vaccine based on the trimeric S protein (S-Trimer) of the Covid-19 coronavirus, which is responsible for binding with the host cell and causing a viral infection.
Using Trimer-Tag© technology, Clover successfully produced the subunit vaccine in a mammalian cell-culture based expression system on 10 February. The company also identified antigen-specific antibody in the serum of fully recovered patients who were previously infected by the virus.
A highly purified form of the S-Trimer vaccine is expected to be available in six to eight weeks for performing pre-clinical studies. The company is equipped with in-house cGMP biomanufacturing capabilities to scale-up production if the vaccine is proven to be successful.
Clover is also collaborating with GSK to develop a vaccine using the latter’s pandemic adjuvant system.
Vaxart’s coronavirus vaccine
Vaxart is developing an oral recombinant vaccine in tablet formulation using its proprietary oral vaccine platform, VAAST.
The company plans to develop vaccines based on the published genome of 2019-nCOV to be tested in pre-clinical models for mucosal and systemic immune responses.
CytoDyn is examining leronlimab (PRO 140), a CCR5 antagonist, as a potential coronavirus drug.
The drug is already being investigated in phase two clinical trials as a treatment for HIV and has been awarded fast-track approval status by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
Linear DNA Vaccine by Applied DNA Sciences and Takis Biotech
Applied DNA Sciences’ subsidiary LineaRx and Takis Biotech formed a joint venture on 07 February to develop a linear DNA vaccine as a treatment for coronavirus. The JV will use Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing technology to develop the vaccine.
The PCR technology offers several advantages including high purity, increased production speed, and absence of antibiotics and bacterial contaminants. Further, the vaccine gene developed through this technology can be effective without being inserted into the patient’s genome.
The design for four DNA vaccine candidates is expected to be produced using the PCR technology for carrying out animal testing. The design of one of the vaccine candidates is based on the entire spike gene of the coronavirus, while the remaining are designed based on the antigenic portions of the protein.
BXT-25 by BIOXYTRAN to treat late-stage acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
BIOXYTRAN announced that it is exploring partners to develop its lead drug candidate, BX-25, as a treatment for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in late-stage patients infected with the coronavirus. The diffusion of oxygen to the blood is comprised in patients suffering from ARDS leading to fluid build-up in the lungs.
BX-25 is designed to be 5,000 times smaller than blood cells and efficiently transport oxygen through the body for a period of nine hours before being processed by the liver. The drug can help in supplying oxygen to the vital organs and enable the patient to recover and survive.
MERS CoV vaccines for coronavirus
Novavax’s MERS coronavirus vaccine candidate
Novavax developed a novel Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus vaccine candidate in 2013, post the identification of the first MERS coronavirus ((MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is a crucial target for coronavirus vaccine development by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and is a priority disease for the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The candidate is designed to primarily bind to the major surface S-protein and developed using the company’s recombinant nanoparticle vaccine technology. Tested along with the Novavax’s proprietary adjuvant Matrix-M™, it inhibited infection by inducing immune responses in the laboratory studies.
Novavax has produced several nanoparticle vaccine candidates for testing in animal models. The company aims to carry out human trials in 2020.
The MERS coronavirus is related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus for which the company had previously developed a recombinant nanoparticle vaccine candidate.
Inovio Pharma’s INO-4700
The investigational DNA immunotherapy, INO-4700 (GLS-5300) is being developed by Inovio in partnership with GeneOne Life Science. It is delivered as vaccine intramuscularly, using the Cellectra® delivery device.
The vaccine was well-tolerated and demonstrated high immune responses against the MERS-CoV in 94% of patients in the early-stage clinical trial in July 2019.
It also generated broad-based T cell responses in 88% of the subjects.
Retrived from : www.pharmaceutical-technology.com