Coronavirus vaccine update: These countries are closest to finding a treatment
The total number of coronavirus cases across the world are still on the rise despite stringent lockdown and containment measures put in place by most countries . The latest data suggests the total COVID-19 cases have crossed the 3.5 million-mark, including over 2.4 lakh deaths. The United States has been the worst affected nation with 72,275 deaths, followed by the UK, Italy and Spain. As spread of coronavirus shows no sign of slowing down, researchers and various governments are doubling their efforts to develop a vaccine.
Here's an update on COVID-19 researches across major countries
The United States: The US leads the chart with 209 active case studies going on to develop a vaccine. Pharma giant PFizer has already injected the first experimental vaccine on patients in the US. Gilead has ramped-up activities to make virus treatment drug Remdesivir, which has been showing 'very promising' results in a crucial study in the US, Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government's top expert said. Regeneron has also said its 'anti-body' treatment drug could also be available by this fall. Besides, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and several other bio-pharmaceutical companies have ramped-up efforts to develop the COVID-19 vaccine.
The UK: Scientists at Jenner Institute of Oxford University claim to have made a potential vaccine for coronavirus. Also, UK biotech company Synairgen's drug called Interferon Beta has been injected in patients as part of initial trials, which will show results by June. It's otherwise used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. UK has pledged 388 million euro to fund vaccine research, tests and treatments. About 31 active case studies for vaccine development are going on in the UK.
Israel: Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett claimed the Israel government's Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) has developed an antibody to the novel coronavirus and is going to patent and mass-produce the potential treatment.
China: WHO data says four vaccines under human trials are from China. Except for the DNA-based vaccine attempted by US-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals, all the other vaccines are now undergoing Phase 1 and Phase 2 human trials together in a bid to fast track the development process. Chinese vaccines under development are from CanSino Biological Inc-Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, Wuhan Institute of Biological Product-Sinopharm, Beijing Institute of Biological Products with Sinopharm, and an independent SARS platform-based inactivated vaccine from Sinovac.
Italy: There are around 59 active case studies going on in the country. A team of Italian scientists claimed to have discovered the world's first vaccine that can neutralise the deadly virus. Italian scientists at Rome's Spallanzani Hospital have claimed that they are the first to neutralise the virus via a vaccine and that the initial results were "encouraging and beyond expectations".
India: More than 30 vaccines are in various stages of development in India, scientists informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. University of Oxford's vaccine is also being developed with multiple partners including India's Serum Institute of India. The WHO document says out of the 100 projects under pre-clinical stages, Indian companies like Zydus Cadila, Codagenix-Serum Institute of India, Indian Immunologicals with Griffith University, Bharat Biotech with the Thomas Jefferson University, Biological E Ltd, and the UW Madison-FluGen-Bharat Biotech combine are also working on vaccine candidates.