Israel is in final negotiations stages to procure a coronavirus vaccine, already in advanced stages of development, from a U.S. biotech company, Health Ministry officials confirmed Sunday.
Moderna announced it was concluding its phase two testing for the vaccine and was set to begin phase three very soon. The company claimed it could start production of the vaccine as soon as September of this year.
In phase one, the vaccine was administered to 45 volunteers, which showed promising results and was found to be safe.
Phase two, which is nearly complete, was to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine that was shown to be safe for use on humans. Although no data was made available to the public, results are believed to reveal those who were vaccinated, showed an increased amount of antibodies surpassing that of patients who have recovered from the virus.
Moderna's vaccine called mRNA-1373 counters COVID-19's ability to enter cells by preventing the production of the spike protein which would allow the virus to latch on to the cell, thereby preventing the disease from developing and allowing the body's immune system to destroy the virus before any disease occurs.
If the third phase of testing by Moderna is successful, the company believes it would be able to begin mass production of a vaccine by December with an estimated one billion doses completed by the middle of 2021.
Moderna is not the only pharma company working on a vaccine.
The Chinese CanSino has also reported success in their first phase of testing on humans, which ended in April. They too say they are nearing completion of phase two and expect to begin phase three in the course of the summer.
The company's vaccine works similarly to Moderna's version and a successful trial would mean the population of China would likely benefit from it first.
British and Swiss AstraZeneca is also developing a vaccine to fight the spread of coronavirus. The company is cooperating with Oxford University scientists in the production of ChAdOxi, tested thus far on animals including Chimpanzees and are preparing to begin testing on humans next week.
Oxford University announced they were optimistic their vaccine could be in production of one hundred million vials by year's end with an expected increase over 2021. Residents of the U.K. are set to be first in line to receive the vaccine.
The American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has already produced a vaccine, which the company claims tricks the body into thinking it has been invaded by COVID-19, promoting the production of antibodies to fight off the virus. The vaccine called BNT162, which contains various proteins, will be in first and second phase testing within weeks with Pfizer convinced it could be in the production of millions of vaccines by the end of 2020.
Johnson & Johnson also reports it is set to begin mass production of a vaccine. AD26 which was developed by the company will begin phase one of clinical trials in September. The company believes for the first quarter of 2021 they will be able to supply between 600 and 900 million vaccines and by 2021 will up their production to a billion in a year.
French Sanofi brings up the rear in the race to produce and dispense a vaccine for COVID-19. The company reported they were in collaboration with GSK to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19, using innovative technology from both companies, and would be beginning clinical trials in humans in the next couple of months.
Using adjuvant technology would reduce the number of antibodies needed to produce vaccines, therefore, accelerating time to market. They too believe they could be producing up to one billion vaccines by mid-2021.