It was only a few days ago that a US biotech company announced that its vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) is ready for human testing.
Now, a second US company called Novavax has announced the very same thing. Novavax is stationed in Maryland and has said that it has made leaps and bounds in developing its own version of a vaccine for COVID-19. According to Stanley C. Erck, CEO of Novavax, the reason for the company to be able to quickly be able to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 is because of their previous experience with coronaviruses such as MERS and SARS.
Here's what Erck said, "Our previous experience working with other coronaviruses, including both MERS and SARS, allowed us to mobilize quickly against COVID-19 and successfully complete the critical preliminary steps to engineer viable vaccine candidates. Now that the protein has been expressed stably in our baculovirus system, we aim to identify the optimal candidate and scale up production of sufficient vaccine for preliminary clinical trials. We are now well-positioned to advance the COVID-19 vaccine candidate to Phase I clinical testing in May or June."
The first US company to announce human testing for their vaccine was Moderna, and judging by what Erck said, it seems that both companies are on a similar testing course. While it does seem like things are moving along quickly, it doesn't mean that either of these vaccines will be ready to be introduced to the public. There are many layers of regulation, testing from both government and privatized companies, and of course approvals that they need to get through.
When will we see a vaccine introduced to the public? It's most likely going to be closer to the end of 2020, and maybe even into early 2021.
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