Oxford University’s rush to scale up production of coVID-19 vaccine is likely to go to waste

The UK-sponsored Global Vaccine Summit launched the ADVANCE Market Commitment for COVID-19 vaccines, a mechanism that will help low – and middle-income countries access coVID-19 vaccines and ensure equal access for all.

On the afternoon of June 4 local time, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted the online Global Vaccine Summit, which was attended by representatives of 52 countries, including 35 national leaders, and representatives of global health organizations, the private sector, vaccine manufacturers and civil society organizations.
Addressing the conference, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China attaches great importance to international cooperation in vaccine research and development and will contribute to the realization of the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries.

After the summit, world leaders pledged $8.8bn for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), well over the target of $7.4bn.
These funds will be used to help vaccinate children in low-income countries and to improve health systems against the impact of novel Coronavirus.

For coVID-19 vaccines, which are still under development, the summit launched advance market commitments to ensure vaccine access in developing countries.
“This new financing instrument is designed to incentivize vaccine manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of coVID-19 vaccines to ensure that they are also available in developing countries.
This is an important cornerstone for ensuring equitable access to coVID-19 vaccines for all countries at different levels of development.”
The British Embassy in China told caijing reporters.
The UK is the largest donor to the GavI alliance, and the COVID-19 vaccine, developed at Oxford University and funded by the UK government, is one of the most likely candidates for early use.

Vaccines are seen as the only effective way to end the novel Coronavirus epidemic.
There are more than 100 vaccine candidates in development worldwide.
Clinical trials of coVID-19 vaccines will yield faster results if they are carried out in an environment where the virus is still spreading rapidly.
But with the peak of the epidemic in Europe and the United States, how to recruit the right volunteers to test the effectiveness of the vaccine has become a new challenge on the road to vaccine development.

“The main question at this stage is how do clinical trials get enough cases to get reliable data on the efficacy of the vaccine.”
Stephen Evans, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told Finance.

The Oxford vaccine is already in production

As of June 2, there were 123 vaccine candidates in the preclinical evaluation phase and 10 other vaccines in the clinical evaluation phase, according to the World Health Organization.
Vaccine research and development new champions league leader including biological engineering research institute, Chinese academy of military sciences and jointly developed the vaccine Ad5 Kang Xinuo creatures – nCoV, Oxford University and astrazeneca AZD1222, which developed by the us national institute of allergy and infectious diseases with Modern biotechnology companies – a joint research and development of vaccine mRNA – 1273, the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German pharmaceutical company developed BNT162 BioNTech cooperation, etc.

Advance market commitments will help people in poor countries gain access to vaccines and ensure that ultimately successful coVID-19 vaccines are not monopolized by rich countries.
This gives vaccine manufacturers an incentive to develop new products and to mass-produce them even before full trials have shown whether they will work.
In return, gavI will buy large quantities of vaccine at a certain and fair price.

The GavI Alliance is a public-private partnership that has worked to help vaccinate the world’s children since its inception in 2000.
Its advance market commitment for the coVID-19 vaccine borrows from previous efforts to promote pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.
As an innovative financing instrument, advance market commitments help to reduce the investment risks of producing vaccines, vaccine manufacturers will be able to secure demand for vaccines in advance, and countries will be able to obtain vaccines more quickly and at predictable prices.

For coVID-19, the GavI Alliance set an initial target of $2 billion, and 12 donors have so far raised an initial seed fund of $567 million to help poor countries buy coVID-19 vaccines.

“Over the past few months, it has become very clear to us that COVID-19 transmission knows no borders, which is why this global problem requires a global solution…
We will continue to need support in the future to ensure that coVID-19 vaccines are available to vulnerable people in low – and middle-income countries, as well as those in high-income and upper middle-income countries.”
Seth Berkley, CEO of the GavI Alliance.

The British Embassy in Beijing said the UK will work with international partners to ensure that coVID-19 vaccine access is achieved as soon as possible.
“We need genuine global co-operation.
No country, no pharmaceutical company, can do this alone.”

During the Global Vaccine Summit, Astrazeneca, a British pharmaceutical company, announced an agreement with GAVI and CEPI (the Pandemic Preparedness Innovation Alliance) to pay $750 million for the production and procurement of 300 million coVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year.
Although astrazeneca and Oxford University joint research and development of vaccine clinical trials have not yet completed, but astrazeneca’s global chief executive soubo division (Pascal Soriot) on June 5, said in an interview with the BBC, astrazeneca has begun production of a vaccine, in order to ensure that once the clinical trial is successful, the vaccine can be put into use immediately.

The risk, Admits Mr Subroko, is that if the vaccine proves ineffective, all the vaccine already produced will go to waste.
But once successful, people can be vaccinated as soon as possible.
Astrazeneca has also signed a separate agreement with the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, to provide 1bn doses to low – and middle-income countries, of which 400m will be delivered by the end of 2020.
Subroko said final results on the effectiveness of the coVID-19 vaccine, developed in collaboration with Oxford University, will be available in August.

To Brazil for clinical trials

Covid-19 researchers are racing against time not only to develop a vaccine that can effectively stop the spread of the virus, but also because the slowdown in the epidemic has made it more difficult to test the vaccine.

Astrazeneca says late-stage clinical trials will be conducted in several countries.
As phase II and phase III clinical trials begin in the UK, the vaccine team is also looking to Brazil, where the epidemic is still at its peak.

On June 3rd Brazil’s national Health watchdog announced that it would allow clinical trials of the Oxford-developed coVID-19 vaccine in Humans in Brazil, the first time the vaccine has been tested in humans outside the UK.
Initial non-clinical studies in animals and phase I human clinical studies have shown that the vaccine is safe enough, Brazil’s National Health Watchdog said in a statement.
The Federal University of Sao Paulo will recruit 2,000 volunteers to take part in the trial.

In June, the number of new cases in Brazil was still on the rise.
More than 30,000 new cases were reported on June 5, the highest in the world.
In The UK, the number of new cases has fallen since May, to 1, 805 on June 5.

The vaccine, developed jointly by Oxford and Astrazeneca, is one of the first to enter phase I clinical trials and is already in phase III trials in the UK.
After phase I trials began in April, phase II will focus on assessing the immune response of the vaccine in different age groups, and phase III will focus on testing whether the vaccine works in a large population.
The phase III trial is taking place in Brazil.

How quickly you get data on the efficacy of a vaccine depends on how far the virus has spread.
If the spread of the virus remains high, researchers will have less time to gather data on whether the vaccine is effective.
And if there aren’t enough people infected, scientists won’t have enough evidence to prove the vaccine is effective.

In announcing the entry of phase II and III clinical trials, the Oxford vaccine team indicated that it would prioritize the recruitment of volunteers more likely to be exposed to the novel Coronavirus environment, such as front-line healthcare workers, front-line support staff and key public facing workers.

As the number of infections in the UK has fallen, Adrian Hill, a member of the vaccine team and director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, told British media in late May that there was a 50 per cent chance that their work on the coVID-19 vaccine would fail.
Earlier, his team had thought there was an 80 per cent chance of an effective coVID-19 vaccine being developed by September.
That estimate had a significant advantage over the timetables of other vaccine teams.
The Jenner Institute has adopted the same technical approach as its previous mers vaccine, allowing it to reduce the time it takes to prepare clinical trials.

But the race with Novel Coronavirus remains fraught with uncertainty.
“We are in a very strange position to wish that novel Coronavirus could linger a little longer, at least for a little longer.”
Hill said.

Oxford has yet to publish the results of the first phase 1 clinical trial.
America’s national institutes of health, the rocky mountain laboratories for the vaccine before rhesus monkeys experiments have shown that despite vaccination rhesus monkeys after exposure to will be after coronavirus pneumonia symptoms, but in the nasal cavity is detected and unvaccinated rhesus monkey the same will be coronavirus, led effect concerns about the outlook of the vaccine.

“Tests on animals are not perfect predictors of human results.”
Mr Evans said.
He said that a novel Coronavirus outcome in the nasal cavity of a rhesus monkey would not be a barrier to a human clinical trial.

Evans further explained that the vaccinated rhesus monkeys were exposed to a much higher dose of the virus than humans are normally exposed to.
“This means that it is possible for the virus to be completely suppressed in humans.
Even if it doesn’t completely suppress the virus in the rhesus monkey nose, the vaccine can prevent disease or severe disease.”

The British government has invested 130 million pounds to fund research and development of coVID-19 vaccines at Oxford University and Imperial College London, and has set up a vaccine task force to coordinate the efforts of government, academia and industry to accelerate the development of the vaccine, the Embassy told Finance.
The challenge in developing coVID-19 vaccines lies not only in the research and development itself, but also in how to achieve large-scale production and global distribution of vaccines once they are proven effective.

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