Medical Xpress (UK): scientists rush to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus

Scientists from the United States and Australia are using new technology as part of an ambitious multimillion-dollar project aimed at the development in record time of vaccines to combat an outbreak of coronavirus in China.

After appearing in the end of last year in China, the virus began to spread rapidly. His victims were more than 800 people in mainland China, and the number of infected exceeded 37 thousand. Cases of infection with this virus observed in two dozen other countries.

the Development of any vaccines usually takes several years, and it involves a long period of testing on animals, clinical tests, as well as approval from regulators.

However, several teams of experts are trying to more rapidly develop such a vaccine, and supports the international coalition aimed at combating emerging diseases. Australian scientists hope their vaccine will be ready in six months.

“We felt a lot of pressure and we feel a significant responsibility,” said senior researcher at the Australian University of Queensland Chappell Keith (Keith Chappell) included in such group.

However, according to this scholar, “some consolation” for it is the fact, several teams around the world working on a solution to this problem.

“We hope that one of these teams will be crowned with success, and as a result it will be possible to cope with an outbreak of a new virus,” he said.

However, even a period of six months is extremely long, because the virus, which as believe, is the market for the sale of wild animals, every day, killing almost 100 people in mainland CITy.

Efforts to develop new vaccines is headed by the Coalition for innovation in the field of preparedness for epidemics (Epidemic Preparedness Coalition for Innovations — CEPI), which was founded in 2017 to Finance costly biotechnological research since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, which killed more than 11 thousand people.

the Coalition CEPI expects to accelerate the development of vaccines, which directs millions of dollars on the implementation of four projects worldwide and expects new proposals.

Attack on the virus

All the projects are based on the use of new technologies in the development of such vaccines that can be tested in the near future.

the Contextthe Spread of a new type of coronavirus in ChinaDie Welt: whether the world faces a pandemic of coronavirus?Die Welt23.01.2020 Al Jazeera: the six most popular misconceptions about коронавирусеAl Jazeera05.02.2020 Le Monde: bill gates predicted the epidemic is coronavirus and the millions dead?Le Monde06.02.2020 Richard Hatchett (Richard Hatchett), Director General of CEPI, said that the purpose of this program is the beginning of a clinical trial of a vaccine already in 16 weeks.

the German biopharmaceutical company CureVac and is located in United States, company Moderna Therapeutics to develop a vaccine based on matrix of ribonucleic acid — it is sent to the body the instructions for the production of proteins, then how Inovio, another American firm that uses technologies based on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

According to OOI eng Aonga (Ooi Eng Eong), Deputy Director for infectiousthe diseases Medical school Duke-NUS in Singapore, developed on the basis of DNA and RNA vaccines use the genetic coding of the virus in order to make the body produce a protein identical to the one that is on the surface of a pathogen.

Thus the body receives information about these proteins, after which it is ready to detect and attack the virus as soon as it will be inside the body.

Australian scientists use a technology called “molecular clip” (molecular clamp) that was invented by University scientists, and which allows you to quickly develop new vaccines, based only on the sequence of the virus DNA.

the French experts from the Institut Pasteur (Pasteur Institute) modify the measles vaccine so that it can be used to combat the coronavirus, but its completion will require at least 20 months.

According to state news Agency Xinhua, the Chinese center for control and prevention of diseases has also started the development of vaccines.

Risks vs benefits

public health agencies, assess the risks and benefits of the study vaccines, and in case of emergency, this process can be reduced, said OOI from Medical school Duke-NUS.

However, “in the case of improvement of a situation the test period of the vaccine will last longer, and it’s kind of a paradox,” he added.

“If is a large amount of infection by the coronavirus, then some risk is acceptable, because it is possible to obtain significant benefits. But if cases of infection are not so many, that risk tolerance will be at a very low level,” he said.

Since there are no vaccines against coronavirus yet, some physicians testingUte in the treatment of infected patients potent blend of anti-retroviral and anti-influenza drugs, but the experts disagree about the effectiveness of this method.

eventually, scientists will probably be in the same situation as during the outbreak in 2002-2003 of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome — SARS). This flash passed, but the vaccines to that point was never developed.

SARS, a close relative of the new coronavirus has spread then around the world and caused the deaths of about 800 people.

However, Ong sue-Hwa (Ong Siew Hwa), Director of the Singapore biotechnology company Acumen Research Laboratories, believes that attempts to develop a vaccine against the new virus must be continued even if the outbreak will stop.

“In my opinion, it is important to have the vaccine, she said. Even if it is not ready at this time, it will be important to have it in the next.”

the new York times contain estimates of the solely foreign media and do not reflect the views of the editorial Board of the new York times.