In this fight of humanity against the novel coronavirus, some experts believe that is might be extremely difficult to develop vaccines that can treat COVID-19. In such a scenario, the only way the threat posed by the ongoing pandemic might end is if humans develop immunity to the coronavirus. It has just been a few months since SARS-CoV-2 was observed in humans; researchers across the globe have already launched several projects to identify as well as potentially develop vaccines to stop the spread of the virus.
Last week, Director-General of World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the fight against COVID-19 is far from over and that we have ‘a long way to go’. WHO also informed that COVID-19 pandemic is interrupting immunisations of other fatal diseases across the globe.
WHO chief also added that the world needs to come together to fight the deadly disease, the virus will take advantage of the cracks and remain to create havoc if the whole world does not unite to grapple with this crisis.
All over the world, there have been landmark developments in swift large-scale testing to find the treatment/vaccine for COVID-19. As the number of COVID-19 infected individuals crossed 3 million across the globe, the stress is mounting to come up with treatments and vaccines to prevent the infection. Many multinational healthcare and biotech giants are pursuing treatment/vaccine for this deadly virus, with Sanofi, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc. being the major players.
WHO, collectively with a group of global partners, initiated a groundbreaking collaboration to accelerate the development as well as equitable access to new essential technologies for COVID-19.
In this article, we will acquaint you with some groundbreaking technologies developing across the world to fight against the ongoing turmoil:
Trimer-Tag© technology: Trial to Commence in Perth
An Australian clinical research Company, Linear Clinical Research, is ready to test a potential vaccine to combat coronavirus. The Company reveals that it will be looking for volunteers in the upcoming two months. The trial would be on a ‘groundbreaking’ potential vaccine that has been developed to support the production of antibodies in the human body to fight the coronavirus infection.
Linear Clinical Research disclosed that the Company would be pursuing healthy adults as well as the elderly, to volunteer for Phase 1 clinical trial in the next couple of months.
If the outcome is positive, the next phase would include ~1k individuals across the globe. The results from this phase would help determine if a vaccine could become available. The trial will be operated by Linear Clinical Research of Perth and was developed by Clover Biopharmaceuticals. This vaccine candidate is a protein-based COVID-19 S-Trimer that helps the body to develop antibodies to combat the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
This vaccine has formerly been used in several clinical studies as well as a treatment for other RNA-based infections such as influenza, HIV and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Jayden Rogers, chief of Linear Clinical Research, stated that the vaccine demonstrated enormous potential.
Clover Biopharmaceuticals, a China-based biotechnology player, has created the potential vaccine, COVID-19 S-Trimer. It was amongst the first companies to begin developing the vaccine in January. The program has extended to involve collaboration and partnerships with renowned vaccine development experts worldwide such as GSK, Dynavax, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
Mr Rogers stated that the Trimer-Tag© technology platform of Clover has made the vaccine so promising, and this technology is used to develop the protein-based COVID-19 S-Trimer vaccine that intends to stimulate the production of antibodies against the Spike (S) protein of coronavirus.
About Linear Clinical Research
Linear Clinical Research is a subsidiary of Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and is a leader in early-stage clinical trials across the globe. The Company operates one of Australia’s most active early phase trial centres and is deemed as a leader in clinical trial innovation and data systems.
ALung Technologies’ Hemolung granted Emergency Use Authorization from FDA
The US-based medical device Company ALung Technologies’ Hemolung device is designed to keep people off ventilators as far as possible. The FDA has approved Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Hemolung RAS (Respiratory Assist System) device of ALung Technologies for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The Company has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA for its Hemolung RAS (Respiratory Assist System) device for treating COVID-19 patients.
On 22 April 2020, ALung was issued EUA for the use of the Hemolung Respiratory Assist System for the treatment of lung failure because of COVID-19. This device works by eliminating carbon dioxide directly from the blood of an infected person. Originally it was designed to help patients of COPD and ARDS.
Moreover, this device could be used as an alternative to ventilators, depending on the situation of the patient.
About ALung Technologies
ALung Technologies is a leader in the development of advanced medical devices which are used for treating respiratory collapse. The Hemolung RAS of ALung which was initially created at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is a dialysis-like replacement to mechanical ventilation. This device is used for removing carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the patients’ blood.
Fluidigm Technology: For Detection of COVID-19
OU Medicine, the OU Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation were working together for the development of a new test for COVID-19 using reagents as well as technology from Fluidigm Corporation and filed for FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for detection of COVID-19 by using Fluidigm technology.
The testing platform will deliver the findings rapidly within six hours, which will allow doctors to quickly commence the treatment on patients who find positive. Additionally, this will help public health authorities to obtain more precise information related to the spread of the virus in Oklahoma.
This fast and high-capacity testing will remain crucial to trace contact to ascertain how many individuals have come in contact with an infected person.
Because of a different methodology than other testing platforms of Fluidigm technology, OU Medicine is capable of getting benefit from its pace and scale capabilities.
Looking at the current situation of the pandemic, it seems like a big challenge to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 for many big pharmaceutical and biotech players. However, the development of groundbreaking technologies to detect as well as treat the coronavirus provide a ray of hope during the crisis created by the pandemic.