Thursday, December 3, 2020
Home Africa Scientists are struggling to quickly find a vaccine that can vanquish coronavirus...

Scientists are struggling to quickly find a vaccine that can vanquish coronavirus – The San Diego Union-Tribune

From San Diego to Beijing to London and Moscow, scientists are working at breakneck speed to create a vaccine that will stop the spread of a virus that has killed nearly 400,000 people worldwide in the past six months.

There are few parallels in history to the war scientists are waging against the novel coronavirus, which is formally known as SARS-CoV-2.

Researchers quickly came up with reasonably good tests to identify who is infected. Many therapeutic drugs to make the disease less fatal are headed for clinical trials. One existing antiviral drug, remdesivir, shows promise for speeding up recovery times.

But life may not return completely to normal until there is a safe, effective vaccine.

There are at least 135 vaccines in development — a number that has has doubled since late March. One of the most promising comes from Inovio Pharmaceuticals of San Diego, which is wrapping up a small safety trial in humans.

But the coronavirus won’t be vanquished quickly.

A baffling virus

UCSD, like the rest of society, needs a coronavirus vaccine to help return things to normal. Dr. Davey Smith, chief of infectious diseases at UC San Diego, explains how the global effort is unfolding.

Developing a successful vaccine is hit or miss under any circumstances. And SARS-Cov-2 is a fickle and baffling new virus.

It causes horrible symptoms in some people, but not in others. It’s so complex and pernicious that scientists say there’s little chance that the Trump administration will be able to fulfill its promise to produce 300 million doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine by January.

“I really think it is going to be another year, if not longer, before I can get vaccine at my pharmacy or doctor’s office,” said Dr. Davey Smith, chief of infectious diseases at UC San Diego.

UCSD lab

Dr. Davey Smith is a translational research virologist, shown in the lab at UC San Diego on June 2, 2020.

(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

“It’s not only that we are testing it in people, we have to see if it works … We are very early in the process.”

Smith’s lab is a couple of miles south of Scripps Research, where immunologist Dennis Burton has found just as much reason to be circumspect.

“If everything goes smoothly you might know as early as fall if you have a vaccine that’s likely to be effective,” Burton said. “But you’ve still got to mass produce it and test it in lots of people.

“New pathogens present all sorts of problems. There can be roadblocks you haven’t anticipated. I think that’s the case here.”

Failure is common

Associate scientist Dinah Amante looks at cell in a lab at Inovio Pharmaceuticals.

Associate scientist Dinah Amante looks at cell in a lab at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company in San Diego that is developing a vaccine against COVID-19. The company’s vaccine is already in clinical trials, and they are one of the leaders in the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine.

(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Indeed, the story of vaccine development is largely the story of failure.

Most research efforts end where they begin — in the lab.

It can be very difficult to find the weak spot in a virus and how to get the immune system to launch a counter-attack. Many viruses also mutate, making them harder to disable. That’s proven to be particularly true of HIV/AIDS.

Some research efforts do produce experimental vaccines, and they often work well in animals. But then they fail in humans.

Scientists have a phrase for it: Mice lie, monkeys exaggerate.

Case in point: In 2007, Merck suspended a 3,000-person HIV vaccine trial after signs that it made some people more likely to get the disease.

Taming the novel coronavirus won’t be any easier.

Types of coronavirus vaccine approaches

“We’re about six months into to this virus infecting humans and causing disease and scientists don’t quite understand all the nuances,” Smith said.

“How does it cause illness in some people and not in other people?How do people stay asymptomatic but able to spread it to a whole bunch of other people? Some people don’t have a lot of virus but still get very sick and end up in the hospital and even pass away.

“We’ve tried getting vaccines for coronaviruses before, particularly SARS and MERS. We just haven’t done it yet. We think this is going to be a hard effort.”

What can go wrong?

At Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, Calif., workmen label the priority packages of Salk polio vaccine.

In the shipping room at Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, Calif., workmen label the priority packages of Salk polio vaccine for distribution to West Coast points under direction of the Polio Research Foundation, April 13, 1955. Cutter Laboratories, along with other leading drug manufacturers, has been preparing a supply of the vaccine in anticipation of approval of the recent nationwide Salk vaccine tests.

(AP Photo/Ernest K. Bennett)

If a vaccine isn’t manufactured correctly, it can hurt or kill people.

That’s what happened in 1955 after the federal government declared that Jonas Salk had developed the first safe and effective drug to fight polio.

Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley was among the companies that were awarded a license to produce the new vaccine, which was supposed to contain inactivated polio virus. Instead, Cutter inadvertently produced a vaccine with live polio virus, a mistake that wasn’t caught by safety investors.

Federal authorities say the flawed vaccine led to 40,000 cases of polio that left 200 children with varying degrees of paralysis, and which killed 10.

One key local player

Kate Broderick is the senior vice president of research and development at Inovio Pharmaceuticals.

Kate Broderick is the senior vice president of research and development at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company in San Diego that is developing a vaccine against COVID-19. The company’s vaccine is already in clinical trials, and they are one of the leaders in the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine.

(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Inovio Pharmaceuticals is based in Pennsylvania, but its COVID-19 vaccine work is being done in San Diego, where it has operated research and manufacturing sites for 20 years. Inovio was the second company in the world to test a COVID-19 vaccine in people. Its scientists went from the concept stage to an experimental vaccine in 83 days.

Inovio’s vaccine uses DNA to teach the immune system to recognize a piece of the novel coronavirus.

Later this month, Inovio will report how well the vaccine did during a Phase 1 safety trial involving 40 patients. If things look promising, the company will move on to a larger trial involving thousands of people. That trial could start as soon as July and wrap up by the end of the year, according to Kate Broderick, Inovio’s senior vice president of research and development.

Huge financial stakes

The first companies to develop and manufacture safe, effective vaccines can expect to cash in big time.

“It’s almost going to be like the market for aspirin in terms of the number of people that it will be administered to,” said Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom, a San Diego-based life sciences trade group.

It’s unclear what the vaccine will cost consumers. But investors say the market will entail hundreds of millions — and possibly billions — of people who will want the vaccine.

Even the slightest glimmer of hope is moving markets. Shares in publicly-traded company Moderna rose 33 percent in May after it reported encouraging initial evidence from a Phase 1 safety trial. And Inovio’s shares climbed 22 percent, even though the company only had results from experiments in mice and guinea pigs.

It’s likely that vaccination won’t be a one-time affair. As the virus changes and immunity wanes, people will need to be immunized again. There’s no telling how often that will have to happen, though studies of other coronaviruses suggest that immunity could last for a few years.

The China factor

Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China have been tense in recent years, primarily due to trade issues. Things have grown worse in the wake of the novel coronavirus. President Trump accused China of failing to do enough to present the spread of the virus — a charge China denies.

There has been concern among scientists and policymakers that the tension could make the countries less likely to share any vaccine they come up with.

Despite such tension, many American scientists, including those at UC San Diego, continue to collaborate with their Chinese counterparts on such things as viruses and vaccines.

That work needs to flourish, according to Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Center at UCSD. Shirk said, “We don’t know which vaccine will work best and given the need to vaccinate billions of people throughout the world, we will need several different vaccines.

Coronavirus vaccine efforts by country.

“Much of the vaccine research in America is being done by international teams of scientists or by Chinese Americans,” she said. “This is the time for the U.S. and China to lead a global plan to test, manufacture, and fairly distribute the vaccine. Without that none of us will be truly safe.

“In the past, the U.S. and China cooperated well to fight common public health threats like SARS, Ebola, H1N1 flu. But this time the epidemic has worsened an already acrimonious relationship between the two and they have failed to coordinate their efforts against COVID.”

Read More

515 COMMENTS

  1. [url=https://ibenicar.com/]benicar generic equivalent[/url] [url=https://viagratb.com/]where to buy cheap viagra uk[/url] [url=https://robaxin365.com/]where can i buy robaxin in canada[/url] [url=https://istrattera.com/]buy generic strattera online[/url] [url=https://edtreatmentviag.com/]viagra pills price in usa[/url] [url=https://antabusepill.com/]disulfiram coupon[/url] [url=https://hydroxychloroquinemd.com/]plaquenil hydroxychloroquine[/url] [url=https://priligy911.com/]dapoxetine 30mg price in india[/url] [url=https://sildenafilok.com/]sildenafil over counter[/url] [url=https://cytotecm.com/]cytotec for iud insertion[/url]

  2. [url=http://advairdiskushfa.com/]advair diskus cost canada[/url] [url=http://kamagramd.com/]kamagra jelly italia[/url] [url=http://sildalis365.com/]discount sildalis 120mg[/url]

  3. [url=https://vardenafil911.com/]where to get cheap levitra[/url] [url=https://hydroxychloroquinemd.com/]plaquenil eye[/url] [url=https://edtreatmentviag.com/]how to get viagra over the counter[/url] [url=https://arimidextab.com/]arimidex cost australia[/url] [url=https://suhagratab.com/]suhagra 50[/url] [url=https://zoviraxmed.com/]500 mg acyclovir without prescription[/url]

  4. [url=https://sildenafilok.com/]sildenafil generic costs[/url] [url=https://valtrex24h.com/]valtrex medication price[/url] [url=https://cymbaltadulx.com/]cost of cymbalta without insurance[/url] [url=https://advairdiskushfa.com/]buying advair from canada[/url]

  5. [url=https://nexiuma.com/]nexium 40 medicine[/url] [url=https://motrintab.com/]motrin tablets in india[/url] [url=https://sieroquel.com/]buy seroquel 25 mg[/url] [url=https://vardenafilnorx.com/]vardenafil tablets 20 mg[/url] [url=https://cialismart.com/]tadalafil no prescription[/url]

  6. [url=http://cialistp.com/]tadalafil tab 10mg[/url] [url=http://robaxingen.com/]robaxin prescription[/url] [url=http://viagraten.com/]sildenafil 50 mg cost[/url] [url=http://advairmds.com/]advair from mexico[/url] [url=http://xenicalm.com/]orlistat online india[/url]

  7. [url=http://homeworksent.com/]evaluation essay[/url] [url=http://lifeinsuranceoqts.com/]mutual of omaha life insurance[/url] [url=http://autoinsuranceast.com/]gap insurance for cars[/url] [url=http://homeloansmart.com/]oklahoma mortgage[/url] [url=http://donehomework.com/]buy homework done[/url] [url=http://btlifeinsurance.com/]life insurance term[/url]

  8. [url=https://abilifybuy.com/]buy abilify 5mg[/url] [url=https://levitravardenafil.com/]vardenafil tablets 20 mg price[/url] [url=https://cialissure.com/]canadian generic cialis pharmacy[/url]

  9. [url=http://priligyed.com/]priligy tablets where to buy[/url] [url=http://malegramed.com/]malegra 100 for sale uk[/url] [url=http://mrxbuy.com/]decadron brain tumor[/url] [url=http://brandtadalafil.com/]discount cialis pills[/url]

  10. [url=http://zofranonline.com/]zofran tablets cost[/url] [url=http://viagrahi.com/]real viagra online canada[/url] [url=http://buymds.com/]isoptin 40 mg tablets[/url] [url=http://tadalafiltp.com/]cialis 10 price[/url] [url=http://sildenafilnet.com/]25 mg viagra cost[/url] [url=http://acqutane.com/]how to buy accutane[/url] [url=http://viagrazp.com/]generic female viagra 100mg[/url] [url=http://trentalonline.com/]trental 400 mg tablet price[/url]

  11. [url=https://viagrahi.com/]sildenafil soft tablets[/url] [url=https://tizanidinemed.com/]tizanidine 4 mg brand name[/url] [url=https://pillsbuynx.com/]buy caverta 50 mg[/url] [url=https://hydroxychloroquineco.com/]buy hydroxychloroquine 200 mg[/url] [url=https://malegra365.com/]malegra 100mg[/url] [url=https://purchasecialis.com/]chewing cialis tablets[/url] [url=https://ivermectinmed.com/]ivermectin lice[/url] [url=https://mdmstore24.com/]where to buy prevacid 30 mg[/url] [url=https://yasmindrug.com/]buy yasmin pill australia[/url] [url=https://zanaflexgen.com/]buy tizanidine no prescription[/url]

  12. [url=http://sildenafilmore.com/]usa viagra over the counter[/url] [url=http://cialisun.com/]5 mg tadalafil coupon[/url] [url=http://bihydroxychloroquine.com/]quineprox kratom chloroquine[/url] [url=http://viagrabuying.com/]discount viagra online canada[/url] [url=http://lyricarx.com/]where can i buy lyrica cheap[/url] [url=http://lyricapill.com/]buy lyrica canada[/url] [url=http://buyviagrasafe.com/]how much is a viagra prescription[/url] [url=http://levitragenuine.com/]canadian levitra online[/url]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Ryder Cup 2010

McDowell knew the Twenty Ten course like the back of his hand. He’d won the Wales Open on the course that year and during a period when he lived in Cardiff he used the venue as his practice area.As the match descended into the home stretch McDowell sunk a 15-foot birdie to go 2-up on…

GB’s Evans calls opponents ’embarrassing’

Evans was knocked out in the singles in the first round by Kei Nishikori of JapanBritain's Dan Evans said his doubles opponents were "embarrassing" after becoming involved in an on-court row at the French Open.The British singles number one and Polish partner Hubert Hurkacz beat Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Brazilian Marcel Demoliner in the first…

US team walks off after ‘homophobic slur’

Collin Martin (pictured playing for former club Minnesota United) came out as gay in 2018Landon Donovan said his San Diego Loyal "would not stand" for bigotry having left the pitch in protest after an alleged homophobic comment was aimed at openly gay midfielder Collin Martin.An opposition player from Phoenix Rising was accused of making the…

As colleges reopened, many more young people got covid-19, CDC reports – msnNOW

Covid-19 cases surged nationally among 18- to 22-year-olds between Aug. 2 and Sept. 5, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which urged young adults as well as colleges and universities to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.Weekly cases among the age group jumped 55…