Australia's Vaxine eyes coronavirus vaccine trial in Philippines â DOST
In this file photo capped vials are being pictured during filling and packaging tests for the large-scale production and supply of the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, on a high-performance aseptic vial filling line on September 11, 2020 at the Italian biologics’ manufacturing facility of multinational corporation Catalent in Anagni, southeast of Rome, during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus.
AFP/Vincenzo Pinto
Australia's Vaxine eyes coronavirus vaccine trial in Philippines — DOST
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - October 26, 2020 - 5:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — Australian company Vaxine Pty Ltd has expressed interest in conducting a clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate in the country, the Department of Science and Technology said Monday.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the biotechnology firm based in Australia has informed the department that it is willing to conduct clinical trial and manufacturing of its potential vaccines against COVID-19 in the Philippines.

“It is quite recent in terms of expressing interest,” de la Peña said in a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines. He did not provide other details.

According to the coronavirus vaccine tracker of the New York Times, Vaxine’s candidate vaccine combines “viral proteins with an adjuvant that stimulates the immune system.”

The Phase 2 trial for the candidate vaccine is expected to begin by the end of the year. Phase 2 studies involve up to several hundred individuals and aim to define the optimal dose and safety profile of vaccine candidates.

Earlier, the vaccine candidate of Chinese drug maker Sinovac Biotech hurdled the initial stage of screening for clinical trials in the country after passing the review of the vaccine experts panel chaired by the DOST. It is still undergoing the evaluation of the Single Joint Ethics Research Board.

The World Health Organization-led solidarity trial for COVID-19 vaccines will start in September in the Philippines. It was initially scheduled to begin by end-October.

The country is in talks with 17 companies as it seeks to source a vaccine that will help end one of the worst outbreaks in Southeast Asia.

The Philippines' COVID-19 caseload reached 371,630 Monday, with 7,039 deaths. 

COVID-19 VACCINES NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 28, 2020 - 11:01am

Pharma giants Sanofi and GSK said on July 29, 2020, that they have agreed to supply Britain with up to 60 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The agreement covers a vaccine candidate developed by France's Sanofi in partnership with the UK's GSK and is subject to a "final contract."

This thread collects some of the major developments in the search for a vaccine to ease the new coronavirus pandemic. (Main photo by AFP/Joel Saget)

November 28, 2020 - 11:01am

As a string of Covid-19 vaccines near approval, Frankfurt Airport staff are gearing up to handle the unprecedented logistical challenge of transporting millions of life-saving doses worldwide.

Frankfurt is Europe's largest hub for transporting pharmaceutical goods, and will be key to the success of inoculating millions of people against the deadly coronavirus. — AFP

November 27, 2020 - 3:45pm

One of the developers of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine announces that India-based drugmaker Hetero will produce over 100 million doses of the jab.

"Hetero, one of India's leading generic pharmaceutical companies, have agreed to produce in India over 100 million doses per year of the world's first registered vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection -– Sputnik V," the Russian Direct Investment Fund says in a statement, adding that production was expected to start in early 2021.

Earlier this week, Russia said interim results from the Sputnik V clinical trails showed the vaccine was 95% effective, similar to other international vaccine makers that have also published test results showing efficacy rates of 90% and higher. — AFP

November 27, 2020 - 11:14am

The World Health Organization urges African countries to improve their capacity to vaccinate populations against COVID-19, warning the continent was still "far from ready" for mass immunisation.

With three coronavirus vaccines now showing efficacy rates of 70% or more, the UN body called on Africa to "ramp up" preparations for "the continent's largest ever immunisation drive".

The African region is so far only 33 percent ready to roll out Covid-19 vaccines, the World Health Organization says in a statement. — AFP

November 27, 2020 - 9:34am

The British government says it has asked its independent medicines regulator to assess AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine as part of the formal approval process for the drug to be rolled out by the end of the year.

More than 1.4 million people have died since the novel coronavirus emerged in China late last year, and three drug developers -- Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Oxford University -- are currently applying for approval for their vaccines to be used as early as December. 

AstraZeneca has completed Phase III clinical trials of its vaccine, the last stage before regulatory approval. — AFP

November 26, 2020 - 11:53am

Cash-strapped Latin American governments face severe geographical, economic and social challenges in trying to ensure life-saving COVID-19 vaccines are made available to vulnerable populations, experts say. 

Megacities like Sao Paulo, mountain ranges like the Andes as well as the vast Amazon basin pose just a few of the geographical problems for distributors, given the vital need to maintain the cold chain to preserve the vaccines.

Transporting vaccines "to the most distant parts of the big cities and to peripheral neighborhoods, with the need to conserve the cold chain, will be the first major challenge," Colombian epidemiologist Carlos Trillos told AFP.

Governments also face a race against time to provide training to those handling the doses throughout the cold chain, he said. — AFP

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