Is There a Coronavirus Vaccine? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Stermina Therapeutics

This is another mRNA vaccine project, based at Shanghai East Hospital of Tongji University. The CEO of Stermina told Chinese state media at the end of January that manufacturing has already begun, and doses could be ready for human testing sometime in March.

Imperial College London

A team of British scientists are currently testing their own DNA-based vaccine in mice at labs in Imperial College London. The researchers are looking for funding partners to advance the candidate into human testing later this year.

Several other companies are also developing protein-based vaccines. These include:

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

One of the world’s leading vaccine manufacturers, GSK is lending its technology to a Chinese firm called Clover Biopharmaceuticals to work on a coronavirus vaccine. Through the partnership, Clover will be producing viral proteins, and GSK will be providing its proprietary effectiveness-boosting compounds, known as adjuvants. Neither company has provided a testing timeline.

Novavax

Novavax got a jump on the competition from its previous work developing vaccines against SARS and MERS. The Maryland-based company announced in February that it had generated several candidates comprised of recombinant protein nanoparticles derived from the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Company representatives said they expect to complete animal testing soon and move to the first phase of human trials by the end of spring 2020.

Altimmune

Unlike its competitors, this Maryland-based company is developing a vaccine that gets sprayed into patients’ noses, not injected into their arms. Best known for its nasal-spray flu vaccine, Altimmune announced in February that it had completed the design and prototyping of a vaccine against Covid-19 and is now advancing it toward animal testing and manufacturing for human trials.

Vaxart

This Bay Area biotech is the only one so far developing an oral vaccine against Covid-19. In January, the company announced plans to generate candidates based on the published genome of SARS-CoV-2, but no further timelines have been released.

Expres2ion

This Denmark-based biotech firm is leading a European consortium of vaccine developers to tackle Covid-19. It uses insect cells from fruit flies to produce viral antigens. The company aims to test its candidate vaccine in animal models later this year.

Generex Biotechnology

Four companies in China have contracted with Florida-based Generex to develop a vaccine using the company’s proprietary immune-activating technology. Company representatives say it could have a candidate ready for human trials as early as June.

Vaxil Bio

This Israeli immunotherapy company normally specializes in cancer. But last month representatives announced they had discovered a combination of proteins they believe will be an effective vaccine against Covid-19. The company plans to start manufacturing doses for initial testing and looking for partners to scale up further if that goes well.

iBio

This Texas-based biotech company uses modified relatives of the tobacco plant to grow viral proteins for vaccines. The company is partnering with a Chinese vaccine maker to put its “FastPharming” platform to work on a Covid-19 vaccine. Company officials expect to have a candidate ready for animal testing later this summer.

Baylor College of Medicine / New York Blood Center

Peter Hotez’s group is pushing for funding to test their SARS vaccine against the Covid-19. He says they already have about 20,000 doses ready to be deployed for clinical trials. These researchers are simultaneously working on developing a new vaccine from scratch, based on the binding receptor domain of the new virus, SARS-Cov-2, but that will take several years to develop.

University of Queensland

A team of Australian researchers, with funding from CEPI, have developed a vaccine candidate they say is ready to move forward into human testing. It relies on a “molecular clamp” technology invented in the lab of molecular virologist Keith Chappell, which helps stabilize viral proteins so they have the same shape they’d have on the surface of the virus. The group is now intending to ramp up production for clinical trials.