On July 12, several reports claimed that Russia’s Sechenov University has successfully completed clinical trials of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. However, the draft landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO) lists the Russian coronavirus vaccine study as a phase 1 trial. As of July 7, WHO data shows the only candidates to reach phase 3 trials were Oxford/AstraZeneca’s ChAdOx1-S and Sinovac’s vaccine based on inactivated COVID-19 particles.
Well, The Russian researchers kept their word and here they are.
They claimed on Monday that they hope to launch the world’s first coronavirus as soon as next month. On Sunday, Russia’s Sechenov University said that it had successfully completed clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the state-run Gamalei Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
The COVID-19 vaccine developed with the Russian Defense Ministry completed Phase 2 trials, leading First Deputy Defense Minister Ruslan Tsalikov to say the first domestic inoculation is ready for use.
A second group of volunteers ended Phase 2 trials Monday, with everyone developing immunity from the coronavirus and feeling fine, Tsalikov said in an interview with Argumenty i Fakty newspaper published Tuesday. He didn’t say when Phase 3 large-scale trials would take place or when production of the vaccine may begin.
The Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tests of the vaccine are continuing, the Interfax news service reported, citing the Health Ministry in response to the statement.
“They’re all getting ahead of themselves,” said Sergei Netesov, a former executive at Vector, a state-run virology center in Novosibirsk that’s also working on an inoculation. “The third phase has not started yet, or even been announced. The reason they’re in such a rush is completely incomprehensible.”
The army is developing a vaccine with the state-run Gamaleya Institute in Moscow and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Phase 3 trials, which will include thousands of people in Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are scheduled to begin Aug. 3 and distribution of the vaccine could start as early as September, RDIF’s head Kirill Dmitriev said last week.
Russia could make 30 million doses domestically in 2020, and 170 million abroad, with five countries expressing interest in producing the vaccine and others willing to produce it, according to Dmitriev.
Russia, which has the fourth-most coronavirus cases in the world, has accelerated the testing process and is funding production even before the vaccine is known to work, amid a global race to find defenses against the deadly pandemic that has wreaked economic havoc. In developed economies, Phase 3 trials typically take months to run in order to better understand a drug’s effectiveness.
Is RDIF in touch with Indian authorities over the export of anti COVID drug and medicines?
RDIF is co-operating with Indian partners to share the most advanced practices to combat coronavirus, we have been in touch through the whole coronavirus period.
What are the views about the allegations that Russia has hacked vaccine research from the UK and other countries when Russia itself has been involved in research to prepare vaccine and drugs to fight COVID?
The Russian vaccine by Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Center) supported by RDIF is based on previously tested, safe and proven effective platform of adenovirus-based vectors. The Russian vaccine by Gamaleya Center can be the first to the market and potentially can be the most effective vaccine globally. We expect to get the regulatory approval for in August.
What is the stage of the vaccine trial in Russia?
There are more than 140 vaccines in the world (over 20 in clinical trials) against COVID-19 but we focus on Adenovirus-based vaccines that will be ready by September. Adenovirus-based vaccines have been developed since the 1980s. They have already received regulatory approval and have been efficiently used against the Ebola virus with a high degree of safety. There are also prospective mRNA and other innovative vaccines, but we need far more time to develop and test them in terms of fertility influence.
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