A Gene-based vaccine has never been approved but human trials on mRNA Covid-19 vaccine ideas have reached an advanced stage.
But advocates believe mRNA and DNA based vaccines are ready to go primetime with Coronavirus. At least eighteen mRNA-based vaccine candidates are already in the development phase as the world races for a Covid-19 cure. American biotech manufacturer Moderna is at the forefront of the race.
mRNA or messenger RNA is a vaccine technology out there for decades. While the technology has been unable to mount the multiple challenges, it is highly touted due to relatively easy laboratory production which will enable companies to make millions of doses in much less time than other types of vaccines.
The race to Covid-19 cure is hotting up
Companies like Pfizer and Moderna currently have vaccine ideas that are leading the global race to get approvals for mass production. Pfizer has four different mRNA vaccine contenders in collaboration with German firm BioNTECH undergoing clinical tests currently. One of these – BNT162 – has achieved the necessary clinical approval and has consequently begun human trials in Germany and the USA.
Pfizer hopes it can speed up the trials and move onto a larger study with more participants. The leading United States drug maker believes that in a best-case scenario its vaccine could well be on its way to a large scale with maybe even “a million vaccines for use by October 2020”.
Leading American drugmaker Pfizer is optimistic that early approval from FDA might help them produce a million vaccines for use by October.
Pharma giant Moderna has developed a similar mRNA vaccine that received the green light by the United States Food and Drug Authority.
Moment of reckoning
The biotechnology industry has long been backing mRNA and DNA vaccines to come through as savior in a fight against unknown pathogenic diseases of pandemic scale like the coronavirus. Covid-19 is the first time when the mRNA and DNA vaccines are being tested on a big quantum of people.
“It will be the first time that they will be tested in so many people,”Wim Tiest, former vaccine developer at GlaxoSmithKline now leading Belgian mRNA vaccine company eTheRNA Immunotherapies’ COVID-19 program.
mRNA vaccines are much more equipped than traditional vaccine technology in response to a threat of a global scale. Several pre-clinical studies over the years have also proved them to be much safer. Furthermore, unlike mRNA vaccine production is much cheaper than the conventional vaccine methods which will make it a blessing for the poorer countries that are witnessing large scale outbreaks.