Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates

Coronaviruses without preventive vaccines are the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), and the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which was initially detected in Wuhan, China by the WHO, during December 2019.

There are 5 approaches deploying different technologies to develop a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. These approaches are Viral vector vaccine, DNA vaccine, RNA vaccine, Live-attenuated vaccine, and Protein-based vaccine.

Since this is a novel (new) coronavirus, scientists do not know how strong the vaccine's immune response needs to be to protect people from SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease in humans.

As of March 31, 2020, the US FDA has not approved any preventive or therapeutic coronavirus vaccines for use against the SARS, MERS or the SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses.

SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates Conducting Human Clinical Trials

Before candidates reach human clinical trials, investigators must ensure the vaccine candidate induces protective immunity, not immunopathology, as was seen in early attempts to develop a SARS-CoV vaccine in 2003.

  • Phase 1 - mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine - March 16, 2020 - Moderna, Inc. announced that the first participant has been dosed in the Phase 1 study of the Company’s mRNA vaccine (mRNA-1273) against the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

  • Phase 1 - INO-4800 DNA Coronavirus Vaccine - March 12, 2020 - INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has received a new $5 million grant to accelerate the testing and scale-up of for the intradermal delivery of INO-4800, a DNA vaccine for COVID-19 disease.

  • Phase 1 - Adenovirus Type 5 Vector vaccine candidate (“Ad5-nCoV”), co-developed by CanSinoBIO and Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, was approved to enter into Phase 1 Clinical Trial on March 17, 2020. It is currently the first novel coronavirus vaccine for COVID-19 disease in China.

March 2020:  SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Vaccine News

  • March 30, 2020 - Johnson & Johnson announced the selection of a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate and expects to initiate human clinical studies by September 2020 and anticipates the first batches of a COVID-19 vaccine that could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021, and expects to rapidly scale of the manufacturing capacity with the goal of providing the global supply of more than 1 billion doses of a vaccine. J&J and BARDA Together Commit More than $1 Billion to Novel Coronavirus Vaccine Research and Development.
  • March 30, 2020 - Altimmune, Inc. announced that it is launching a collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on the development of its single-dose, intranasal COVID-19 vaccine, named AdCOVID. Altimmune has created a COVID-19 vaccine candidate and is currently preparing for immunogenicity studies and manufacture of Phase 1 clinical trial material, with the goal of enabling a Phase 1 trial in Q3 of 2020.

  • March 27, 2020 – Sanofi Pasteur and Translate Bio announced a collaboration to develop a novel mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. This collaboration leverages an existing agreement from 2018 between the two companies to develop mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases.
  • March 24, 2020 -- Dynavax Technologies and Clover Biopharmaceuticals announced that they have entered into a research collaboration to develop a vaccine candidate to prevent COVID-19.  Clover is advancing the evaluation of its protein-based coronavirus vaccine candidate (COVID-19 S-Trimer) in preclinical studies.  Dynavax is providing technical expertise and the company’s proprietary toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist adjuvant, CpG 1018, to support this initiative.
  • March 24, 2020 - Ology Bioservices Inc., and Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., announced that the DOD has awarded Ology Bioservices with a contract valued at $11.9 million to work with Inovio on DNA technology transfer to rapidly manufacture DNA vaccines. This work is supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs with funding from the Defense Health Agency.
  • March 24, 2020 - eTheRNA immunotherapies NV announces that a consortium has been formed with North American and European partners to develop a novel mRNA vaccine against CoV-2 and preclinical development has started. Chinese partners may be added in the consortium in due course.
  • March 23, 2020 - Ufovax announced that the company has successfully extended its patented one component self-assembling protein nanoparticle vaccine platform technology to a vaccine against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine prototype features SARS-CoV-2 protein spikes protruding from a protein nanoparticle scaffold. As a virus-like particle, the nanoparticle vaccine would induce the immune system to rapidly generate antibodies to neutralize the coronavirus, offering recipient protection against the real SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • March 23, 2020 - Soligenix, Inc. announced that its ongoing collaboration with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) is being expanded to assess potential coronavirus vaccines. Soligenix and its collaborators are expanding the technology platform to assess compatibility with coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
  • March 23, 2020 - CEL-SCI announced a collaboration with the University of Georgia Center for Develop LEAPS COVID-19 Immunotherapy. Initial studies with COVID-19 coronavirus aim to replicate prior successful preclinical experiments of LEAPS against H1N1pandemic flu in mice conducted with National Institutes for Allergies and Infectious Diseases. Treatment targeted for patients who are at the highest risk of dying from COVID-19 due to tissue damage from infection to the lungs.
  • March 18, 2020 - Entos Pharmaceuticals announced its development of a Fusogenix DNA vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infections. Unlike traditional vaccines, a DNA-based vaccine involves the direct introduction of a plasmid encoding the antigen(s) against which an immune response is sought and relies on the production of the target antigen in the patient’s own cells.
  • March 18, 2020 - GeoVax's Chief Scientific Officer Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D. stated, “We are pleased with the rapid progress with design, construction and in vitro characterizations of our three vaccine candidates. From here, we will narrow to one vaccine candidate based on the safety, immunogenicity and protective efficacy of our PreMaster Seed Viruses observed in upcoming animal studies. The final candidate will then proceed directly to manufacturing and initial human clinical testing for safety and immunogenicity.”
  • March 18, 2020 - Vaxart, Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement with Emergent BioSolutions Inc., whereby Emergent will deploy its molecule-to-market contract development and manufacturing services to help develop and manufacture Vaxart’s experimental oral vaccine candidate for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).  Vaxart’s oral recombinant vaccine candidate is based on its proprietary VAAST™ platform. Under the terms of the agreement, upon Vaxart’s election, Emergent is expected to produce bulk cGMP vaccine allowing Vaxart to initiate a Phase 1 clinical study early in the second half of 2020.
  • March 18, 2020 - Entos Pharmaceuticals a healthcare biotechnology company that develops next-generation nucleic acid medicines using the Fusogenix drug delivery platform, announced its development of a Fusogenix DNA vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infections.

  • March 18, 2020 – Applied DNA Sciences, Inc. announced that its COVID-19 collaboration partner, Takis Biotech, has received approval from Italy’s Ministry of Health to begin a pre-clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is one of four PCR-produced (polymerase chain reaction vaccine) linear DNA vaccine candidates under joint development by Takis Biotech and Applied DNA. Applied DNA entered large-scale production of the candidates in March 2020. Takis Biotech anticipates first results of its pre-clinical trial will be available in April 2020.

  • March 18, 2020 - IMV Inc. announced that it is advancing the clinical development of a DPX-based vaccine candidate against COVID-19 disease. Vaccines against infectious disease have been a core part of IMV’s heritage across its DPX platform technology.

  • March 17, 2020 - Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced a co-development and collaboration agreement to accelerate the development of a first-in-class COVID-19 mRNA vaccine program, BNT162, which is expected to enter clinical testing by the end of April 2020.

  • March 16, 2020 - BioNTech SE and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd announced a strategic development and commercialization collaboration to advance BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine candidate BNT162 in China for the prevention of COVID-19 infections. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will work jointly on the development of BNT162 in China.

  • March 15, 2020 – CureVac AG confirmed today that internal efforts are focused on the development of a coronavirus vaccine with the goal to reach, help and to protect people and patients worldwide. Based on its inherent mode of action, CureVac sees mRNA as one of the most potent molecules to provide fast and efficient solutions in outbreak scenarios, such as the Coronavirus. With inhouse expertise of over two decades and the company’s deep scientific understanding, CureVac is leveraging its potent vaccine platform to focus on developing a potent, efficacious and safe and fast to produce a vaccine against COVID-19 disease.

  • March 13, 2020 - Johnson & Johnson announced that its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies have entered a collaboration with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to support the development of a preventive vaccine candidate for COVID-19 disease. The parties have commenced preclinical testing of multiple vaccine prospects, with the aim to identify by the end of the month a COVID-19 vaccine candidate for clinical trials.

  • March 13, 2020 - Sengenics announced that the company has made full-length, correctly folded and functional COVID-19 antigens available for purchase for both research and vaccine development purposes. Sengenics has successfully expressed these antigens using the company’s patented and validated KREX™ technology. 

  • March 12, 2020 - Medicago announced that they have successfully produced a Virus-Like Particle (VLP) of the coronavirus just 20 days after obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 (virus causing the COVID-19 disease) gene. Production of the VLP is the first step in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 which will now undergo preclinical testing for safety and efficacy. Once this is completed, Medicago expects to discuss with the appropriate Health Agencies to initiate human trials of the vaccine by summer (July/August) 2020.

  • March 10, 2020 – The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), today announced the expansion of its COVID-19 vaccine portfolio. CEPI will be investing a further $4.4 million in partnering agreements with Novavax, Inc. and The University of Oxford to rapidly develop vaccine candidates against COVID-19. CEPI will provide initial funding to Novavax to enable preparations for phase 1 trials. Funding for The University of Oxford project will support the manufacture of vaccine materials required for preclinical and phase 1 testing.

  • March 10, 2020 - The Precision Vaccines Program (PVP) at Boston Children’s Hospital is on the front lines of developing a coronavirus vaccine targeted especially toward older populations. PVP’s strategy is to combine the coronavirus spike protein with known vaccine adjuvants or new ones discovered through the PVP’s Adjuvant Discovery Program. 

  • March 8, 2020 - A new non-peer reviewed study concluded saying 'vaccine approaches targeting mainly the induction of antibody responses, should aim to induce particularly strong antibody responses in order to be effective.'
  • March 6, 2020 - The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations made an urgent call for $2 billion to support the development of a vaccine against the virus responsible for COVID-19. In response to this call, the UK government today announced £20m of additional funding and urged other donors to join the efforts to find a vaccine.
  • March 4, 2020 - GeoVax Labs's Chief Scientific Officer, Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D., delivered a presentation on emerging infectious diseases entitled “Development of Single-Dose Vaccines for Emerging Infectious Diseases Using a Novel MVA Platform” at the World Immunotherapy Congress. The company began a collaboration with BravoVax, a vaccine developer in Wuhan, China, to jointly develop a vaccine. Under the arrangement, BravoVax will provide testing and manufacturing support, as well as direct interactions with Chinese public health and regulatory authorities. GeoVax's vaccine candidates are named: GEO-CM01, GEO-CM02, and GEO-CM03.
  • March 4, 2020 - Arcturus Therapeutics and Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) announced their partnership to develop a Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for Singapore.  The development of a COVID-19 vaccine will be based on the Company’s STARR technology™ and will take advantage of a unique platform developed at Duke-NUS allowing rapid screening of vaccines for effectiveness and safety.
  • March 4, 2020 - Generex Biotechnology announced a contract with EpiVax to use their computational tools to predict epitopes that can be used to generate peptide vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. EpiVax has identified a number of “hotspots” in the amino acid sequences of the coronavirus proteins. Using the epitopes predicted by EpiVax, Generex will manufacture a series of synthetic amino acid peptides. Generex will test the reactivity of these peptides in blood samples that have been collected from patients who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease. 
  • March 3, 2020 - Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced an accelerated timeline for developing its DNA vaccine INO-4800 to address COVID-19 disease, the respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We plan to begin human clinical trials in the U.S. in April and soon thereafter in China and South Korea, where the outbreak is impacting the most people. We plan on delivering 1 million doses by year-end 2020, with existing resources and capacity. 
  • March 2, 2020 - Dynamax Technologies Corporation announced it is collaborating with the University of Queensland as part of a Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) initiative to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Dynavax is providing technical expertise and the Company's proprietary toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist adjuvant, CpG 1018, to support this initiative. CpG 1018 is the adjuvant used in HEPLISAV-B, which is an adult hepatitis B vaccine approved by the U.S. FDA.
  • March 2, 2020—Pfizer Inc. announced it has recently completed a preliminary assessment of certain antiviral compounds that were previously in development and that inhibited the replication of coronaviruses similar to the one causing COVID-19 in cultured cells. Pfizer is engaging with a third party to screen these compounds under an accelerated timeline and currently expects to have the results back by the end of March. Upon completion of such screening, the company could be in a position to move forward with development depending on the results. Toxicology studies would then need to be completed prior to any clinical development, but if successful, Pfizer hopes to be in the clinic by no later than the end of 2020.
  • March 2, 2020 - US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley told reporters at the Pentagon ' the U.S. government military laboratories are “working consistently, not only on that (COVID-19) vaccine and that the labs are “working in direct support with health and human services.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who also spoke to reporters, said one of the labs was (located) at Fort Detrick, an Army Medical Command installation in Frederick, MD.
  • March 2, 2020 - IMMUNOPRECISE ANTIBODIES LTD., through its subsidiary, Talem Therapeutics and the New York-based company EVQLV, Inc. announced a new collaboration aimed at accelerating the global effort to develop lead therapeutic and vaccine candidates against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. IPA’s announcement discloses they have teamed up with EVQLV, an artificial intelligence company focused on accelerating the discovery and optimization of antibody therapies, as the companies work together to augment and accelerate Talem’s Coronavirus discovery program. As part of the collaboration, EVQLV will perform in silico antibody design and discovery to generate novel, optimized antibody sequences leveraging lead candidate data from IPA’s discovery technologies, as well as previously published sequences. 
  • March 2, 2020 – Applied DNA Sciences Inc. and Takis Biotech announced that the design of 4 DNA vaccine candidates will be produced for preclinical animal testing via the Company’s proprietary PCR-based DNA (“LinearDNA”) manufacturing systems. The two firms have designed 4 preclinical vaccines on the basis of the “Spike” protein structure. It is the Spike protein that enables uptake of the coronavirus, by binding to specific receptors on the host cells. One of the 4 candidate vaccines is the entire spike gene; the remaining 3 are variants based upon epitope mapping and assembling the corresponding parts of the ‘S’ gene into a new synthetic LinearDNA gene, and codon optimization to ensure the new LinearDNA vaccine genes are efficiently expressed as proteins, once the genes have been delivered to a small percentage of the nuclei of the patient’s muscle cells.

February 2020:  SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Vaccine News

  • February 29, 2020 - The non-peer reviewed, working paper 'Potential for Developing the SARS-CoV Receptor Binding Domain Recombinant Protein as a Heterologous Human Vaccine for SARS-CoV-2' was published by Dr. Peter J. Hotez and others.
  • February 28, 2020 - Altimmune, Inc. announced the advancement of a novel single-dose, intranasal vaccine using Altimmune’s proprietary technology to protect against COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Altimmune has completed the design and synthesis of the vaccine and is now advancing it toward animal testing and manufacturing.
  • February 27, 2020 - Generex Receives Contract from Chinese Partners to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine Using Ii-Key Peptide Vaccines. The vaccine candidate could be available for human clinical trials within 90 days. “Our subsidiary NuGenerex Immuno-Oncology has developed Ii-Key peptide vaccines against several potentially pandemic viruses, including bird flu, swine, flu, HIV and a previous coronavirus, SARS.
  • February 27, 2020 -  Israel’s MIGAL Research Institute's researchers announced they have developed an effective vaccine against avian coronavirus Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV), to be adopted soon and create a human vaccine against COVID-19 disease. Dr. Chen Katz, MIGAL’s Biotechnology Group Leader, commented, “The scientific framework for the vaccine is based on a new protein expression vector, which forms and secretes a chimeric soluble protein that delivers the viral antigen into mucosal tissues by self-activated endocytosis (a cellular process in which substances are brought into a cell by surrounding the material with cell membrane, forming a vesicle containing the ingested material), causing the body to form antibodies against the virus. In pre-clinical (IN-VIVO) trials, MIGAL’s researchers have demonstrated that the oral vaccination induces high-levels of specific anti-IBV antibodies.
  • February 26, 2020 - Novavax, Inc. announced progress in its efforts to develop a novel vaccine to protect against coronavirus disease COVID-19. Novavax has produced and is currently assessing multiple nanoparticle vaccine candidates in animal models prior to identifying an optimal vaccine candidate for human testing, which is expected to begin by the end of spring 2020.
  • February 26, 2020 - Tonix Pharmaceuticals Announces Research Collaboration with Southern Research to Develop a Potential Vaccine to Protect Against New Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Based on Horsepox Virus (TNX-1800). 
  • February 25, 2020 - Dyadic International, Inc. announced today that they are collaborating with The Israel Institute for Biological Research ("IIBR"), a governmental research institute established to provide the State of Israel with scientific responses to chemical and biological threats. IIBR will explore the potential of Dyadic's industrially proven C1 gene expression platform to express gene sequences and targets developed by IIBR into both an rVaccine candidate and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that may help combat the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus).
  • February 24, 2020 - Moderna, Inc. announced that it has released the first batch of mRNA-1273, the Company’s vaccine against the novel coronavirus, for human use. Vials of mRNA-1273 have been shipped to the NIAID, a part of the NIH to be used in the planned Phase 1 study in the U.S.
  • February 24, 2020 - Clover and GSK announce research collaboration to evaluate the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine candidate with the pandemic adjuvant system.
  • February 21, 2020 - A University of Queensland research team has met a key milestone in their fast-tracked research to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease COVID-19. Researchers said the early research had gone ‘as expected’ and the material created had the properties which allowed the team to proceed with vaccine development. The work in the lab shows the feasibility of using UQ’s ‘molecular clamp’ technology to engineer a vaccine candidate that could be more readily recognized by the immune system, triggering a protective immune response. The next stage is to produce this on a larger scale needed for additional testing, to determine its effectiveness against the virus.
  • February 20, 2020 -  Houston-based Greffex Inc., scientists have completed the coronavirus vaccine candidate and should now move to animal testing by the necessary government agencies. In September 2019, Greffex received an $18.9 million contract from the National Institute of Health's National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop new treatments for infectious threats, according to a news release. With the development of this Greffex Vector Platform, we overcame two obstacles: interference by viral genes and contamination by helper viruses. We have been using our flexible vector to investigate and develop the production of gene therapy vectors and specific immune suppression products.
  • February 19, 2020 - Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and the National Institutes of Health have made a critical breakthrough toward developing a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus by creating the first 3D atomic-scale map of the part of the virus that attaches to and infects human cells.
  • February 18, 2020 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced today its engagement of Sanofi Pasteur to use its recombinant DNA platform to produce a recombinant 2019 novel coronavirus vaccine to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections.
  • February 13, 2020 – Israel based Vaxil announce it has successfully identified a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine candidate based on unique and patent-protected signal peptide technology, utilizing Vaxil’s proprietary VaxHitTM bioinformatics platform. The Vaccine Candidate’s design is also based on successful in vivo experiments testing a tuberculosis signal peptide vaccine.
  • February 13, 2020 - Codagenix, Inc. announced a collaboration with the Serum Institute of India, Ltd. to rapidly co-develop a live-attenuated vaccine against the emergent coronavirus. The company says a live-attenuated vaccine has multiple advantages, including mounting an immune response to multiple antigens of the virus and the ability to scale for mass production. Codagenix uses viral deoptimization to synthesize "rationally designed," live-attenuated vaccines. Codagenix's technology allows for the rapid generation of multiple vaccine candidates against emerging viruses, starting with only the digital sequence of the viral genome. 
  • February 11, 2020 - Johnson & Johnson announced that it's Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies will further expedite its investigational coronavirus vaccine program through expanded collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
  • February 10, 2020 - Moderna said 'the first clinical batch of mRNA-1273, including fill and finishing of vials, was completed on February 7, 2020. This mRNA vaccine was designed and manufactured in 25 days and is undergoing analytical testing prior to release to the NIH for use in their planned Phase 1 clinical trial in the USA. mRNA-1273 is an mRNA vaccine candidate encoding for the viral Spike (S) protein. The S protein complex is necessary for membrane fusion and host cell infection and has been the target of vaccines against the coronaviruses responsible for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Previously, Moderna announced in an SEC filing on January 21, 2020, they are working with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the Vaccine Research Center a new collaboration to develop an mRNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus. 
  • February 7, 2020 - Applied DNA Sciences Subsidiary, LineaRx, and Takis Biotech Collaborate for Development of a Linear DNA Vaccine Candidate Against Wuhan Coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Expanded Joint Development Agreement Serves as Basis for Preclinical Linear DNA Vaccine; Linear DNA Platform Will be the Production Framework.
  • February 6, 2020 - Generex Biotechnology announced that the company is working with third-party groups and government agencies to reactivate the previously robust research and development to generate Ii-Key peptide vaccines against pandemic viruses. The patented NuGenerex Immuno-Oncology (Formerly Antigen Express) Ii-Key technology uses synthetic peptides that mimic essential protein regions from a virus that is chemically linked to the 4-amino acid Ii-Key to ensure robust immune system activation. 
  • February 5, 2020 - Imperial College London Professor Shattock announced that his team could move towards trials on animals as early as next week and then onto humans within a matter of months. “We have successfully generated our novel coronavirus vaccine candidate in the lab – just 14 days from getting the genetic sequence to generating the candidate in the lab. This will go into the first animal experiments on February 10th. "If this work is successful, and if we secure further funding, the vaccine could enter into clinical studies (with human participants) in early Summer 2020.”
  • February 3, 2020 - iBio, Inc. and Beijing CC-Pharming Ltd. announced their collaboration to develop and test a new 2019-nCoV vaccine to be manufactured using iBio’s FastPharming System™. Originally built in 2010 with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), part of the U.S. Department of Defense, iBio’s FastPharming Facility was part of the “Blue Angel” initiative to establish facilities capable of rapid delivery of medical countermeasures in response to a disease pandemic. 
  • February 3, 2020 - GSK announced a new collaboration with CEPI aimed at helping the global effort to develop a vaccine for the 2019-nCoV virus. GSK will make its established pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform technology available to enhance the development of an effective vaccine against 2019-nCoV.
  • February 3, 2020 - The UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care announced an additional £20 million funding to CEPI to further our mission to advance vaccines against epidemic threats. The funding comes amid the rapid global spread of the outbreak of a novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV. The funding was announced by UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock to support our work to develop a wide range of vaccine candidates and platform technologies against emerging infectious diseases. The UK Government says it is also in initial stages of talks between NIHR and UKRI regarding plans to run a rapid research call to support the global response to 2019-nCoV.
  • February 3, 2020 - Vaxart Oral Vaccine Enters 2019-nCoV Development Competition. The oral vaccine platform may offer potential advantages when developing coronavirus vaccines. Vaxart recently published results from an influenza challenge study, which demonstrated that its oral tablet vaccine primarily protects through mucosal immunity, which is a potential key factor when targeting mucosal pathogens, such as this new coronavirus. Per the press release, Vaxart plans to develop vaccine candidates based on the published genome of the 2019-nCoV and evaluate the same in preclinical studies for the ability to generate both mucosal and systemic immune responses.

January 2020:  SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Vaccine News

  • January 27, 2020 – GeoVax Labs, Inc. together with BravoVax, a vaccine developer in Wuhan, China, announced the signing of a Letter of Intent to jointly develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus. Under the collaboration, GeoVax will use its MVA-VLP vaccine platform and expertise to design and construct the vaccine candidate using genetic sequences from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak originating in Wuhan, China. BravoVax will provide further development, including testing and manufacturing support, as well as direct interactions with Chinese public health and regulatory authorities.
  • CureVac and CEPI partner to develop a rapid-response coronavirus vaccine development platform targeting the 2019-nCoV. Vaccine development effort receives up to $8.3 million in funds.
  • Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has awarded Inovio a grant of up to $9 million to develop a vaccine against the recently emerged strain of coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The latest grant was aimed at funding development of Inovio’s INO-4800, through phase 1 human testing.
  • On January 30, 2020, Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Co. announced a collaboration with Pennsylvania-based Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to advance the development in China of the INO-4800 vaccine candidate, which is targeted against the novel coronavirus named 2019-nCoV.
  • Novavax, Inc. had developed a vaccine for MERS in 2013. Its successful history with coronavirus makes the company a potential winner in case of an outbreak caused by the new coronavirus. The company has also started developing a vaccine for the same. 
  • MERS-CoV RBD Vaccine candidate (RBD219-N1) -  Baylor College of Medicine's MERS vaccine development started in 2011 with support from the NIAID/NIH and in partnership with the New York Blood Center, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Immune Design, a therapeutic vaccine product development company. The group has successfully manufactured, under cGMP, the first receptor binding protein antigen against SARS-CoV, the SARS-CoV RBD Vaccine. Like the SARS-CoV RBD Vaccine, the comparative advantage of the MERS-CoV RBD Vaccine is its efficacy in terms of eliciting protective neutralizing antibodies together with its safety in terms of maximal reduction of eosinophilic immune enhancement. NIH - Optimization of the Production Process and Characterization of the Yeast-Expressed SARS-CoV Recombinant Receptor-Binding Domain (RBD219-N1), a SARS Vaccine Candidate.
  • The University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre, also known as VIDO-InterVac, has received permission from the Public Health Agency of Canada to focus on the 2019-nCoV threat.
  • The University of Queensland has been commissioned to fast-track a vaccine to help control the new coronavirus outbreak. Queensland is one of three groups commissioned to develop a vaccine against the virus, known as nCoV-2019, by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Paul Young, head of Queensland’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, said the university had developed a new way to rapidly generate vaccines from analyses of viruses’ genetic sequence information. He said the team hoped to develop a vaccine in the next six months for distribution to first responders, helping to prevent medics from becoming infected and accelerating the disease’s spread. Dr. Keith Chappell, from UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, said the key to the speedy development of this potential vaccine was the 'molecular clamp' technology, invented by UQ scientists and patented by UniQuest.
  • Aethlon Medical Inc. is the developer of the patented Aethlon Hemopurifier, a clinical-stage immunotherapeutic device that removes exosomes and life-threatening viruses from the human circulatory system. The U.S. HHS has established an initiative to support platform technology medical countermeasures with broad-spectrum capabilities. Based on preclinical studies and human treatment experiences, the Aethlon Hemopurifier® defines this initiative. To date, Hemopurifier therapy has been administered to individuals infected with the Ebola virus, Hepatitis C virus, and HIV. In the case of Ebola, a remarkable response to a single administration of Hemopurifier therapy, a comatose physician with multiple organ failures at the time.

Types of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates

The Precision Medicine Initiative at Children's Hospital in Boston offers this segmentation overview:

  • RNA-based vaccines. The first COVID-19 vaccines developed have been created using SARS-CoV-2 RNA. “This approach is innovative and attractive, but even if proven effective it may be difficult to create hundreds of millions of doses, and each dose may be relatively expensive as it may require a fair amount of RNA,” says Dowling. “While there is less experience with human testing for this approach, it is possible that adjuvants may help enhance the immune response when such vaccines are administered to older populations, and reduce the amount of RNA needed in each vaccine.”
  • DNA-based technology. Like RNA-based vaccines, this promising approach uses the genetic material of the virus to produce a vaccine. “You can make more vaccine doses with DNA than with RNA, but it is unclear whether the product could be rapidly scaled to meet the massive international demand,” says Dowling. “And, to our knowledge, these nucleic acid vaccines have not yet been tested in elderly patients either.”

Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs

Investigations are underway to determine the virus source, types of exposure that lead to infection, mode of transmission and the clinical pattern and course of the disease.

Real-time COVID-19 disease outbreak news is available at Coronavirus

Content sources on this webpage include, but are not limited to, the WHO, the CDC, industry studies, and The content was Fact-Checked by Dr. Robert Carlson and other healthcare professionals on March 31, 2020.