Pharmaceutical companies in 2017 rejected the idea of development of vaccines against coronaviruses

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The EC stated the need to expedite the development and approval of vaccines against major pathogens, prior to the actual outbreaks of these diseases

According to media reports, clinical trials are currently eight potential vaccines against coronavirus

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The leading pharmaceutical companies three years ago has rejected the proposal of the European Commission on the development of fast-acting vaccines against pathogens such as coronavirus, reports The Guardian.

The plan to accelerate the development of vaccines in case of outbreaks of coronavirus, was nominated by representatives of the European Commission (EC) at the meeting of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI, “Initiative on innovative medicines”) – the organization of state-private partnership, whose mission is to support cutting-edge research in Europe.

The EC stated the need to expedite the development and approval of vaccines against major pathogens, before the actual outbreak of diseases caused by them. However, pharmaceutical companies operating in IMI, rejected this idea. IMI has also decided not to Fund joint projects with the Coalition for innovation in the field of preparedness for epidemics, which is engaged in the fight against the so-called priority diseases such as MERS (middle East respiratory syndrome) and SARS (atypical pneumonia).

In the opinion of the Council of Europe, the direct influence of big Pharma on research programme, IMI has led to the fact that it began to dominate sectoral priorities, and have also been eliminated, poverty-related and neglected diseases, including those caused by coronaviruses. As a result of such dominance in the industry IMI, there are considerable gaps in the financing of the diseases identified in the report of the world health organization (who): in some cases, pharmaceutical products either do not exist or they are insufficient. And in seven of the 25 priority areas of importance to public health, projects, IMI does not exist.

In response, the representative of the IMI, said that infectious diseases and vaccines was a priority from the beginning. She spoke about the project worth 20 million euros, known as Zapi, which was launched in 2015 after Ebola outbreak. In addition, in January of this year, IMI launched the funding for “innovation to accelerate the development and production of vaccines.” And in 2017, the theme of vaccines against coronavirus competed with other priorities, including research on TB and autoimmune diseases. “The IMI projects directly or indirectly contributed to the preparation of the research community to the current crisis,” she said.

In the IMI governing Board includes officials of the EC and representatives of the European Federation of pharmaceutical industries and associations (EFPIA), the members of which are such leading companies as GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer, Lilly and Johnson & Johnson.

According to media reports, clinical trials are currently eight potential vaccines against coronavirus. One of the most promising is called a vaccine, developed at Oxford University. Now a team of researchers from Oxford University announced the second phase of tests, during which the number of volunteers will exceed 10 thousand people. In the third stage, the start date is not specified, the number of study participants will be increased again.

“Clinical trials are very successful and we are now beginning studies to determine how well the vaccine induces immune response in other groups of the adult population, and test whether it can provide protection for a wider number of people” – are contained in the communiqué the words of the head of the research group on search vaccines at Oxford University, Professor Andrew Pollard. However, as noted by The Guardian, the chances that this vaccine is approved, not exceed 50%.

Work on a vaccine is underway in Russia: employees of the national research centre of epidemiology and Microbiology named after N. F. Gamalei, Russian Ministry of health (NICAM) checked his own vector vaccine from COVID-19. As the Director of the center academician Alexander Gintsburg, tested appeared immune to the virus, and side effects were found.

In mid-may, Gunzburg said that the vaccine has been successfully tested on small animals like mice and Guinea pigs. Then he said that if the studies on primates and then on human volunteers succeeds, the production of vaccines against coronavirus in Russia could begin in August. However, immediately to provide a remedy for all the residents of the Russian Federation, he said, will not work. The first will be vaccinated risk group – doctors, law enforcement officers, social workers.