(RTTNews) - The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has surpassed 14 million, with over 602,000 recorded deaths, as of this writing, according to Johns Hopkins University. Researchers and drug companies are racing against time not only to develop treatments for COVID-19 but also vaccines that could help stop future pandemics.
According to the WHO database, 23 COVID-19 vaccine candidates have advanced into clinical testing.
U.S.-based Moderna Inc. (MRNA), the first to move its COVID-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 in human trials in March, reported positive interim clinical data from its phase I study in May. A phase II study of the vaccine is underway and phase III study is expected to start this month.
Gam-COVID-Vac, a coronavirus vaccine being developed by Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, has entered the final stage of clinical trials. Russia could be the first to roll out a coronavirus vaccine to the general public as early as August, according to TASS, Russia's news agency.
Let's take a look at what's in store for some of the COVID-19 vaccines and drug therapies this month.
AstraZeneca PLC (AZN)
AstraZeneca is developing a cornoavirus vaccine by the name AZD1222, in partnership with the University of Oxford.
The phase I trial data of coronavirus vaccine candidate AZD1222 is expected to be published in The Lancet medical journal on Monday, July 20.
The vaccine has already entered phase II and phase III trials in the UK, with phase III trials expected to be started in Brazil also later this year.
AZN closed Friday's (Jul.17) trading at $61.10, up 6.39%.
Pfizer and BioNTech's mRNA-based vaccine program against SARS-CoV-2 known as BNT162 consists of four investigational vaccine candidates and the most advanced of the four is BNT162b1.
BNT162 is under phase I/II trials in the U.S. and Europe. On July 1, the companies reported encouraging preliminary U.S. data from the phase I trial of BNT162b1. Additional data from the German trial for BNT162b1 is due mid-July.
Initiation of a large-scale phase IIb/III trial of the selected lead vaccine candidate is anticipated by late July, subject to regulatory approval.
BNTX closed Friday's trading at $85.25, up 12.36%.
CytoDyn Inc. (CYDY.OB)
CytoDyn is testing Leronlimab, its humanized monoclonal antibody, as a potential treatment for COVID-19 in two clinical trials - a phase II clinical trial in mild to moderate COVID-19 and a phase III trial in severe and critically ill COVID-19 patients.
The updates from the trials are due this month.
Recently, the Company filed a comprehensive listing application package with The Nasdaq Stock Market to request an uplisting of its common stock.
CYDY.OB closed Friday's trading at $5.45, down 0.73%.
Novavax Inc. (NVAX)
Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 is under a phase I trial. The phase I trial was initiated in May, with preliminary immunogenicity and safety results expected this month.
If the results are promising, the phase II portion of the trial will be initiated quickly. A pivotal phase III trial of NVX-CoV2373 with up to 30,000 subjects is expected to commence beginning in the fall of 2020.
NVAX closed Friday's trading at $140.49, up 16.79%.
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