World

Covid-19 vaccine update: Russia begins clinical trials, Gilead to enrol pediatric patients in remdesivir testing

With global coronavirus cases crossing the 8 million-mark, the need for an anti-Covid-19 vaccine becomes more urgent. Drug-makers and experts across the globe are ramping up efforts to arrive at the potential vaccine against Covid-19.

From experimental drug remdesivir making strides to generic steroid drug dexamethasone emerging as the first Covid-19 drug, the race to developing the antidote to Covid-19 is getting more interesting by the day.

Here are some of the latest development around Covid-19 vaccine development:

• Drugmaker Gilead Sciences said it will soon begin enrollment of pediatric patients with moderate-to-severe Covid-19 in a late-stage study testing its experimental drug, remdesivir.

• Clinical trials of a Russian coronavirus vaccine have started Wednesday, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

• The European Union (EU) is planning to accelerate the development of Covid-19 vaccines through advance purchase agreements with promising medical companies, the bloc announced in a statement on Wednesday.

• Israel has signed an agreement with Moderna Inc for the future purchase of its potential Covid-19 vaccine, the Prime Minister said.

• The WHO said testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in its large multi-country trial of treatments for Covid-19 patients had been halted after results from other trials showed no benefit.

• China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp. known as Sinopharm on Tuesday said that an inactivated Covid-19 vaccine developed by its subsidiary China National Biotec Group’s (CNBG) Wuhan Institute of Biological Products has triggered a strong neutralizing antibody response in a phase 1/2 trial.

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