SINGAPORE – Singapore could possibly have a Covid-19 vaccine by early next year.
A report in The Straits Times explained the preliminary shipment of the vaccine, which was co-developed with Singapore researchers, is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.
The American pharmaceutical company, Arcturus Therapeutics, has been collaborating with Duke-NUS scientists on the vaccine, and the company made an announcement on Monday (November 9) that their early-stage clinical trials has had positive results so far.
Alongside this news, the pharma company also shared that Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) is releasing S$60.5 million to complete the vaccine. They also said that the EDB will be given the choice to purchase at pre-negotiated prices of up to US$175 million worth of vaccines.
Co-developer of the vaccine, Duke-NUS Medical School Professor Ooi Eng Eong, also shared that it seems a single dose could already prove effective.
Professor Eong, who also sits on the Vaccine Platform Scientific Advisory Board of Arcturus, explained that “This differentiates this investigational vaccine from many other Covid-19 vaccines in development.”
“The vaccine has the potential to provide important public health benefits by greatly facilitating broad administration across multiple populations worldwide,” he added.
According to Andy Sassine, Arcturus’ chief financial officer, the Singapore funding will boost the firm’s resources in order to maintain the rapid scale-up of the vaccine. This is also so that the pharmaceutical company can keep up their current agreements with both Israel and Singapore, as well as other possible supply deals that could occur in 2021.
This is not the only vaccine that is finding their preliminary studies to be increasingly promising. Pfizer and BioNTech have also announced that they have a 90 per cent effective vaccine in the works too.
As shared in a straitstimes.com report, Pfizer CEO and chairman Albert Bourla said, “The first set of results from our phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent Covid-19.”
As for the Arcturus trials done in Singapore, around 106 volunteers enrolled in the trials with 28 subjects receiving placebos. Moreover, 78 volunteers were given one dose of the vaccine while the remaining subjects were given two injections.
Researchers have watched out for negative side effects within the patients but so far, the findings have been positive in both human immune response and safety. The pharma company also shared that no subjects have withdrawn from the trials, nor have there been any serious adverse responses in patients from the treatment thus far.
With new Covid-19 infections rising every day, and the world count reaching over 50 million infections globally, the hopes for a possible effective vaccine could not come any sooner. -/TISG
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