Ken Langone: ‘Very optimistic’ for coronavirus vaccine before Christmas
Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone discusses coronavirus vaccine development and practicing safety precautions.
There are currently 147 coronavirus vaccine programs and 18 candidates in clinical evaluation, according to the World Health Organization.
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Human trials are underway at research facilities based in the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Russia, South Korea, and other countries.
Vaccine candidates being developed in the United States, China, and the United Kingdom appear to show the most promise so far.
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President Trump announced Operation Warp Speed in May, with the federal government putting $10 billion toward the goal of developing a coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020.
Biotech company Moderna got an early lead in the race for a coronavirus vaccine, partnering with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in January.
Moderna expects their vaccine, which uses messenger RNA, to enter phase three this month.
U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has seen positive early results for a vaccine it is developing with German biotech company BioNTech. The company said this week that participants in their phase two trial have tolerated the vaccine well with no serious adverse reactions.
Other American companies like Inovio and Novavax are also working on vaccines.
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Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote in The Wall Street Journal in April about the need for America to win the race for a vaccine.
"The first country to the finish line will be first to restore its economy and global influence. America risks being second," he wrote.
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In China, CanSino Biologics is working with the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology on a vaccine and approaching phase three. The Chinese government approved testing of the vaccine on the country's People's Liberation Army this week.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that two state-owned Chinese drugmakers are soon moving vaccine candidates into phase three trials in Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.
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In the UK, AstraZeneca is working with the University of Oxford on a vaccine that has already entered phase three.
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Professor Sarah Gilbert, who is leading the trial at Oxford, told members of Parliament this week that early results are positive.
"It's something we have to test and follow over time – we can't know until we actually have the data – but we're optimistic based on earlier studies that we will see a good duration of immunity, for several years at least, and probably better than naturally-acquired immunity," she said.
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