This Sunday April 5, Institut Pasteur scientific head Christophe Denfert was interviewed by France Info radio station. He talked about the progress of studies for a vaccine against coronavirus. Optimistic, Christophe Denfert thinks clinical trials could be performed on men sooner than expected: in the first semester of 2021.
The Institut Pasteur is currently leading researches to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. Three trails are being studied and for two of them, scientists are “studying the efficacy of vaccines to cause an immune response on animals”. Based on the data collected, the efficacy of the vaccine could be evaluated on tested animals, then clinical trials on men will start.
“We said it would be very likely to happen at the dawn of Fall 2021. These pre-clinical trials on animals will last until Fall 2020, then, about a year for clinical trials. It’s possible these clinical trials go quicker, that we can get results enabling us to men in a more systematic fashion in the first six months of 2021” Christophe Denfert explains.
According to scientists, coronavirus could be a seasonal epidemic like flue. If we have to get ready for the Covid-19 to return every year, a vaccine would be the best way to halt the disease.
In the meantime, searchers are also working on treatments for sick people. There two, several tails are considered, especially based on molecules “for which they already are authorized to be put on the market or for which pre-clinical or clinical data exist”. The goal of these studies is to stop the virus from replicating.
Chloroquine is one of the molecules considered. So far, no research work enables to validate its efficacy on humans. According to the scientific director, “we have to wait for the results of the many clinical trials that have been launched to assess the efficacy before using it”.
Yet, a theory gives hope to searchers: a malfunction of immunity would be a factor favoring Covid-19 disease. One of the studies supported by the Institut Pasteur is trying to block the immune response, that would prevent the virus from interacting and entering our cells. There’s still a lot of work to do, but there are trails interesting searchers from all over the world.