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PTX-COVID19-B is a messenger RNA (mRNA)-based COVID-19 vaccine, a vaccine for the prevention of the COVID-19 disease caused by an infection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, created by Providence Therapeutics—a private Canadian drug company co-founded by Calgary, Alberta-based businessman Brad T. Sorenson and San Francisco-based Eric Marcussonin 2013. A team of eighteen working out of Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, Ontario developed PTX-COVID19-B in less than four weeks, according to the Calgary Herald. Human trials with sixty volunteers began on January 26, 2021 in Toronto.
Providence, which has no manufacturing facilities, partnered with Calgary-based Northern mRNA—the "anchor tenant" in their future manufacturing facilities pending financing.
On 30 April 2021, Sorenson announced that Providence Therapeutics would be leaving Canada and any vaccine that it developed would not be manufactured in Canada.
Providence Therapeutics Holdings Inc. was co-founded in Toronto, Ontarioby Calgary, Alberta-based businessman Brad T. Sorenson and San Francisco-based Eric Marcusson Ph.D, who was also the Chief Scientific Officer.
PTX-COVID19-B is a messenger RNA (mRNA)-based COVID-19 vaccine. In an interview with CTV news, Sorenson said they were "building some of the important building blocks for the messenger RNA ... that provides instructions to cells ... to build proteins that may treat or prevent disease".
As of January 2021, Northern RNA's Calgary lab was proposed as the site where manufacturing of PTX-COVID19-B would take place.Providence Therapeutics' partner, Northern RNA, which located at 421 7 Avenue SW in Calgary, has been described as Providence Therapeutics northern division.
A February 2021 Manitoba government press release said that the Winnipeg-based Emergent BioSolutions would be manufacturing the vaccine.
Human trials began on January 26, 2021 with 60 volunteers between the ages of 18 to 65 in Toronto. 8Of these, 15 would receive a placebo and 3 groups of 15 would receive different doses of the vaccine. The volunteers will be monitored for 13 months. The company said that enough data would be available in May which could result in a Phase 2 clinical testing beginning soon after that, pending regulatory approval. If the results of a subsequent larger human trial are positive, the vaccine could enter a commercialization phase in 2022. The Phase 1 clinical trial lead was Piyush Patel. At the 29 April meeting with the House of Commons, Sorenson estimated that PTX-COVID19-B could be approved by Health Canada by "January or February 2022". :
Shortly after the first human trials on PTX-COVID19-B began in late January, on 11 February 2021, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced a "term sheet" between the province and Providence Therapeutics through which Manitoba would receive 2 million doses of PTX-COVID19-B pending its approval by Health Canada.The term sheet includes "best-price guarantee" PTX-COVID19-B. According to a provincial statement released by the Manitoba government, pending approval of the vaccine, the actual manufacturing would take place in Winnipeg by Emergent BioSolutions. Pallister said that, "Building a secure, made-in-Canada vaccine supply will put Canadians at the head of the line to get a COVID vaccine, where we belong." The down payment would be 20% with a subsequent 40% to be paid when the vaccine was approved by Health Canada; the balance would be paid on delivery of the doses. Specifics about the contract were released in April 2021: the total cost was estimated as CAD $36 million and the agreement included a clause for a non-refundable advance payment of CAD $7.2 million. Sorenson made this comment to Global News: "Under no circumstances is Manitoba going to be on the hook for $7.2 million unless they get real value out of it".
Canada's National Research Council (NRC) provided Providence Therapeutics with CAD $5 million for the launch of January 2021 first phase of PTX-COVID19-B clinical trials.
As part of the federal government's "next generation manufacturing supercluster" program, Providence and Northern mRNA had also been "cleared to access up to $5 million" towards the manufacturing start up process, according to a federal government spokesperson.
The CBC report in late April 2021 also stated that "it could be eligible for a slice of $113 million in additional funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program". The federal government had provided funding to some other companies in Canada that were also working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
Sorenson as Providence Therapeutics CEO posted an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in which he requested $CDN 150 million upfront to be used to pay for clinical trial and material costs.
On 29 April 2021, Sorenson appeared before the House of Commons standing committee on international trade, to ask the Minister of Procurement, Anita Anand, to consider PTX-COVID19-B as an alternative to Moderna and Pfizer for the "2022 booster vaccines". 7Sorenson said that the NRC had approached Providence Therapeutics in 2020 after the company had announced their Phase I trial PTX-COVID19-B. Sorenson told the Standing Committee that, "We've had really good dialogue ever since phase I started. That process has gone on. That started probably [in February], as we geared up to conclude our phase I trial and release data. Although the NRC is capped at $10 million, which is certainly not sufficient to carry out phase II and phase III trials, the NRC has, through the bureaucracy, elevated us back up to the strategic innovation fund. That occurred about three weeks ago. We're now working with the strategic innovation fund." :
He later said that no reply had been received from the government.
In a meeting with the federal COVID-19 vaccine task force and Sorenson, task force members expressed concerns that "Providence might not be able to scale up production fast enough".
Moderna, Inc is an American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It focuses on vaccine technologies based on messenger RNA (mRNA). Moderna's vaccine platform inserts synthetic nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) into human cells using a coating of lipid nanoparticles. This mRNA then reprograms the cells to prompt immune responses. Moderna develops mRNA therapeutic vaccines that are delivered in lipid nanoparticle, using mRNA with pseudouridine nucleosides. Candidates are designed to have improved folding and translation efficiency via insertional mutagenesis.
Arcturus Therapeutics is an American RNA medicines biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutics for rare diseases and infectious diseases. Arcturus has developed a novel, potent, and safe RNA therapeutics platform called LUNAR, a proprietary lipid-enabled delivery system for nucleic acid medicines including small interfering RNA (siRNA), messenger RNA (mRNA), gene editing RNA, DNA, antisense oligonucleotides (ASO), and microRNA.
A COVID‑19 vaccine is a vaccine intended to provide acquired immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19). Prior to the COVID‑19 pandemic, an established body of knowledge existed about the structure and function of coronaviruses causing diseases like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). This knowledge accelerated the development of various vaccine technologies during early 2020. On 10 January 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequence data was shared through GISAID, and by 19 March, the global pharmaceutical industry announced a major commitment to address COVID-19. The COVID‑19 vaccines are widely credited for their role in reducing the spread, severity, and death caused by COVID-19.
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The Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, codenamed AZD1222, and sold under the brand names Covishield and Vaxzevria among others, is a viral vector vaccine for prevention of COVID-19. Developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, it is given by intramuscular injection, using as a vector the modified chimpanzee adenovirus ChAdOx1. Studies carried out in 2020 showed that the efficacy of the vaccine is 76.0% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 beginning at 22 days following the first dose and 81.3% after the second dose. Another analysis showed that, for symptomatic COVID-19 infection after the second dose, the vaccine is 66% effective against the Alpha variant, and 60% against the Delta variant.
BioNTech SE is a German biotechnology company based in Mainz that develops and manufactures active immunotherapies for patient-specific approaches to the treatment of diseases. It develops pharmaceutical candidates based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) for use as individualized cancer immunotherapies, as vaccines against infectious diseases and as protein replacement therapies for rare diseases, and also engineered cell therapy, novel antibodies and small molecule immunomodulators as treatment options for cancer.
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ZF2001, trade-named ZIFIVAX, is an adjuvanted protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine developed by Anhui Zhifei Longcom in collaboration with the Institute of Microbiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. As of December 2020, the vaccine candidate was in Phase III trials with 29,000 participants in China, Ecuador, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan.
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COVID-19's caused virus, SARS-CoV-2, was isolated in late 2019. Its genetic sequence was published on 11 January 2020, triggering an urgent international response to prepare for an outbreak and hasten development of a preventive COVID-19 vaccine. Since early 2020, vaccine development has been expedited via unprecedented collaboration in the multinational pharmaceutical industry and between governments. By June 2020, tens of billions of dollars were invested by corporations, governments, international health organizations, and university research groups to develop dozens of vaccine candidates and prepare for global vaccination programs to immunize against COVID‑19 infection. According to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the geographic distribution of COVID‑19 vaccine development shows North American entities to have about 40% of the activity, compared to 30% in Asia and Australia, 26% in Europe, and a few projects in South America and Africa.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme in Canada is an ongoing, intergovernmental effort coordinated between the bodies responsible in the Government of Canada to acquire and distribute vaccines to individual provincial and territorial governments who in turn administer approved COVID-19 vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Some provinces have asked local municipal governments, hospital systems, family doctors and independently owned pharmacies to aid in part, or in full with vaccination rollout. The vaccination effort in full is the largest such immunization effort in the nation's history; it started in mid-December and is currently ongoing.
The CureVac COVID-19 vaccine is a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by CureVac N.V. and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The vaccine showed inadequate results in its Phase III trials with only 47% efficacy. The European Medicines Agency stated that: “(...) medicine developers should design studies to demonstrate a rate of efficacy of at least 50%.”
The Arcturus COVID-19 vaccine, commonly known as ARCT-021 and LUNAR-COV19, is a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Arcturus Therapeutics.
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