All about Coronavirus, Clinical Trial and Vaccine

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The World is doomed in the worry of Covid-19 pandemic. More than the disease, people in dilemma in understanding the progress towards the cure of coronavirus disease. 3MEDS, the best healthcare service provider in India, explains the advancement in the medical science and the obstacle revolving around the same.

What is a Virus?

Virus is said to be connecting link between living and non-living system. While, the meaning of word ‘virus’ means poison. These act like an infectious agent which can replicate only within the living system. The viruses use the machinery and metabolism of a host cell for its multiplication, and form large copies of themselves.  They undergo a lifecycle whose initial step is, attachment to the host cellular surface.

They then penetrate inside the host cell and un-coat themselves off the viral capsid, releasing the viral genome. Thus, genome will undergo replication, after which they exit the host cell. Viruses possess the feature of mutation, which means it has the ability to change the gene structure resulting in a variant form. So, virus is the most powerful agent in the group of microbes and their infection on humans will pose a greater threat. 

Coronavirus and its Uniqueness

Today, the world is worried about Covid-19 disease and vaccine discovery is still a question. Bat virus hold unique features with it. Some characterised bat viruses cause illness to humans including bat lyssaviruses (Rabies virus), henipaviruses (Nipah virus and Hendra virus), CoVs (SARS-CoV, SADS-CoV and MERS-CoV).

The CoV genome is a single stranded RNA, which is the second largest of all RNA virus genomes. Compared to other RNA viruses, the genome size of CoVs is associated with increased replication fidelity. 

What is a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are a form of medical research or a study of clinical or biomedical questions through the use of human subjects. The clinical trials, investigate the effectiveness of new drug treatments, new combinations of drugs, surgical procedures, or behavioural and lifestyle modifications.

Every clinical trial follows a protocol that specifies on what type of people can participate in the trial; length of study; outlines the schedule of tests, medications and dosage. Each trial has specific inclusion and exclusion criteria to determine the strength of patient population that may participate. 

Clinical trials are carried out in different phases, with each phase having a different purpose within the trial. Phase I involves a small group of 20 to 80 people on whom a drug potential and side effects are studied. In phase Ⅱ, drug is tested on 100- 300 people to determine the treatment effectives on a particular disease. Nearly, 1000-3000 people participate in phase Ⅲ of trial, where further information about safety and side effects is compared to standard treatments.

Phase Ⅳ is conducted after the approval of treatment as part of post- marketing studies. In case the clinical trial has got positive result in all the phases then it is further recommended for approval. If the drug has had adverse effects, then the trial is stopped at phase Ⅲ. 

Story so far

The vaccine and drug, to prevent or cure coronavirus is under study. According to an analytics firm, GlobalData, out of 23 ongoing coronavirus trials, 16 have produced positive results. Nearly 69% of these clinical trials are currently in phase I and phase Ⅱ.

There are more 597 planned clinical trials in the coming month. Recently, Russia claimed that, one candidate vaccine, being developed by the Gamalei National Research Centre for Epidemiology and Microbiology in partnership with the Russian Defence Ministry, had successfully completed phase I of trial and begun phase Ⅱ of trial now. 

According to a report by The New York Times, researches around the world are developing more than 155 vaccines against the coronavirus, which typically needs years of research and testing before reaching the clinic. But, the scientists are racing to produce a safe and effective vaccine by coming year. 

Conclusion:

As per today’s situation, mantra of ‘Prevention is better than cure’ ought to be implemented in life. 3MEDS, the best medicine store online in India, appeal to the citizens, to follow the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines promptly and avoid unnecessary public movement. Hope, a key treatment drug or vaccine for Covid-19 emerge soon. Till then, stay home and stay safe, by saving your life along with other lives too.