Keeping tabs on Covid-19: Iceni Diagnostics creates new virus detection device and the RDIF announce its vaccine is more than 95 per cent efficient

The Russian Direct Investment Fund has partnered with leading pharmaceutical companies in the hope to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines for more than 500 million people in 2021

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Vaccine development to cure coronavirus is at an all-time high after Pfizer and BioNTech announced they had success with a possible vaccine candidate. This week, another pharma company revealed a new technology device that can detect if a patient is infectious or not, while the Russian government published results of its Sputnik V vaccine, claiming it is more than 95 per cent efficient 42 days after the first dose.

Read on to for the full insight.

UK firm develops solution for identifying whether patients are actually infectious from a virus or not

Iceni Diagnostics has revealed it is developing a new technology that can disclose if patients are actually infectious with a live virus or not. The existing prototype has been created for influenza, but Professor Rob Field, co-founder of Iceni Diagnostics and a specialist in glycan science, claimed the product could be adapted to identity other pathogens such as coronavirus.

The hand-held testing device uses lateral flow – like a home pregnancy test – to detect the virus’s interaction with sugars around human cells, so that nurses, doctors and patients can all easily perform the test without any prior training and at any location.  

Field said: “Right now, everybody is talking about a vaccine for coronavirus but vaccine development, validation, safety-testing, manufacture, regulatory approval and deployment is a time-consuming process.

“The Iceni Diagnostics approach uses glycan recognition, which is unaffected by seasonal variation in the genetic code and can be offered as a handheld home or field-based test. This new approach could potentially result in a more universal detection technique, crucial in early diagnostics of virus outbreaks.”

Iceni Diagnostics’ testing device is currently being tested in care homes in Wales and at Cambridge Clinical Laboratories, which carries out antigen (PCR) Covid testing for Nation Health Service England. The trail will also involve the running of a clinical evaluation of the hand-held device in the coming weeks.

One dose of the Sputnik V vaccine will cost less than $10 for international markets

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has announced the cost of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine for international markets will cost less than US$10 per dose and will be free of charge for all Russian citizens.

Preliminary data recently published from Phase 3 clinical trials of Sputnik V claimed that the efficacy rate of the vaccine was above 95 per cent after 42 days of the first dose. The RDIF has begun production of the vaccine abroad, partnering with pharmaceutical companies to produce vaccines for 500 million people per year starting in January 2021. Plans to expand vaccine supplies for the global market have also got under way, with the RDIF reaching out to its international partners in India, Brazil, China and South Korea.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF, said: “We have developed one of the most efficient vaccines against coronavirus, with an efficacy rate of more than 90 per cent and a price that is two times lower than that of other vaccines with a similar efficacy rate.

“The uniqueness of the Russian vaccine lies in the use of two different human adenoviral vectors, which allows for a stronger and longer-term immune response as compared to the vaccines using one and the same vector for two doses. We are ready to start deliveries of the Sputnik V vaccine to foreign markets thanks to [our international] partnerships.”

RDIF claimed deliveries of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine would be made to customers in January 2021 based on existing partnerships with foreign manufacturers. Those customers, who have recently submitted their requests, will be able to receive the first batches of the vaccine in March 2021.

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