The Spectator (UK): apparently, the vaccine created by scientists at Oxford exceeded all expectations

It was another busy medical day in our world of coronaviruses, which became the “new normal”. Today published the results of a phase I clinical evaluation of the vaccine developed by experts of the University of Oxford confirming the positive information salissou hope and leaked last week. New data reported in its press release, the pharmaceutical company “Synergen” (Synairgen), announced very positive initial results of the application of its established protein inhaled interferon beta in the treatment of hospitalized patients with middle East respiratory syndrome.

In earlier times, the publication of the results of the study vaccine phase I clinical evaluation is unlikely that would cause a special reaction, even among relevant health professionals. But, of course, is no ordinary test, and we do live in unusual times.
All medical products and pharmaceuticals are being tested, from research, during which they are tested exclusively for safety (not effectiveness). At this stage a test gives a negative result. You may remember the disastrous test of the drug in the hospital Northwick Park in 2006 in which six healthy young men as a result of exposure of the drug has come multiple lesions of internal organs. After overcoming this obstacle are conducted full scale tests in which drugs are tested for effectiveness, and if successful, apply for a license, then starts selling drugs.

Today’s preliminary test results ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (vaccine Covid-19), apparently indicate that she exceeded expectations. First, the security issue seems to have been solved, although 70% of 1077 volunteers if there was an increase in temperature or a headache. Secondly (and in line with optimistic press releases, published last week), the vaccine provides both antibody production and T-cell response, which, we hope, can provide long-lasting immunity to the disease. This is very important since studies have shown that after three months the level of antibodies in the body of patients may fall.

There is the usual caveat: the study was conducted over a very small period of time and was not designed to show whether this vaccine is effective enough. Therefore, we know little about its long-term safety or effectiveness. However, now it is ready for more extensive phase III investigation and the probable revenues related to the fact that it will appear on the market first.

Without a doubt, the vaccine is the only chance, as it is considered the Ministry of health and world health organization. Despite the continuing reduction in the number of cases Covid-19 in the UK and a significant reduction in mortality, to return to the normal life that was until March of 2020 seems far away. In some regions the number of “cases” continues to grow, and rumors about local outbreaks and introduction of quarantine restrictions. The wearing of masks will soon become mandatory in the stores (which was not at the peak of the epidemic). And, of course, we are still waiting for a possible “second wave”. Boris Johnson on Saturday promised that we will return to “almost normal life” for Christmas, but it appears to be too optimistic, given that it falls in the middle of the season of respiratory viral diseases. To break the vicious circle of growth “in the number of cases” and restrictions needed “tipping point” factor that radically changed the situation.

In fact, you can bring a logical argument in favor of the fact that the cases (positive tests without infection) don’t really matter, because the infection happens very rarely. In addition, it could also mean the transition to the development of herd immunity, thanks to which we can live with this virus. However, the authorities and scientific advisors have relied only on the vaccine.

To conduct more extensive tests developed by experts of the Oxford vaccine in phase III is already underway for volunteers in Brazil, as in the UK the number of seriously infected people is not enough. It has signed an agreement with AstraZeneca (AstraZeneca) for the licensed production, in which since September in the UK will have more than 90 million doses of the vaccine. Then, most likely, the program of mass vaccination. And here is the promised Christmas return to normal life will be possible. Therefore, to realize these ambitious plans, a prerequisite is an effective and safe vaccine.

As I mentioned earlier, globally there is an almost indecent race to first develop an effective and safe vaccine. Today’s results, combined with the ongoing purchase of the party of the British vaccine, acknowledge the achievements of the University of Oxford as a clear leader.

But today we can talk about another step in this direction: the conclusion that inhaled protein, interferon-beta, may contribute to a significant reduction in the severity of the lung disease caused by a coronavirus Covid-19, and to reduce the need for hospitalization also may have value. A preliminary study, which was reported to Finance his pharmaceutical company “Synergien”, based on the results of the survey of a small group of patients numbering 100 people, held at the University of Southampton, as indicated in the assumptions (but no more) on two very important points.

First, the disease is a coronavirus Covid, occurring in severe form, can with much greater success to give therapy that can significantly reduce the mortality rate in the future, if there’s a so-called second wave. Of course, the initial common opinion of the treatment of this disease is now completely changed, given that instead of chasing ventilators now all aspire to accumulate large stocks of dexamethasone, and now, probably interferon-beta.

Second, given that dexamethasone and interferon-beta are drugs that suppress or modify the immune system, it tells us that the reason for the number of deaths from coronavirus is not a direct attack of the virus, and immune dysregulation as a result of infection with a virus. This is very important because it can give confidence to some people who take immunosuppressive drugs for the treatment of other diseases that they may not undergo significant increased risk of Contracting the virus. In addition, it may allow you to pay more attention (in my opinion, correctly) the prevention Covid-19 — to ensure optimally healthy immune system by strengthening the overall health, diet and maintain the required level of vitamin D. all this, as a rule, adversely affected by quarantine restrictions. Finally, it should also be noted that the results obtained by “Synergien”, due more to peer review and are subject to scrutiny.

Very soon we should expect new results. Today, taking concrete form and embodied in life, no doubt, impressive work done by the scientific and medical community in response to the pandemic of this virus, with a significant role in the UK. Whatever the feelings about the necessity of using vaccines Covid-19, the reality today have definitely moved a step forward, and it is possible that a vaccine might become available before the end of the year. In medicine, it achieved huge success, besides, soon there will be other new treatments, but much remains to be done.