Candidate: CoroFlu

Category: VAX

Type: Intranasal vaccine for COVID-19 based on FluGen vaccine candidate M2SR, with production scale-up by Bharat

Status: UWMadison, FLuGen and Bharat said April 2 they had begun development and testing of CoroFlu, based on FluGen’s M2SR, a self-limiting version of the influenza virus that induces an immune response against the flu. M2SR was based on an invention by UW­Madison virologists and FluGen co-founders Yoshihiro Kawaoka, PhD, and Gabriele Neumann, PhD, with Kawaoka’s lab planning to insert gene sequences from SARS-CoV-2 into M2SR so that the new vaccine will also induce immunity against the coronavirus.

The partners said they expect to refine the CoroFlu vaccine concept and carry out tests in animal models at UW–Madison over the next three to six months. Bharat Biotech of Hyderabad, India, will then begin production scale-up for safety and efficacy testing in humans. CoroFlu could be in human clinical trials by the fall of 2020, the partners added.

COVID-19: 200 Candidates and Counting

To navigate through the >200 potential therapeutic and vaccine options for COVID-19, GEN has grouped the candidates into four broad categories based on their developmental and (where applicable) clinical progress:

FRONT RUNNER – the most promising therapeutics/vaccines based on clinical progress, favorable data or both.

DEFINITELY MAYBE – earlier phases with promising partners, or more advanced candidates in development that have generated uneven data

KEEPING AN EYE ON… – interesting technology, attracting notable partners, or both, but preliminary data.

TOO SOON TO TELL – longshots pending additional experimental and/or clinical data.

GEN has also tagged the most common treatment types: