Farmscape for July 31, 2020
Researchers with VIDO-InterVac expect to begin human trials of a new COVID-19 Vaccine this fall.
The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, one of several groups around the world developing vaccines to prevent COVID-19, has developed a vaccine that has been shown effective in ferrets, is now safety testing the vaccine in animals and is hoping to move into human trials by fall.
VIDO-InterVac Director and CEO Dr. Volker Gerdts says it was decided early on to go with a subunit vaccine which uses a protein of the virus to induce an immune response.
Clip-Dr. Volker Gerdts-VIDO-InterVac:
That is a proven technology that has been test in humans for many decades now.
There are various vaccines for both animals and humans based on subunit technologies so it's a proven concept.
We know from our experience working with other coronaviruses in animals that it is a successful strategy in inducing good immune responses.
In combination with that, and this is really important, there is more and more data coming out supporting this, we chose what we call adjuvants.
These are molecules that being added a vaccine to induce a certain type of immune response so we specifically chose adjuvants that we have developed here at VIDO-InterVac that allow us to drive the immune response to what we call a cell mediated or T-cell response.
We are really trying to engage the immune system as much as possible in getting an almost complete response to the vaccine.
That seems to be very successful which also offers other advantages.
Using subunit vaccines, you can produce a large quantity of doses in a very rapid time.
It's a fairly easy manufacturing process and so it will enable us to later on produce lots of our vaccine in a quick time.
Dr. Gerdts notes there is currently more than 100 vaccine technologies being developed around the world and he is confident, by the end of this year or early next year, we will start to see the first few technologies becoming available.
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