Study: Potential Coronavirus Vaccine Generates Enough Antibodies To Fight Virus
A potential coronavirus vaccine developed in the U.S. was found by a peer-reviewed study to generate enough antibodies to fight off the virus within two weeks of injections, according to The Independent.
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine tested the vaccine, called PittCoVacc, on mice and after meeting with success will next apply to the Food and Drug Administration for investigational new drug approval, the report states, which opens the door for the first phase of human clinical trials.
Though dozens of research teams around the world are working to develop a vaccine, the Pittsburgh candidate is the first to be peer-reviewed, The Independent reports. The team’s ability to act quickly was enabled by previous research during the 2003 SARs and 2014 MERs epidemics.
PittCoVacc “uses lab-made pieces of viral protein to build immunity in the same way as a flu jab,” the publication reported, and also uses “a new drug delivery approach involving of a fingertip-sized patch of 400 tiny microneedles that inject the spike protein pieces into the skin, where the immune reaction is strongest” in order to increase potency.
The vaccine generated a sufficient amount of antibodies within two weeks of the microneedle prick, which researchers say feels “kind of like Velcro.”
The results have not yet been tracked in the long term, but the mice who were given the Pittsburgh researchers’ Mers vaccine candidate developed enough antibodies to neutralise the virus for at least a year. The antibody levels of the rodents vaccinated against Covid-19 “seem to be following the same trend,” according to the researchers.
Researchers also indicated the vaccine would not require refrigeration and scaling up to manufacture the millions of doses needed would not be an issue.
Testing in patients typically would require at least a year, said study co-author Louis Falo, professor and chair of dermatology, but he added that given the global crisis, the timeline could change.
“This particular situation is different from anything we’ve ever seen, so we don’t know how long the clinical development process will take. Recently announced revisions to the normal processes suggest we may be able to advance this faster,” Falo said.