New Protein-based COVID-19 Vaccine – No Need Of Cold Storage
Scientists from Boston Children’s Hospital, United States, have developed a novel protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate that is much easier to manufacture and doesn’t require cold storage.
The team stated that presently available COVID-19 vaccines require cold storage and complex production capacity, making them challenging to manufacture and distribute widely, particularly in less developed nations.
According to the team, the new vaccine design, published in the journal PNAS, could help bridge global vaccination gaps and be implemented in vaccines against other diseases.
They noted that the new vaccine candidate evoked potent immune reactions in mice against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.
The vaccine was freeze-dried and reconstituted without losing efficiency; its stability and potency remained at least for 7 days at room temperature.
This novel experimental COVID-19 vaccine is entirely protein-based, making it simple to produce in various facilities.
The team explained that it consists of 2 parts: antibodies obtained from alpacas, referred to as nanobodies, and a portion of the coronavirus’s spike protein.
Novalia Pishesha, the study’s first author, stated that the entire spike protein or other parts of the virus could also be attached. The vaccine can be easily modifiedfor SARS-CoV-2 variants.
When tested in mice, the vaccine candidate elicited strong humoral immunity – stimulating large amounts of neutralizing antibodies, and strong cellular immunity – stimulating T helper cells, which rally other immune defenses.
They claim that the vaccine is a protein and not an mRNA like the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, and it’s far more suitable for large-scale production.
Thibault Harmand, the study’s co-first author, stated that they do not require much of the superior technology and expertise that is a must mRNA vaccine production.
Harmand stated that the skilled workers are presently a bottleneck for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, whereas biopharma has enough expertise in manufacturing protein-based therapeutics at a large scale.
According to the team, this novel technology could allow the vaccine to be manufactured in many locations across the globe, close to where it would be utilized.
They have applied for a patent on their technology and expect to work with biotech or pharma firms to further test it and, eventually, perform clinical trials.
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