Candidate: Vaccine to protect against COVID-19

Category: VAX

Type: Self-amplifying RNA vaccine, designed to inject new genetic code into a muscle, and instructing that muscle it to make a protein found on the surface of coronavirus, triggering a protective immune response.

Status: Prof. Robin Shattock, PhD, Head of Mucosal Infection and Immunity within the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London, and a leader of the college’s vaccine development effort, told the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on June 23 that researchers were “interested in looking at mucosal immunization” of the vaccine, via intranasal or aerosol delivery, in addition to traditional intramuscular injection. 

Professor [Sarah] Gilbert (PhD, of the University of Oxford, a leader of the effort to develop the AstraZeneca-Oxford-Vaccitech vaccine candidate AZD1222) and myself are already in discussion as to how we might be able to move that as a second wave of clinical study,” Shattock said.

Imperial College London on April 27 joined TriLink BioTechnologies®, a Maravai LifeSciences company, in announcing that TriLink had agreed to manufacture self-amplifying RNA (saRNA) for COVID-19 vaccine development. The partnership will apply TriLink’s ability to scale saRNA production from research to Phase II scale, allowing for efficient RNA production from a single source. According to TriLink, the significant dose sparing nature of saRNA provides capability to rapidly scale manufacturing to millions of doses.

Shattock and colleagues, developed the vaccine candidate within 14 days of getting the SARS-CoV-2 sequence from China, the college said in March. The researchers have been testing the vaccine on animals since February, and plan to move to clinical trials in the summer.

“If all goes well it could be available sometime next year,” Shattock told the U.K.’s Channel 4 News.


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:

● ANTIVIRAL
● VAX
● ANTIBODY
● RNA

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