Candidate: Vaccine against COVID-19

Category: VAX

Type: Vaccine applying ExpreS2ion’s Drosophila S2 insect cell expression system, and AdaptVac’s capsid virus-like particle (cVLP) technology.

Status: ExpreS2ion said March 6 it is part of a consortium of vaccine developers and institutions that have been awarded an E2.7 million ($2.9 million) grant through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding program to support development of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, including conducting a Phase I/IIa clinical trial. Joining ExpreS2ion as members of the consortium are AdaptVac, Leiden University Medical Center, Institute for Tropical Medicine (ITM) at University of Tübingen, University of Copenhagen, and Wageningen University.

The consortium aims to launch clinical investigations within 12 months, according to ExpreS2ion. The Danish developer of vaccines and diagnostics first announced its plan to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in February, saying it use Drosophila S2 to produce 2019-nCoV viral antigens in the company’s clinically validated cell lines, as well as in its HighMan-S2™ immunogenicity-enhancing cell line. The company said its goal was to produce the vaccine antigens and test these in mice to demonstrate immunogenicity, and through collaborations demonstrate efficacy in in vitro or animal models as they become available.

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:


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