According tomedia reports, the vaccine is considered the best hope against the new coronavirus, to prevent a serious outbreak of immunity levels. Even if the first vaccines are deployed as soon as the end of 2020 or early next year, it will take some time to be available. It is not enough to produce a vaccine that is both effective and safe, and we must find a way to produce billions of doses of the vaccine as soon as possible and ship it around the world. Dr. Anthony Fauci and his colleagues have explained the challenges ahead in a paper on the subject, while Bill Gates has provided more details on how vaccine development can move forward.
The good news for all this is that more than 100 vaccines are currently being developed around the world, which means scientists have a variety of ideas on how to prevent COVID-19 vaccines. Some of them have already started testing, and preliminary results will be available soon. Others are preparing for human trials, including a Canadian company that has an unusual way to make the vaccine’s active substance, a key ingredient derived from a plant called Nicotiana Benthamiana, which is associated with tobacco. However, vaccine research has nothing to do with tobacco or smoking.
Researchers from Canadian biopharmaceutical company Medicago announced Thursday that a candidate vaccine, which has been in development for several months, has shown efficacy in mice. The project will be transferred to human clinical trials this summer and is expected to begin Phase 2 clinical trials by the end of 2020.
“These positive results are critical to initiating clinical studies in healthy volunteers,” Nathalie Landry, vice president of Medicago, said in a statement. “Once the results of the second ‘boost’ dose are available, Medicago will submit a clinical trial application to Health Canada and an investigation drug application with the FDA to begin human clinical trials this summer.” “
The company produced a viral-like particle (VLP) in March, about 20 days after receiving a sample of SARS-CoV-2. “We were able to extract what we thought was the most interesting sequence, the sequence of S-proteins, which was probably the most important viral protein that causes infection,” Brian Ward, medical officer at Medicago, told Yahoo News Canada.
The S protein is a key component of the new coronavirus, which binds to human cell receptors, so the virus can replicate itself. “It faithfully copied the virus’s S protein in a way that… Maintaining this form of S protein is likely to cause the immune system to produce a good response, producing antibodies that neutralize real viruses and cell immunity, helping to remove viruses from infected cells. “
VLP “spoofs” the immune system into thinking it is “dealing with” the virus, triggering a response from the immune system that should provide protection when it actually encounters SARS-CoV-2 in the future. Instead of growing VLP in stainless steel jars, the scientists used the plant for the same purpose. “You can produce a lot of biomass, basically green leaves, and then go into a relatively small pharmaceutical shop, and from the other side, it’s a highly purified virus-like particle,” Ward said. Thanks to this approach, the company can expand production by expanding the greenhouses in which these plants grow.
With its facilities in Quebec and North Carolina, Medicago could produce up to 120 million doses by 2022. A larger plant in Quebec could produce 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine a year once it is completed by 2023. “Assuming the vaccine is approved by regulators, millions of doses of the vaccine will be ready by the end of the year. However, these are only estimates, as the appropriate dose of humans has not yet been determined.