Scientists have created a “super-strong” new crown-candidate vaccine that may provide a better immune response than other COVID-19 vaccines — and they are all done by computer,media BGR reported. The nanoparticle candidate vaccine developed by the University of Washington School of Medicine provides a stronger immune response than other vaccine technologies at lower doses. The researchers also say the drug may provide protection against new coronavirus mutations, and that it may be easier to produce and store than other vaccine candidates.
Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine have designed a nanoparticle that should show up to 60 copies of a key part of the new coronavirus pyrethroid protein used to infect cells. ‘The resulting vaccine produces a better immune response than we see in patients who survive COVID-19, and better than competing candidates,’ they said in their research paper. What’s more, they are all done by computer.
The researchers did not use the entire virus’s stinging glycoprotein. Instead, 60 copies of the spike protein binding domain shown outside the particles were used. The scientists used a “structure-based vaccine design technique” developed by the University of Washington School of Medicine, which allowed them to create a self-assembled protein that looked like the one in the image below. The molecular structure of the vaccine mimics the appearance of the virus, which may be the reason for the improved immune response.
The vaccine produced a 10 times greater level of meso-antibodies in mice than people who recovered from COVID-19 and produced autoantibodies saw. The scientists compared their vaccine candidates to drugs characterized by soluble SARS-CoV-2 pythons, a common feature of many leading new crown candidates. They found that the nanoparticle vaccine produced 10 times as many neutral antibodies in mice as competing products, even at a dose of one-6 of its dose.
When deployed in non-human primates, these meso-antibodies target several positions on the python glycoprotein. This feature ensures that the vaccine will remain viable even in the near future with a mutation in SARS-CoV-2. In addition, the vaccine induces a B-cell response, which is also the target of some new crown candidates. These immune cells play a role in remembering past pathogens, so the immune system responds even after the initial mediated antibodies disappear.
“We hope that our nanoparticle platforms can help fight this epidemic, which is causing so much damage to our world,” said researcher Neil King. “The effectiveness, stability and manufacturability of this candidate vaccine make it different from many other vaccines under study.”
Getting the vaccine through phase three is just one of the challenges vaccine manufacturers must figure out. Manufacturing adequate doses and ensuring the safe transport of drugs are other issues that need to be addressed quickly. Some cutting-edge products need to be stored at very low temperatures above freezing, even during transport. It is worth noting that this new “super”vaccine may not have the same problem. If it works at a lower dose and stabilizes at higher temperatures, the University of Washington vaccine may be easier to deploy than other candidates.
Still, it will take a long time for the vaccine to complete its phase 3 trial. The university authorized the drug to both companies as non-exclusive and royalties-free. Icosavax, co-founded by King, is conducting research to support regulatory applications. SK Bioscience from South Korea is conducting its own research to support clinical trials.
Papers on the study have been published in the journal Cell.