Foreign research institutes and pharmaceutical companies are developing vaccines at a “record-breaking” rate in response to the ongoing outbreak of new coronary pneumonia. Participants have come up with “watcher skills”, or use new technologies, new platforms to develop new vaccines, or provide new tools to aid vaccine research and trial. In the development of the new coronavirus vaccine, the DNA vaccine and the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, two relatively new vaccine types, are highly anticipated because of their respective strengths.
Traditional vaccines are often developed using inactivated viruses and contain complete viruses, while DNA vaccines use a small piece of ring-shaped DNA derived from the virus, known as a “plasmid”, which can induce a good immune response to the body, with high safety and reliability.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced on January 30 that it will work with all parties to step up efforts to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus, INO-4800. The company says its involvement in the development of new vaccines has the advantage of having the ability to rapidly develop new vaccines based on a DNA-based drug platform and effective experience in responding to the threat of new epidemics. The company’s previously developed INO-4700 is the world’s first Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus vaccine to enter human trials.
mRNA plays an important role in human biology, passing instructions stored in DNA to cells to make proteins. The principle of the vaccine is that the immune system is safely exposed to a small portion of the pathogen’s protein in advance using mRNA, preparing the immune system for a “battle”. The advantage is that the preparation step is simple, the development and production cycle is short, and the epidemic can be responded to more quickly.
Modena Therapeutics announced on January 23rd that it would develop a mRNA vaccine for the new coronavirus. The company has now obtained data from viral gene sequences published in China, successfully injecting genes into the company’s mRNA platform to begin guiding protein synthesis, marking the first step. The next step is to inject these proteins into mice to induce immunogenicity. Germany’s CureVac has also announced that it will move the candidate mRNA vaccine into clinical trials as soon as possible and safely.
Zhang Xinmin, director of the China Biotechnology Development Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology, said at a press conference on February 15th that, in order to ensure the success of early research and development, several technical routes were arranged in parallel in the scientific research and emergency projects, including inactivated vaccines, mRNA vaccines, recombinant protein vaccines, viral vector vaccines, Parallel propulsion of DNA vaccines, etc. At present, the research and development progress of various research teams in China has basically kept pace with international progress, and some vaccine varieties have entered the stage of animal experimentation.
New tools to power
Research and development of many types of vaccines go hand in hand, and a number of new technologies related to vaccine screening and preparation are also supported internationally.
The University of Queensland in Australia announced on January 24th that it was using a patented technology to quickly produce a vaccine against the new coronavirus. The “molecular pliers” technique developed by the university’s research team can increase the stability of viral proteins. Researchers have tried to develop the technology to develop vaccines against MERS, Nipa, Ebola and influenza viruses, with very good experimental results. The university’s research team has now obtained a genetic sequence of the new coronavirus and is in the early stages of developing a vaccine.
GlaxoSmithKline announced on February 3rd that it would work with the International Organization For Epidemic Prevention and Innovation to advance global research and development of the new coronavirus vaccine. One of the company’s dominant technologies is the “vaccine adjuno” that is important for vaccine production.
According to the introduction, the adjuum can improve the antigen’s immunogenicity, response speed and tolerance, while reducing the amount of antigen. The same dose of vaccine antigens, added to the ideal adjfrom the vaccine, can produce more vaccines of the same effect, which can help to produce vaccines on a large scale against epidemics.
GlaxoSmithKline says it will work with vaccine developers to help the latter speed up research and development and increase production capacity on a large scale. The company currently provides AS03 adjotos to the University of Queensland. AS03, which has been used as a djtoin for GlaxoSmithKline’s H1N1 and H5N1 influenza vaccines, has been shown to induce a stronger, broader immune response.
Scientific research institutions to step up efforts, relevant institutions to seize the approval, the public is looking forward to the new coronavirus vaccine is expected to be available as soon as possible. At the same time, it should be noted that vaccine development has its own specific scientific laws, will not happen overnight. Personal protection and reduced concentration in confined spaces are still critical.