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New Coronavirus Vaccine Effective in Macaques

Nov, 2020

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There is an urgent need to provide more treatment options for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Novavax, an American vaccine development company, has developed a vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that successfully induces immunity and protection against the virus in macaques. The vaccine is developed from the spike protein that the virus uses to bind human receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and gain access to host cells. The virus uses the viral membrane structure (a spike protein) to attach to ACE2 at an early phase of the infection process. Moreover, there is an urgent need to provide more treatment options for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.  

As the virus continues to wreak havoc across the world, a myriad of strategies is currently being tested to combat the coronavirus. Research institutes and Pharma companies worldwide are in a race to develop an effective vaccine or drug to combat the virus. There are more than 100 vaccine candidates are being developed and tested to combat coronavirus, while several vaccine candidates are now in phase III human clinical trials. As of August 21, the virus has infected more than 22 million people and killed more than 792,243 individuals across the world. A vaccine works by training the immune system to recognize and combat pathogens, either viruses or bacteria.

However, it may take one or two months after infection or vaccination to produce the most effective antibodies. The drugs may eventually be considered for widespread use if they are proven to be safe and effective. During this research, the team immunized crab-eating macaques with antibodies (developed by the vaccine) that blocked the binding of the spike to ACE2 and prevented the animals from developing the pulmonary disease and respiratory infection. According to the authors, the results support the ongoing safety and immunogenicity studies (phase 1/2) of the vaccine which is currently under evaluation. The research was published in the preprint server bioRxiv.

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