As efforts to develop vaccines for protection against COVID-19 continue, several candidates have entered clinical trials. The EU-funded TRANSVAC2 project will run a preclinical study to examine “the immunogenicity, safety and potency of IPA’s novel SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates, when formulated with LiteVax’s Adjuvant (LVA),” according to a press release by ImmunoPrecise Antibodies Ltd (IPA). Immunogenicity is the ability of cells/tissues to stimulate an immune response. The objective of the collaboration “is to conduct a pre-clinical study to determine whether IPA’s protein-based vaccine candidates, formulated with LVA (adjuvant), [result] in potent, neutralizing antibody responses that confer protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a swine animal model.” The same press release notes that “IPA will supply protein-based vaccine candidates and LiteVax will supply its LVA. … It is anticipated that pre-clinical vaccine trials will begin in August, 2020, and that data will be compiled by mid-November, 2020.” If successful, the next stage will involve a preclinical study in a second animal model, as well as details regarding “the potential commercialization of any resulting vaccine.” The press release states that earlier in 2020, “IPA first announced details of its research on SARS-CoV-2 to develop a PolyTopeTM monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy for the treatment of patients with COVID-19, which could also be used prophylactically in high risk patients who may have been exposed to the virus. The Company also disclosed its intent to develop a PolyTope vaccine, to be rationally designed based on large subsets of data obtained during the development of the PolyTope mAb Therapy.” Later, the company started focusing on the development of a diagnostic kit for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Innovation for vaccine development
Expected to run until April 2022, the TRANSVAC2 (European Vaccine Research and Development Infrastructure) project promotes collaborations for accelerating the development of safe, effective and affordable vaccines. It’s building upon the success of TRANSVAC (European Network of Vaccine Development and Research) that ended in September 2013. “TRANSVAC2 is designed to accelerate vaccine development by enhancing European vaccine research and training, and increase sustainability of vaccine projects by implementing a permanent research infrastructure, for vaccine development,” according to a project poster. The main objective of TRANSVAC2 is to foster “innovation for prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine development for both human and veterinary use with strong emphasis on a collaborative one-health approach,” the poster adds. TRANSVAC2 also establishes cooperation between public vaccine R&D institutions, vaccine initiatives and networks, related infrastructures, SMEs and partners in the pharmaceutical industry. TRANSVAC2’s predecessor, the TRANSVAC infrastructure, provided services in vaccine formulation and preclinical testing to speed up the process of vaccine development. For more information, please see: TRANSVAC2 project website
TRANSVAC2, TRANSVAC, COVID-19, coronavirus, vaccine development, SARS-CoV-2