Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School (USA) announced a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. Tested on mice, it produced enough antibodies to neutralize the virus.
Medical doctor Andrea Gambotto, associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School (USA), said they can develop vaccines quickly thanks to their experience in SARS-CoV (2003) and MERS-CoV (years). 2014).
According to him, the two viruses closely associated with SARS-CoV-2 help them understand the importance of the spike protein in the process of creating immunity against the virus.
“We know exactly how to fight the new virus. That’s why funding vaccine research is so important. We don’t know where the next pandemic will come from, ”added Dr. Gambotto.
The team called this vaccine PittCoVacc, which stands for Pittsburgh Coronavirus Vaccine. It uses the virus protein made in the lab to build immunity, similar to the working principle of a flu vaccine.
They used a new injection method called microneedle, which consists of 400 small needles. The needle is made entirely of sugar and protein and easily melts into the skin.
This method was developed based on the vaccination against smallpox but with new technology, bringing greater efficiency. However, it will be very painful.
When tested on mice, PittCoVacc caused the number of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 to skyrocket in 2 weeks.
Although the mice had not been followed for a long time, the researchers noted that the individual injected with the MERS-CoV vaccine produced enough antibodies to neutralize the virus for at least a year.
Importantly, this method remains effective after thorough disinfection with gamma radiation, an important step in making vaccines that can be used on the human body.
The team from the University of Pittsburgh is seeking approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to begin clinical trials of humans in phase one over the next few months.
“Human testing usually takes at least a year or maybe longer. However, the current situation is different from before. Therefore, we do not know how long the clinical development will take. Recent modifications show we can progress faster, ”said Louis Falo, Ph.D., Head of Dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.