Oxford Scientists Hail ‘Exciting’ Potential New Low Dose Covid Vaccine

Oxford Scientists Hail ‘Exciting’ Potential New Low Dose Covid Vaccine. image: Wikimedia

Oxford Scientists Hail ‘Exciting’ Potential New Low Dose Covid Vaccine.

A potential new coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University could be as effective in lower doses making it easier to manufacture in large quantities and be used in conjunction with other vaccines, early animal studies suggest. If proved, the new vaccine would be a game-changer as manufacturers struggle to keep up with global demand.

The candidate, named RBD-SpyVLP, produces a strong antibody response in mice and pigs, providing vital information for the further development of the vaccine, according to researchers. Although this type of vaccine is not a competitor for the first wave of vaccines, it is hoped that it will be useful as a standalone vaccine or as a booster for individuals primed with a different Covid vaccine.

Current guidance is for the same vaccine to be used in the required two doses to maximise protection.

It’s all very technical!

The Oxford-produced candidate contains part of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein called the receptor-binding domain (RBD), which a range of protective neutralising antibodies can bind to in a way that blocks infection. The RBD is attached to a virus-like particle (VLP) that contains no genetic material using Oxford’s SpyTag/SpyCatcher technology, a kind of protein “superglue”.

Studies by Oxford and The Pirbright Institute revealed the potential vaccine generated a greater antibody response in mice than administering the RBD alone. Pirbright researchers tested the RBD-SpyVLP vaccine in pigs as a large animal model to establish if different dosages would affect the immune response.

 


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Tony Winterburn

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