UNITED KINGDOM – Emergex Vaccines Holding Limited, a company tackling major global infectious disease threats by developing 100% synthetic T-Cell priming vaccines, has confirmed that its vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has the potential to be effective against all currently known variants.
The company is set to begin clinical trials of a second-generation vaccine against Covid-19, a simple skin patch that uses T-cells to kill infected cells and may provide longer-lasting immunity than current vaccines in January 2022.
The Swiss drugs regulator has given Emergex permission to conduct initial human trials in Lausanne, involving 26 people who will receive a high and a low dose of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine beginning on January 3rd. The trial’s preliminary findings are expected in June.
Robin Cohen, the firm’s chief commercial officer, said: “This is the first time a regulator has approved a Covid vaccine to go into clinical trials whose sole purpose is to generate a targeted T-cell response in the absence of an antibody response and those T-cells look for infected cells and kills them.”
Current Covid-19 vaccines primarily elicit an antibody response that diminishes over time, necessitating booster shots to maintain virus protection.
The Emergex vaccine works in a different way, by quickly killing infected cells. This means it could provide longer-lasting immunity – possibly for decades – as well as be more effective at combating virus mutations, according to Cohen.
He claims that mRNA vaccines like the Pfizer/BioNTech shot work so well because they elicit a strong neutralizing antibody response.
According to Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, the Pfizer vaccine is more effective against Covid than the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, which elicits a stronger T-cell response.
However, he believes that a T-cell vaccine could be used to supplement other vaccines because T-cell vaccines may be more resistant to virus mutations. “Antibodies are extremely sensitive to mutations, whereas T-cells can see many different parts of the virus.”
Emergex’s vaccine mode of action
The vaccines prime T-cells to quickly remove infected cells from the body after infection, preventing viral replication and disease.
T-cells find and destroy infected cells, whereas antibodies produced by current Covid vaccines stick to the virus and prevent it from infecting cells.
In comparison to current vaccine technologies, which rely primarily on an antibody immune response, Emergex’s T-Cell priming vaccines have the potential to be more effective in targeting rapidly mutating viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and eliminate the need for seasonal booster vaccines.
Furthermore, Emergex’s vaccine is raised against highly conserved antigens, which may provide cross reactive immunity to SARS-CoV-1 infection as well as all SARS-CoV-2 variants and strains of the virus, providing broad immune protection from two pandemic viruses in one vaccine.
Emergex vaccines are designed to be administered through the skin using microneedles and to be stable at room temperature for more than three months, allowing for rapid and efficient distribution around the world and making vaccine administration more patient friendly.
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