Researchers from Boston, engaged in the global race for the discovery of a vaccine against the coronavirus, propose to use a technology that would have been so far ignored, and which could help stimulate a significant immune response.
The idea of researchers from the hospital, Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital based on the transfer to the interior of a muscle of fragments of genetic material from the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to generate an immune response.
To achieve this, they propose to encode this information in another virus that would be, to him, harmless to the human being : the adeno-associated virus, or AAV, for adeno-associated virus, English.
Known for the past 20 years, this technology would at first sight without danger. The leaders of the study believe that it would be capable of inducing levels “fast and high” of antibodies after a single intramuscular injection of the vaccine.
However, no one would have even considered using this process in the fight against coronavirus, says the hospital, which evokes a concept of ” unique “, in a statement released this week.
“No other program uses this approach,” said Katrine Bosley, a member of the board of directors of the Mass Eye and Ear, in an interview with the daily Boston Herald.
This hospital specializes usually in vision problems, but his expertise in the transfer of genes and AAV has led him to join the fight against the new coronavirus.
This proposed vaccine candidate is still at the stage of preclinical studies. The hospital hopes to begin clinical tests on humans, ” later this year “.
“There are a lot of experiences in the manufacture of drugs based on AAV, so the infrastructure for its manufacturing within the industry are there “, was raised by Mrs. Bosley.
It would thus be possible to produce the vaccine in large quantities if its effectiveness is demonstrated, says the hospital.
This work is part of the unprecedented mobilization of scientists around the world, including in Canada, to develop as soon as possible a vaccine reliably against the coronavirus.
According to the world health Organization (WHO), it is imperative to try all avenues possible.
“To increase the chances of success […], we need to test all the candidate vaccines until they fail. WHO strives to ensure that all have the opportunity to be tested at the initial stage of development, ” writes the agency world on its web site.
In the world, we now list over 100 initiatives for the development of vaccines, including that of the Quebec-based company Medicago, which put it on a platform of production plants.