Preclinical tests that prove promising

Des tests précliniques qui s’avèrent prometteurs

After you have successfully tested various formulations of a vaccine against the COVID-19 in mice, a company that works in Quebec will be able to take his turn to tests on the human being.

In total, 23 “recipes” for different vaccine, known as peptides, which have been developed and then tested in an animal model by the consulting firm IMV, a society of immuno-oncology to the clinical stage. Those who have given the most promising results were selected for future tests on the human.


“When we develop a vaccine against a new virus, we plunge into the unknown, no one has any idea if it will work. So, we are very happy to have taken this very important step. It allows us to confirm our plan of development”, suggests the company’s CEO, Frederic Ors.

As it works in a similar way to a vaccine created by the firm which has already proved its effectiveness in humans, researchers are confident for the future.

The formula created by IMV is different from the traditional concept of the vaccine that aims to inoculate part of a virus for the body to develop antibodies that will attack it, ” says Mr Golds.

“Among the hundreds of millions that will be created, there are a number who will work in the right place to block the virus. We remove this part of “chance”. It is targeted directly at three points of weakness of the virus,” he says.

Moreover, the elderly are the group most affected by the pandemic, have a capacity much lower to create antibodies. This type of vaccine would avoid this problem.

This technology would allow the same for the vaccine to be effective if the SARS-CoV-2 [the virus linked to the COVID-19] changed, because the latter would need to mute at three locations simultaneously in order to survive. “Biologically, it is almost impossible,” says Frederic Ors.

Next step : the human

From the month of July, if Health Canada gives the green light, IMV will begin its clinical trials on the human race at McGill University and in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The study will include a list of 84 healthy subjects of two age groups who will receive two doses of vaccine, DPX-COVID-19.

If everything goes as planned, the company expects to launch the large-scale production of its formula in the first six months of 2021.

As of yesterday, the world health Organization (WHO) indicates that 10 organizations are made at step 1 or 2 clinical trials of their vaccine on humans. However, no Canadian-based company not yet reached this stage.

About IMV, it is to be found among the 114 candidates of vaccines in the world to pre-clinical trials. Of this number, fifteen are from firms or canadian universities.

Recall that Medicago, a biopharmaceutical quebec, had already announced the results of tests encouraging his vaccine done on mice last week. Just as IMV, it is expected to begin its clinical trials this summer.

The natural immunity would be possible

Researchers of a university hospital in Boston have shown that rhesus macaques, a species of primates, can withstand exposure to the COVID-19 after having contracted for the first time.

This is what reports the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) of Boston, who has published two studies in the journal Scienceon Wednesday. One regarding the potential effectiveness of vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus at the origin of the COVID-19, and the other putting to the test the concept of natural immunity against the new coronavirus.

Protected by a vaccine

As early as mid-January, Dr. Dan H. Barouch, the lead author of the study, and his colleagues have developed a series of prototype vaccines. These applicants were designed to result in the body’s immune system to recognise and respond quickly when exposed to the virus.

The scientists then injected these vaccines to 25 rhesus macaques, the group of 35 monkeys that were going to be part of the experience. They have then found that the viral load was much less important in animals that had been vaccinated than among others.

Moreover, eight of the 25 primates that received the vaccine showed no virus infection, while it was found to be only a low level of the virus in the other 17.

Natural immunity

Subsequently, the team has tried to answer a question that many will ask now : can we be immune after having been infected for the first time?

“People who are recovering from many viral infections usually develop antibodies that protect them against the recapitulation, but all the viruses do not generate this protective innate immunity,” said Dr. Barouch.

The researchers exposed nine adult rhesus macaques with the SARS-CoV-2 and observed their immune response. The study reports that all the primates recovered, and they have developed antibodies against the virus.

What’s more, during a second exposure, 35 days later, the scientists found that the animals exhibited a “protection almost complete”.

“Our results reinforce the optimism that the development of vaccines COVID-19 will be possible, said one who is also a professor of medicine at Harvard University. But additional research will be needed to respond to important issues, such as the duration of the protection.”

— With the QMI Agency

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