Emergex trial new form of COVID vaccine

pharmafile | November 15, 2021 | News story | Sales and Marketing  

Emergex, an Oxfordshire based company, is moving towards Phase I trials for its novel COVID-19 vaccine, which is applied as a skin patch and uses T-cells to fight the virus. The form of the vaccine ensures ease of administration, while the use of T-Cells quickly removes infected cells from the body following infection, preventing viral replication.

Theoretically, this vaccine offers longer lasting immunity than current vaccines available. Robin Cohen, the firm’s chief commercial officer, told the Guardian: “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”.

T-cells are a form of white blood cell that fight one type of virus, and as Cohen explained to the Guardian, destroy an infected cell a virus is replicating in “before it can produce new live viruses.”

In the main, COVID-19 vaccines on the market currently elicit antibody responses, which diminish over time. This means booster jabs are necessary in order to maintain virus protection. According to Cohen, however, Emergex’s vaccine kills infected cells quickly, which could mean longer-lasting immunity, potentially lasting decades, and a possible increased efficacy at fighting virus mutations.

However, Danny Altmann, Imperial College London, told the Guardian that he doubted a T-cell vaccine “could do the job on its own,” arguing it might instead form a complementary role to existing vaccinations, though not be able to provide complete cover against the virus.

Cohen noted that the skin patch vaccine would not be available until 2025 at the earliest, citing the normal timeframe for vaccine development. Outside of injection, some vaccines in development are administered in pill form and via nasal applicators.

Ana Ovey

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