Current Covid-19 vaccines require cold storage and have a complex production capacity. This has made it difficult to produce and distribute them widely, especially in less developed countries, but a new type of vaccine can be potentially easier to produce and does not require refrigerated storage.
Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, led by Hidde Ploegh, lead author Novalia Pishesha and Thibault Harmand, believe their technology can fill the void, according to Medical Express. Global vaccination helps and can be used for other vaccines.
The vaccine induced a strong immune response in mice against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and was successfully frozen and dried, and regenerated without loss of efficacy. In experiments, the vaccine remained stable and strong at room temperature for at least seven days.
Unlike the current Covid-19 vaccines, this new design is completely protein-based, which is why many facilities are able to produce it. The vaccine has two parts, antibodies released from alpacas known as nanobodies, and parts of the virus spike proteins that bind to human cell receptors.
“We can also make this vaccine quickly and easily for different strains of SARS-Kov-2 virus,” says Pisha.
Nanobodies are an essential part of vaccine technology.
They are specifically designed to target antigen-producing cells, which are essential cells for the immune system.
“Current vaccines at the injection site stimulate the production of spike protein and are thought to indirectly stimulate antigen-producing cells,” says Plow. But removing the mediator and direct contact with the antigen-producing cells will be more efficient.
In experiments on mice, the vaccine induced strong humoral immunity against SARS-Coo-2 and stimulated large amounts of antibodies that neutralize the virus spike protein. The vaccine also promoted strong cellular immunity and stimulated helper T cells.
Because this vaccine is protein-based, unlike Pfizer and Modern, it is easier to produce on a large scale.
“To produce this vaccine, we do not need the technology and expertise we have for vaccines based on messenger arans,” says Harmand. This helps us to produce and use the vaccine in many parts of the world.
The group has registered their patent and now hopes that pharmaceutical and bio-tech companies will work with them to conduct further trials and clinical trials.