Currently, 13 vaccines have been approved for emergency use in humans, and many such as the PTX-COVID19-B vaccine, are in different stages of clinical trials. Researchers from Canada recently reported the pre-clinical development of PTX-COVID19-B, a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) formulated SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine. PTX-COVID19-B has a full-length membrane-anchored S protein taken from the ancestral Wuhan-Hu-1 isolate with a D614G substitution to match the amino acid location of predominant SARS-CoV-2 strains in circulation currently. PTX-COVID19-B elicited potent neutralizing antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 in mice.
Further tests in hamsters and mice indicated that PTX-COVID19-B induced strong cellular and humoral immune responses and offered complete protection to the vaccinated animals from SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lungs. Experiments in hamsters revealed that PTX-COVID19-B protected the upper respiratory tract from infection. Suppression of viral replication in upper respiratory tracts reduces viral transmission to a large extent. Mouse immune sera elicited by the vaccine were able to neutralize variants of SARS-CoV-2, including the B.1.351, B.1.1.7, and P.1 lineages. No adverse effects were noticed in mice and hamsters vaccinated with PTX-COVID19-B. Based on the pre-clinical study results, Health Canada authorized this vaccine to enter clinical trials in December 2020.
The phase 1 clinical trial for the vaccine is currently ongoing. PTX-COVID19-B is a is highly immunogenic and safe mRNA vaccine that prevents SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters and mice and is currently being evaluated in phase 1 human clinical trial. This trial will determine if PTX-COVID19-B is eligible to enter the subsequent phases of clinical trials and eventually gets approved for use in humans to strengthen the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
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