Tested and proven highly effective in ferrets
By Tania Arora, Staff Writer
Since the global pandemic entered the spotlight, researchers all over the world are trying every means to come up with a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus. Canadian researchers are part of the global effort.
The team of researchers at The University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) announced a possible vaccine candidate and are moving towards clinical trials.
Vaccines are developed using living organisms to help the body fight the trouble caused by a pathogen (disease-causing organism). The vaccine candidate developed by the research organization is proved to be “highly effective” in the pre-clinical trials when tested on ferrets.
According to The University of Saskatchewan’s VIDO-InterVac, “To evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine, the ferrets received two immunizations before being exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine-induced a strong immune response generated neutralizing antibody and decreased viral infection in the upper respiratory tract to almost undetectable levels.”
Project head Dr. Darryl Falzarano stated that they “are excited by these results and are continuing to develop our vaccine towards regulatory approval.” After this animal trial, the research organization will be moving to human clinical trials this fall.
Before this announcement, other research organizations also claimed success from animal trials, including Quebec-based biotech company Medicago Inc., and IMV Inc.—another Quebec company. Although the vaccine to begin human trials is by CanSino Biologics—a Chinese company in collaboration with Canada’s National Research Council. The vaccine has proven to have positive results when tested on more than 100 subjects in Wuhan.