Coronavirus vaccine: Italy gains significant ground in vaccine development for Covid-19 pandemic

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Updated: May 06, 2020 1:47 PM

The scientists tested their vaccine on mice. The mice developed antibodies immediately after a single injection, which prevented the virus from infecting human cells. Researchers selected 2 of the five candidates for the vaccine after studying them with the best results.

The scientists tested their vaccine on mice.

Italian scientists have made marked progress in developing the coronavirus vaccine. During the vaccine development experiments, it was seen that antibodies have developed in mice and they also blocked the viral action in the human body. Upon testing the vaccine, they found it had neutralized the virus in human cells, a first in the world since the search for a coronavirus vaccine began, said Luigi Aurisicchio, Takis’ CEO, the company that is developing the vaccine.

These tests were conducted at a hospital in Rome. The scientists tested their vaccine on mice. The mice developed antibodies immediately after a single injection, which prevented the virus from infecting human cells. Researchers selected two of the five candidates for the vaccine after studying them with the best results.

They first isolated the serum from the blood that is high in antibodies, then studied it in the Spallanzani Institute virology laboratory. For the scientists the next move is to understand how long the immune response will last.

All the vaccine candidates currently being produced are based on ‘spike’ DNA protein genetic material. The vaccine candidate uses the technique of electroporation to help them break into the cells and stimulate the immune system. Scientists claim this makes their vaccine especially effective in producing functional antibodies in the lung cells to ‘spike’ antigen, which are the most resistant to the virus.

Takis’ CEO told Italian news agency ANSA that this is the most advanced stage of testing a vaccine candidate produced in Italy so far. He followed it up by revealing the possible starting date for the human research and said it will start in summer.

He further stated that Takis, with an American drug firm, LineaRx, is pursuing more fascinating technological platforms. The company is currently working hard on an Italian research vaccine, with an all-Italian and advanced product being developed, which will be made available to all after the study is completed.

To succeed in this research, they need the support not only from their government but also from foreign organizations and collaborators who may wish to extend their hand to help speed up the process. Takis’ CEO declined to call the rapid move to develop vaccines a race and asked all companies to combine strengths and skills.

 

Dr Emanuele Marra of Takis clarified that the virus is affected by the immunity provided by most of the five candidates for vaccination. On their next trial, the scientists expect more better results. He added that the candidates for the vaccine could adapt to any evolution of COVID-19 and its potential mutations.

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