UH researcher helps develop COVID-19 vaccine in early trials

UH researcher helps develop COVID-19 vaccine in early trials
A Uh researched has helped developed a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that shows promise in early trials. (Source: University of Hawaii)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A University of Hawaii at Manoa researcher has helped developed a vaccine candidate for COVID-19 in pre-clinical trials.

Assistant Professor Axel Lehrer — in collaboration with the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Soligenix, Inc. — has been working vigorously with a team of scientists in the Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology to develop a vaccine that will control the current pandemic.

“Our work to date has demonstrated not only the feasibility of rapid and efficient manufacturing of the required vaccine antigens, but also the potential for a broadly applicable and easily distributed vaccine,” said Lehrer. “We are delighted with our earlier successes on development of filovirus and flavivirus vaccines with this platform.”

The vaccine candidate successfully demonstrates the ability to rapidly stimulate a balanced antibody response, which induces immunity to coronavirus.

This measure is necessary to clear a viral infection.

Lehrer and his team displayed promising results through a well-defined mouse model using a prototype virus antigen.

A rapid onset of immunity with antibody responses were detected as early as seven days after the first vaccination.

“We believe we will have a product that isn’t just limited to rich countries or places where you have proper infrastructure but with this product, if it is stable at room temperature, you could ship it all around the world,” Lehrer said. “And as you know the virus does not discriminate, the virus does not decide, ‘OK, these are the people that I want to infect, no.‘”

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