In a new study published on bioRxiv, Soligenix, Inc. reported that its CiVax COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated rapid, broad-spectrum, neutralizing antibody and immunity onset in preclinical studies.
The head stable vaccine used full-length Spike protein antigens to do its work, and at least in mice, it delivered. Primarily, the goal for this vaccine is to remove a major limitation on other, currently authorized vaccines: the need for refrigeration or freezing to transport and store them.
“We believe that creating a vaccine with enhanced stability at elevated temperatures that can obviate the costs and logistical burdens associated with cold chain storage, and distribution has the potential to simplify worldwide distribution, leading to a faster resolution of this pandemic and curtailing the further evolution of the virus,” Soligenix President and CEO Christopher Schaber said. “Once fully developed, we anticipate that our platform would be easily updated to address specific variants directly.”
Large animal studies and COVID variant testing are planned going forward, with that work aided by a $1.5 million small business innovation research (SBIR) grant awarded to Soligenix in December 2020. As part of this, Soligenix is collaborating with Dr. Axel Lehrer from the University of Hawai’i and determined the feasibility of developing a broadly immunogenic vaccine for COVID-19.
“Our work to date has demonstrated not only the feasibility of rapidly adaptable and cost-effective manufacturing of the required vaccine antigens but also the potential for a broadly applicable and easily distributed vaccine,” Lehrer said. “We are delighted with our earlier successes on development of filovirus and flavivirus vaccines with this platform.”
As part of its studies, Soligenix has licensed the CoVaccine HT adjuvant from BTG Specialty Pharmaceuticals. Work therein determined that CoVaccine HT can be thermostabilized both alone and in combination with antigens to produce a vaccine without col chain distribution or storage requirements.