VIDO-InterVac Prepares to Begin Human Clinical Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine

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Farmscape for November 26, 2020

Full Interview 8:59 Listen

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization expects to begin human safety trials on a new subunit vaccine for COVID 19 within the next month.
VIDO-InterVac, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan is finalizing a clinical trial application which will be submitted for approval to Health Canada within the next few days. Dr. Volker Gerdts, the Director and CEO VIDO-InterVac, says animal trials are now complete and have demonstrated the vaccine is effective in controlling disease in animals, animal studies and toxicology studies have been cleared and the goal is to begin clinical trials in humans in December.

Clip-Dr. Volker Gerdts-VIDO-InterVac:
We’re working on what is called a protein subunit.
If you compare this to some of the other vaccines, you know there is manufacturers that are focused on RNA vaccines, others that are using an adenovirus as a vector. We’re using a protein as the actual vaccine. The advantage of using this technology, it’s a proven technology.
It’s been used in millions of individuals as part of the regular Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough vaccines that all of us and all of our children have gotten. It’s also the same technology for example that we have in our Hepatitis B vaccine so it’s a proven technology.
It has an excellent safety profile. From a storage perspective, it’s a really good technology in that it doesn’t require a minus 80 storage and these complicated co-chains and so on and it’s also very cost effective to manufacture.

Dr. Gerdts anticipates seeing the first COVID-19 vaccines becoming available for use early next year, probably in the spring.
Long term, he says, there are some very good Canadian candidates in clinical trials, including VIDO’s vaccine, and over the next one to two years he expects those vaccines to also become available.

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