The development of a modified version of a key protein of the coronavirus could allow to accelerate “dramatically” the production of vaccines against the COVID-19.
The discovery of a vaccine against the COVID-19 is only a part of the challenge that tries to uplift humanity. Still it would be necessary to produce it in sufficient quantities and quickly.
It is precisely this second part of the problem, and hope to help solve scientists from the university of Texas at Austin, United States.
They have developed an improved version of an important ingredient that enters into the composition of several vaccines currently under study.
According to them, this development could help achieve ” a world production of vaccines much faster and more stable.”
This assumes that one or more vaccines will work through all stages of development and their commercialization will be approved.
The ingredient in question is none other than a synthetic protein that mimics a piece of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which resulted in more than 630,000 deaths worldwide.
More specifically, it is a modified and harmless protein in the form of spikes that are found on the surface of the coronavirus and that gives it its particular shape.
“Depending on the type of vaccine, this is an enhanced version of the protein could either reduce the size of each dose, or accelerate the production of vaccines “, details in a press release, professor Jason McLellan.
“In both cases, this would mean that more patients could have access to vaccines more quickly,” he continues.
There are currently 166 experimental vaccines in development, of which 25 are tested on humans. None is approved.
Although the approaches are many and they differ substantially, a lot of people work on the same principle, is to cause the human body to recognize this key protein of the coronavirus, to prepare to fight a possible infection.
10 times more
However, when it is expressed in human cells, the new version of the protein developed by scientists texans can produce a quantity up to ten times higher in comparison to an earlier version of the same protein.
The last iteration would also be more resistant to heat, which would facilitate the transport and the storage of potential vaccines.
These findings were released recently in the journal Science.
The original version of this synthetic protein is already used in the manufacture of the candidate vaccines currently in the stage of clinical trials of two pharmaceutical companies in the u.s., Moderna and Novavax.
– With the collaboration of the QMI Agency