The race for cures: a treatment for the cancer than for the COVID-19

La course aux remèdes: d’un traitement pour le cancer à celui pour la COVID-19

The biopharmaceutical quebec Glycovax, who worked for some years on the development of an innovative vaccine for various forms of cancer, turned to the COVID-19 after having observed similarities between the biomarkers of the virus and those she was studying already.

Based in Montreal, Glycovax has chosen to focus 100% on the vaccine of the COVID-19 with the realization that carbohydrates found in the new coronavirus had a look that acknowledged its researchers.

“We realized that the molecules that were on the cancer and that it had been were also on the virus of the COVID. As we already had a vaccine preparation, it is an opportunity to test our compounds against the COVID “, explains Dr. Serge Moffet, director of immunology at Glycovax.

The method Glycovax is to identify the vulnerabilities of some of the carbohydrates that alter the proteins of the virus.

The company has developed a method of synthesis of these carbohydrates to trigger the immune response to her vaccines.

“It is much easier to synthesize or generate protein-like agent antigenically. This is a different approach that has several advantages, ” said Mr. Moffet, citing in particular the ability to manufacture quickly in large scale.

Early tests in animals

The biopharmaceutical is currently completing her first animal testing and its results so far are very encouraging.

“It aims at the internal beginning of September to be in phase 1 testing in humans,” says Dany Valiquette, president and co-founder of the company.

To get there, remains the issue of funding. Some private partners will give a good boost to Glycovax to push on with his research, but the company also hopes to help the federal government.

All the requests have been made to qualify for the famous ” envelope of$ 850 Million from Ottawa “.

“We was raised with them last week with our early results have been extremely encouraging. It is in the race and it is hoped that the financial support will be there, ” wishes to Mr. Valiquette.

Looking for partners

The last step will then be to reach agreement with partners in the context of a large-scale production. Some discussions are already in progress, provides direction.

“Going to have to have partners. We are looking for local partners, canada, and even abroad to have greater output, ” says Mr. Valiquette.

The developments in Quebec

Glycovax

Based in Montreal

  • Vaccine candidate glycoconjugate acting on the carbohydrates of the virus
  • In the preclinical phase
  • The first tests are conclusive in animals
  • Objective to maintain clinical trials in humans around September

Medicago

Based in Quebec

  • Candidate vaccine produced from virus-like particles (VLPS)
  • In the preclinical phase
  • The first tests are conclusive in mice
  • Clinical testing in humans expected by August

IMV

Based in Quebec

  • Vaccine candidate, “peptide” which mimics the protein of the virus to trigger an immune response
  • In the preclinical phase
  • Encouraging results on mice
  • Tests in humans could begin in July

National council of research of Canada (NRC)

  • Agreement with CanSino (China) for the development of a vaccine
  • Candidate vaccine approved in China, where testing on humans is already in phase 2
  • The agreement will allow the manufacture of the vaccine in the country after the test phases
  • Tests in humans to Montreal should begin shortly

CRCHU Quebec

  • The work of Dr. Denis Leclerc, a researcher in microbiology and infectious diseases
  • Research on a vaccine inhaler combined with a nanoparticle which triggers a defensive response of the immune system
  • Early tests on animals expected in the coming weeks
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