Vaccine against the COVID-19: Medicago aims for 100 million doses next year

Vaccin contre la COVID-19: Medicago vise 100 millions de doses l’an prochain

The development of the vaccine anti-COVID-19 of Medicago advance with no giant: the company of Quebec announced on Tuesday a partnership with uk-based multinational GSK. The new partners aim at the production of 100 million doses by the end of 2021, while the tests on humans should begin in a few days.

The agreement will allow to combine the platform of production on plants of Medicago and the use of the adjuvant for use in pandemic GSK, the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world, have indicated in conjunction the two companies in a press release.

The adjuvant is a substance which amplifies the immune response. In theory, each dose of the vaccine would require less antigen to produce the same effect, which would produce more doses of the vaccine and inject it to more people.

The preclinical results have shown that the vaccine candidate Medicago were associated with a high rate of neutralizing antibodies after administration of a single dose, with adjuvant.

Trials in humans

The two companies want to move quickly into the study and, eventually, the marketing of this vaccine. Of the human clinical trials phase 1 (a total of three phases) must begin as soon as mid-July, in a few days, according to the release.

These early trials objective will be to ensure that the vaccine is safe for humans and to check its ability to promote an immune defense against the COVID-19.

Medicago and GSK will test three different amounts of antigen combined with the adjuvant of GSK. The adjuvant from another company, who has not been named, will also be tested. Some of the volunteers only receive one dose and others two doses 21 days apart.

“Subject to the availability of clinical trial results and favorable of regulatory considerations, companies want to complete the development of the vaccine and to offer it during the first half of 2021. The two companies will evaluate the possibility of extending their collaboration on the development of a vaccine candidate against the COVID-19 post-pandemic if the evolution of the disease after the pandemic demanded, and of candidate vaccines against other infectious diseases,” one can read in the press release.

100 million doses

If clinical trials are successful, the partners believe that they will be able to produce 100 million doses of this vaccine, anti-COVID-19 by the end of next year.

At the end of 2023, the inauguration of the plant of large-scale Medicago in the sector D’estimauville, Québec city, is expected to achieve a production of a billion doses per year.

“This collaboration with GSK gives us access not only to an adjuvant proven that could increase the effectiveness of our vaccine candidate, but also to a wide scientific experience to support our development efforts,” said Dr. Bruce Clark, president and chief executive officer of Medicago.

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