Slovak clinical-stage biotech company Axon Neuroscience has reported positive pre-clinical results of its vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19), tested on mice with no adverse side effects, the company reported in a press release.
According to the company, mice vaccinated with a vaccine generated a high titer of antibodies in blood which selectively targeted a specific, vulnerable part of the Spike protein that allows the virus to infect the cells and replicate.
“We identified the weakest points of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and instructed the immune system to target these small areas of up to 20 amino acids in order to completely eliminate the viral infection. The data from the virus neutralisation test showed that our strategy was successful,” said MVD, DSc, chief science officer at Axon Norbert Zilka.
The raised antibodies in blood efficiently neutralised the live COVID-19 virus. The vaccinated mice did not show any signs of off-target effects or adverse reactions.
“ACvac1 very precisely instructs the immune system to neutralise the virus. In contrast, other vaccine candidates overwhelm the immune system by producing numerous ineffective antibodies by introducing a 1200-amino-acids-long Spike protein as an antigen,” Zilka added.
“With today’s positive results, our peptide-based vaccination platform has proven its potential use for COVID-19. We are progressing toward clinical trials to bring the world a vaccine without compromising safety and efficacy. This work is based on more than 10 years of experience in developing exceptionally safe and immunogenic peptide vaccines for neurodegenerative disorders.” commented Axon’s chief executive officer Michal Fresser, adding that the company will soon start testing on people.
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