Innovation

Italy Claims To Have Developed First Coronavirus Vaccine

Medical researchers and scientists continue to work on a possible vaccine to combat the coronavirus and Italian researchers may have just stumbled upon something. Reports are coming in that tests carried out at the Spallanzani Hospital in Rome

that is generating antibodies from mice reportedly work on human cells.

“According to Spallanzani Hospital, as far as we know we are the first in the world so far to have demonstrated neutralization of the coronavirus by a vaccine,” Luigi Aurisicchio, chief executive of Takis Biotech, told Italian news agency ANSA.

After careful observation, it was found that the antibodies can help prevent the virus from infecting cells. Aurisicchio said that these are in the most advanced stages of testing a possible cure over in Italy. Plans to test it on humans could come as early as the summer.

Takis is already collaborating with LeinaRx of the United States. However, they will still need to get approval from the Italian government before they can ally with international bodies to develop the vaccine.

“In order to reach this goal, we need the support of national and international institutions and partners who may help us speed up the process,” the Takis CEO said. “This is not a competition. If we join our forces and skills together, we can all win against coronavirus.”

Mice developed antibodies capable of blocking the virus following a single vaccination. Researchers observed five candidate vaccines, selecting the best two based on the genetic material showing spikes in DNA protein. This is believed to be the manner at which the virus can enter human cells. However, it remains to be seen how long the immune response lasts. Further tests will be needed and conducted moving forward.

According to Pharmaceutical Technology, researches plan to use a technique called electroporation. This will help break into the cells and induce the immune system. The mechanism will help boost the effectiveness of the vaccine in producing functional antibodies against spike protein in lung cells. Also, Takis infectious diseases area director Dr. Emanuele Marra mentioned that these vaccines could potentially adapt to any possible future mutations of the virus.

This development appends the race for a curable COVID-19 vaccine. Just recently, the University of Oxford announced that its first coronavirus vaccine trials could be ready by the middle of June. There is also Remdesivir, an experimental drug that may help address the coronavirus but still considered far from a cure for COVID-19 according to some medical experts, CNN reported.

COVID-19 Vaccine The FDA approved Moderna's phase II clinical trial to test out their vaccine candidate called mRNA-1273, after the success of phase I. Pixabay

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