Cam­bridge en­ters vac­cine race with £1.9m grant sup­port

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Daily Tele­graph Re­porters

CAM­BRIDGE Uni­ver­sity aims to start clin­i­cal tri­als of its coro­n­avirus vac­cine in the au­tumn af­ter get­ting a £1.9m gov­ern­ment grant.

The sci­en­tists be­hind the vac­cine say their ap­proach, which uses ge­netic se­quences of all known coro­n­aviruses to hone the im­mune re­sponse, could help to avoid the ad­verse ef­fects of a hy­per­in­flam­ma­tory re­sponse.

“We’re look­ing for chinks in its ar­mour, cru­cial pieces of the virus that we can use to con­struct the vac­cine to di­rect the im­mune re­sponse in the right di­rec­tion,” said Jonathan Heeney, head of Cam­bridge’s lab­o­ra­tory of vi­ral zoonotics. “Ul­ti­mately, we aim to make a vac­cine that will not only pro­tect from SARS-CoV-2, but also other re­lated coro­n­aviruses that may spill over from an­i­mals to hu­mans.”

No vac­cine against the SARS-CoV-2 coro­n­avirus which causes Covid-19 has yet been proven clin­i­cally ef­fec­tive, al­though 30 that use a range of tech­nolo­gies are cur­rently in hu­man tri­als.

The Cam­bridge can­di­date, DIOS-CoVax2, is DNA-based.

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