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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Partnership to develop variant proof COVID-19 vaccine

The multidisciplinary collaboration of Bharat Biotech International Ltd (Bharat Biotech), India, ExcellGene SA, Switzerland and the University of Sydney, Australia seeks to establish preclinical and clinical proof of concept for a protein subunit vaccine designed to provide broad protection against all known SARS- CoV-2 variants of concern, as well as future and yet to emerge variants of the virus.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is funding the researchers to conduct activities including immunogen design (to trigger a strong immune response), preclinical studies, manufacturing process development and a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, said repeated waves of COVID-19 infection remind us we will be living alongside the virus for many years to come.

“The threat of a new variant emerging that might evade the protection of our current vaccines is real, so investing in R&D for variant-proof SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is a global health security imperative. Our partnership with Bharat Biotech, University of Sydney and ExcellGene will advance the development of a vaccine candidate to protect against future variants of COVID-19, potentially contributing to the long-term control of the virus,” said Dr Hatchett.

Professor Robyn Ward, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor Medicine and Health at the University said: “The University is delighted to partner with CEPI to progress its platform for the development of broadly protective COVID-19 vaccines. Our researchers are at the medical forefront of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as anticipating what may lie ahead.”

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