Intravacc, a Dutch viral and bacterial vaccine specialist, and Swiss CDMO, Celonic Group, have signed a research agreement to further design, develop and produce a COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine will be based on an immunogenic Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 combined with Intravacc’s prorietary Outer Membrane Vesicle (OMV) technology.
Earlier this year, Intravacc started working on the development of four candidate coronavirus vaccines based on three proprietary technologies: Vero cell, OMV and iBoost.
For this specific joint vaccine development, Intravacc combines its safe and immunogenic OMV delivery platform with S-proteins expressed by Celonic Group’s industry-leading CHOvolution mammalian cell expression system, in order to generate a highly effective and balanced B and T cell response against SARS-CoV-2.
Celonic Group will construct cell lines producing the S-protein in high quantities and develop a GMP production process. Preclinical studies will start shortly to select the best candidate protein for the vaccine.
The collaboration aims to accelerate development of Intravacc’s COVID-19 OMV protein vaccine, which is expected to enter clinical testing in 2021.
“Several studies have shown that OMVs have the ability to enhance the immune response and can be relatively easy formulated with target specific peptides and proteins,” said Intravcc CEO Dr Jan Groen.
“This, combined with the fact they can be quickly scaled-up for manufacturing, makes it an ideal suited platform under the current circumstances where quantity and speed are critical”
Dr Konstantin Matentzoglu, CEO of Celonic, added: “The novel vaccine has the potential to prevent morbidity and mortality of COVID-19. Together, we have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients at this time of great need.”