GreenLight Biosciences is collaborating with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop COVID-19 vaccines that are more broadly protective against new variants and with longer-lasting effects.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to partner with a premier vaccine discovery team and use our mRNA platform to accelerate the development of coronavirus vaccines which are more broadly protective and durable than those currently available,” says Amin Khan, PhD, GreenLight’s chief science officer, Human Health.
GreenLight – in collaboration with the Vaccine Research Center (VRC), part of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – will co-design and test mRNA vaccines against coronaviruses with the goal of developing vaccines that confer a more durable immune response than current vaccines. In addition, they will work together to develop systems that expedite new designs into clinical use.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, continues to evolve and accumulate genomic mutations with the potential to negatively affect the efficacy of existing medical countermeasures. For the current COVID-19 pandemic and future coronavirus-related pandemics, the rapid development and deployment of vaccines active against a range of coronaviruses, including variants of SARS-CoV-2, will be vital for public health.
According to the NIH, cooperative research and development agreements, or CRADAs, “provide an exciting opportunity for NIH investigators to join with their colleagues from industry and academia in the joint pursuit of common research goals. Government scientists serve the larger mission of NIH, to facilitate the development and commercialization of health-care pharmaceuticals and products. Companies also can leverage their own R&D efforts while collaborating in state-of-the-art NIH research.”