Well, here we go. After months of non-stop effort, the first Canadian COVID19 vaccine candidate has entered human trials. Thank you to @Medicago, and Canada’s entire research community for their tireless work to keep us safe.
A Quebec City biopharmaceutical company began clinical trials on humans on Monday for a plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine.
Medicago is the first Canadian company to administer doses of a potential vaccine to volunteers, 180 men and women aged 18 to 55 who will receive two doses 21 days apart. The company expects to have safety and efficacy results for the two doses in October.
Unlike traditional vaccine development, Medicago does not use animal products or live viruses to create its products. The company says it uses “virus-like particles (VLPs) that mimic the shape and dimensions of a virus, which allows the body to recognize them and create an immune response in a non-infectious way.”
The company announced on March 12 that it had produced a VLP vaccine, 20 days after obtaining the SARS-CoV-2 gene that is responsible for COVID-19. It said in a news release at the time that it was collaborating with Laval University's Infectious Disease Research Centre headed by Dr. Gary Kobinger, who helped develop a vaccine and treatment for Ebola.
Health Canada has authorized only two potential vaccines to go to clinical trials in this country so far. The other and the first, Ad5-nCoV that was developed by CanSino Biologics and Chinese government scientists, was to be tested in clinical trials conducted by the Canadian Center for Vaccinology (CCV) at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
Edmonton-based biotechnology firm Entos Pharmaceuticals is working on a relatively new kind of treatment known as a DNA vaccine. Unlike other vaccines, which prompt a body to develop an immunity to a disease, DNA vaccines inject pieces of DNA code into cells, directly instructing them to produce an antibody that stops the virus.
Entos says it has developed two potential “pan-coronavirus” vaccines