Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine believe that they’ve found a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus.
When tested on mice, the vaccine produced enough antibodies believed to successfully counteract the virus. “We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” they say. The vaccine follows the traditional approach of ordinary flu vaccines, using lab-made pieces of viral protein to build immunity. The study’s authors are now applying for an investigational new drug approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. The vaccine would be “highly scalable” for widespread use, the researchers said in a news release. It will be delivered to the skin using a patch which contains 400 tiny “microneedles” made of sugar and protein pieces. The researchers believe the vaccine could be rolled out quickly enough to “significantly impact the spread of disease.”
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
“We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014. These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” said Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and co-senior author of the study, in a statement.