T-cell vaccines may offer “significant benefits” over current Covid-19 vaccines 

Emergex Vaccines has announced that it has received the necessary regulatory approvals to initiate a Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the safety and tolerability of its vaccine candidate for SARS-CoV-2. 

The Phase I trial is a double-blind, randomised and comparator-controlled study of two groups of 13 volunteers at high and low doses. In addition to providing safety and tolerability data, early data on CD8+ T-Cell mediated immune responses as a surrogate of protection against Covid-19 will be provided. The trial will be conducted by Professor Blaise Genton, Principal Investigator, from the Center for Primary Care and Public Health at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The first patient is anticipated to receive their first dose of Emergex vaccine candidate at the start of January 2022. 

A Phase I clinical trial (NCT04935801), named naNO-DENGUE, testing Emergex’s Dengue vaccine candidate is currently underway in Switzerland with all patients having received two vaccine doses. 

Robin Cohen, Chief Commercial Officer at Emergex Vaccines, commented: “Our T-Cell priming vaccines may offer significant benefits over current Covid-19 vaccines including longer lasting immunity and broader protection against new variants. We are proud to announce the initiation of this trial and look forward to gathering data to support the development of this important next generation vaccine.” 

Professor Blaise Genton, Principal Investigator for the trial from the Center for Primary Care and Public Health (Unisante) at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland commented: “Although current Covid-19 vaccines have made significant progress in reducing mortality and morbidity challenges still remain, especially with the development of new variants. This exciting new scientific approach to developing a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 addresses the need to generate a T-Cell response to elicit long term immunity. We look forward to evaluating the results as when they are available.” 

Emergex’s vaccines aim to prime naive CD8+ T-Cells to generate virus specific CTLs (CD8+ T-cells/Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes) to kill viral infected cells, preventing viral replication and disease and reducing symptoms and the transmissibility between infected and non-infected individuals. As a result, Emergex’s T-Cell priming vaccines have the potential to be more effective in targeting rapidly mutating viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and eliminate the need for seasonal booster vaccines in comparison to current vaccine technologies, which primarily rely on an antibody immune response. In addition, Emergex’s vaccine is raised against antigens that are highly conserved so may provide cross reactive immunity to SARS-CoV-1 infection and all SARS-CoV-2 variants and strains of the virus, offering broad immune protection from two pandemic viruses in one vaccine. 

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