Medicago is a pharmaceutical company of Quebec, which specializes in vaccines and herbal.
May 14, 2020 14h42
Updated at 17h48
Candidate vaccine: a promising early results in Medicago
The Quebec-based company Medicago announced Thursday that the first tests of his “candidate vaccine” against the COVID-19 had some interesting results : after ten days, the vaccinated mice started to produce antibodies, which could open the door to clinical trials on humans as early as this summer.
These mice received only a single “dose” of the vaccine, and the company will await the results of a “reminder” before you start the process to test his vaccine on human subjects, but “we are very encouraged by these early results,” said the executive vice-president for scientific affairs and medical Medicago, Nathalie Landry, by way of a press release.
If all goes as planned, the company hinted at the possibility of having “millions of doses of (…) available according to the requirements by the end of the year” — but note that everything does not always happen as expected in medical research, even after initial results are promising.
The vaccine candidate Medicago is not a virus disabled, but rather the “ends” of virus, or virus-like particles”, as she calls them. In the case of such a possible vaccine against COVID-19, it is a protein found on the surface of the virus, which is presented in a double layer of lipids (such as found on viruses known as “enveloped”, such as the coronavirus).
The company produces these virus-like particles on a “platform ” vegetable”, that is to say, it is growing plants that it is able to “manipulate” in order to make them produce the molecules you want. The leaves are then harvested, and vaccines extracted and purified.
Recall that the three phases of clinical trials must be completed successfully before a product (vaccine or drug) is placed in the market to ensure that it is both safe (phase 1) and efficacious (phase 2 and phase 3). The whole process takes typically several years but, given the urgency, it is possible that “expressways” are granted by the health authorities.