The facilities of GSK in the parc technologique du Québec métropolitain
7 July 2020 14: 45
Updated at 15h03
Vaccine against the COVID-19: a major player is associated to Medicago
The Quebec-based company Medicago will work now on its candidate vaccine against the COVID-19 with a partner size : the british multinational company of the drug, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), will join his efforts, announced on Tuesday that the two companies.
“This collaboration with GSK gives us access not only to an adjuvant proven that could increase the effectiveness of our vaccine candidate, but also to a wide scientific experience to support our development efforts”, welcomed the president of the Company, Dr. Bruce Clark, in a press release.
The “additives” are substances known to activate the immune system. It is regularly in the vaccines because the immune system learns how better to fight a microbe when it is “on alert” — this therefore increases the protection conferred by the vaccines.
Recall that the Company had announced in march that they have developed a candidate vaccine based on “virus-like particles” (VLPS) and that she was about to start testing so-called “pre-clinical” (on animals). These PPV are simply proteins that are found on the surface of the COVID-19 and are presented in a double layer of lipids — exactly as they appear on the surface of viruses of the coronavirus. The Quebec-based company is producing these VLP-based in plants that are “manipulated” in order to make the proteins necessary. The leaves are then harvested and the desired molecules are isolated and purified.
Clinical trials in July
The company has also announced on Tuesday that clinical trials (on humans) would be launched as early as mid-July. Clinical trials are taking place in three phases, which aim broadly to determine if a treatment is safe (phase 1) and efficacious (phase 2 and phase 3). The Quebec-based company and GSK hope to be able to take these three steps over the course of the next few months and to have a vaccine ready for the first half of next year, “subject to clinical outcomes favorable and regulatory considerations”.
If all goes well, approximately 100 million doses could be produced by the end of 2021. And when the big plant under construction in the d’estimauville district will be completed, the Company believes that it will be able to produce up to a billion doses per year.