Developing a pan-coronavirus vaccine

Valo Therapeutics’ PeptiCRAd is designed to coat non-replicating adenovirus-expressing COVID-19 spike proteins and boost T cell immune response

Register for free to listen to this article
Listen with Speechify
OXFORD, U.K. & HELSINKI, Finland—Valo Therapeutics Ltd. is working to develop a potential novel COVID-19 vaccine with applications across future pandemics. Valo Tx will use its PeptiCRAd technology to coat an undisclosed adenovirus vaccine vector, engineered to express coronavirus associated spike proteins, with HLA-matched peptides optimised to further boost CD8+ T cell immune responses.
Both components of the proposed vaccine have been tested in the past, albeit individually. Non-replicating adenoviruses have been through clinical safety-testing and adenoviral vectors in general have been used safely in thousands of people across a wide range of ages, Valo notes. The company adds that it is much faster to manufacture the clinical grade peptides necessary for coating the adenovirus, as opposed to re-engineering and manufacturing a new virus, making this approach potentially more flexible and enabling clinical testing to progress quickly in the event that a new coronavirus strain emerges.
Saiif Prof. Vincenzo Cerullo, founder and board member of Valo: "There is a pressing need for a COVID-19 vaccine, and a pan-coronavirus vaccine to address a potential future outbreak. We believe our PeptiCRAd technology is rapidly adaptable to the emergence of a new strain or even an entirely new coronavirus.  We believe that by working together with vaccinology partners already developing adenoviruses transfected with SARS-COV-2 spike protein, using our innovative technologies we can actively help to address this global challenge."
Most vaccines focus on boosting the antibody B cells response, but a T cell immune response is important given that the infection targets the respiratory tract. COVID-19, like other coronaviruses, replicates particularly fast and it appears that, by the time neutralizing antibodies are produced, many cells in the lungs have already become infected and require cell-mediated clearance. Adenoviral vectors are particularly strong at inducing T cell mediated immune responses, and it is hoped that the SARS-COV-2 spike proteins will be processed to induce both T-cell and antibody mediated immunity to COVID-19. By additionally coating the adenovirus with peptides specifically selected for driving CD-8+ T cells (through MHC class 1 presentation), the company expects to further enhance the cell mediated immune response; with the added capacity to broaden the immune targets.

Subscribe to Newsletter
Subscribe to our eNewsletters

Stay connected with all of the latest from Drug Discovery News.

DDN Magazine May 2024

Latest Issue  

• Volume 20 • Issue 3 • May 2024

May 2024

May 2024 Issue