The coronavirus has been affirmed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Since the first case was reported in late 2019, the virus has claimed hundreds of deaths and millions of infections. Nonetheless, institutions have stepped out to assist in the development of vaccines. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has offered a $3.4 million grant to Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) to scale up production.
According to Ryan Spencer, Dynavax’s CEO, the funding will allow for expedited development of the company’s CpG 1018, an innovative adjuvant expected to support the global COVID-19 response. He says that there would be scaled up production capacity of up to 750 million adjuvant doses yearly.
The Role adjuvants in the Development of Effective Vaccines for COVID-19
An adjuvant modifies the effect of other agents in the body, and it is added to a vaccine to boost the immune response. This results in the production of more antibodies and longer-lasting immunity; hence very little antigen is required. Adjuvants are also useful in enhancing the efficacy of a vaccine because they help in the modification of the immune response by different forms of immune system cells.
CpG 1018 is primarily used in HEPLISAV-B® [Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant), Adjuvanted] and has demonstrated its potential by providing an increased vaccine immune responses. Having been approved by the FDA, the adjuvant has now been singled out to help develop effective vaccines for COVID-19.
Current Collaborations Are Focused On Adjuvanted Vaccines for COVID-19
The world is a very critical status, whereby every nation is desperate about weakling economies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There a lot of uncertainties of how soon this monster would come to an end, yet there is no known vaccine to stop or slow the rapid spread of the virus.
However, Dynavax says only collaborations and partnerships will help in fast-tracking the development of potential vaccines. In the recent past, the company has collaborated with Medicago to evaluate Medicago’s Coronavirus Virus-Like Particle (CoVLP). The preclinical results have been encouraging and have laid a basis for a Phase 1 clinical trial.