VBI Vaccines Inc, (NASDAQ:VBIV) has been a key player in the development activities of immuno-oncology vaccines and infectious diseases. Given that SARS-CoV-2 is also infectious in nature, the company has embarked on a coronavirus program, which has already birthed three preclinical mouse studies. Data collected from the studies has enabled the selection of optimized clinical candidates.
The company expects to take on an adaptive Phase 1/2 human clinical study around year-end 2020. It has selected two vaccine candidates, VBI-2901 and VBI-2902. The former is a trivalent pan-coronavirus vaccine candidate, while the latter is a monovalent vaccine candidate. They both express the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), SARS-CoV (SARS), and MERS-CoV (MERS) spike proteins; and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) spike protein, respectively.
An Effective Solution to the Pandemic will require a vaccine with Robust Protection
The preclinical studies’ objectives were to assess the impact of VBI’s enveloped virus-like particle (eVLP) platform technology compared to recombinant vaccine candidates. The two vaccine candidates selected by VBI have the potential of being one-dose vaccines. According to VBI’s CEO Jeff Baxter, the two have different strengths, but the positive results will support their advancement.
With the devastating public health crisis of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increasing importance of effective solutions, which will quickly provide full-bodied protection. On one end, the VBI-2900 program can be administered as a one-dose vaccine regimen from 2-5mcg. On the other end, VBI-2901 can offer increased reactivity coverage and across a wider range of coronaviruses.
VBI’s Coronavirus Program Receives Support from the Canadian Government
Canada’s government has vowed to share and show its commitment to providing an effective response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Among other plans, it has invested up to a CAD$56 million to VBI’s coronavirus program from the Strategic Innovation Fund. This will take the company through its Phase 2 clinical studies. It will also boost its research and development activities.
In support of the government’s move, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, Navdeep Bains has echoed the power of collaboration in being able to contain the COVID-19 virus.