Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp (NASDAQ:TNXP) has announced the initial results of TNX-1800, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, following tests in non-human primates. TNX-1800 is a modified horsepox virus, a live vaccine engineered to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein following vaccination. The study is part of the company’s ongoing collaboration between Southern Research Institute, the University of Alberta.
TNX-1800 strong immune response
Seth Lederman, the company’s CEO and President said that the company is delighted with the eight animals vaccinated with TNX-1800. They manifested “takes” a skin reaction that is a validated T cell immunity biomarker. Lederman said that in each case, the vaccination was related to neutralizing antibodies. The CEO said that “take” has a history as a T cell immunity validated biomarker. It is important because it is costly and challenging to measure the vaccine’s T cell response. According to Lederman, vaccines showing potent T cell response such as horsepox and related to vaccine offer a long-term and durable immunity blocking forward transmission.
Lederman said that the company’s goal is producing a vaccine that will offer long-term immunity with just a single dose through proven tech easily scaled for manufacturing. As a result, it doesn’t need cumbersome and costly cold chain storage and distribution. He said that the results are encouraging, and the company plans to advance TNX-1800 to human trials next year when it expects to have cGMP. Tonix had previously announced that its manufacturing partner would be FUJIFILM diosynth Biotechnologies.
TNX-1800 well tolerated in animal models
The company administered TNX-1800 to non-human primates in two doses, and after 14 days of vaccination, the animals produced anti-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies. Interestingly the level of anti-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody production was the same between high and low dose TNX-1800 groups. TNX-1800 demonstrated favorable tolerability in both doses. Also, the animals that received TNX-1800 and those in the placebo group manifested a cutaneous or “take” response, which is an indication that the horsepox vector showed a strong T cell immune response. Therefore TNX-1800 elicits potent immune responses against CoV-2, which is a sign of strong immunological response.