The biotechnology company BIOCAD has signed an agreement with the State Scientific Center for Virology and Biotechnology «Vektor» (Novosibirsk) on joint work on a vaccine based on rVSV against the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine development process has reached the final animal safety study stage. The cooperation agreement was signed by Dmitry Morozov (BIOCAD) and Rinat Maksyutov (Vector). According to the parties, the vaccine showed high promise in tests on laboratory animals, including lower primates.
According to the agreement, the biotechnology company BIOCAD, as an industrial partner of the project, takes the costs and organizational efforts associated with conducting clinical trials of the rVSV vaccine, creating the technology for the release of the drug and the commercial production itself. Now, three research groups have been allocated to work on vaccines, in which more than 80 people specialized in virus work: from genetic engineering and virology to chemistry and bioinformatics. This approach provides a complete set of specialists necessary for all stages of the work on the vaccine, including production and clinical trials.
"We have been in a scientific collaboration with Novosibirsk Vector for a long time," said Dmitry Morozov, Director General of BIOCAD Biotechnology Company, "and now we are an industrial partner of the rVSV vaccine development project. We are pleased to provide our partners with industrial release when clinical trials are completed. In my opinion, today is not the time for research teams to compete, we must combine our intellectual efforts. "
"I see the possible perspective of our cooperation between the scientific center and one of the most dynamic domestic biotechnological companies, this greatly shortens the path from development to mass vaccination of citizens. We have studied the world experience in reducing the time for preclinical and clinical studies. And I think that the fast start of vaccine production is a realistic and achievable goal, "added Rinat Maksyutov, General Director of Vector. It is planned that already in May the first pilot series for research will be received, and in July the clinical trials will begin.
Moreover BIOCAD is currently working on its own development of the mRNA vaccine against coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Developments will be carried out on the basis of previous developments in cancer vaccines. At the end of March, the company agreed with the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation on the terms and programs of the preclinical and first phase of the clinical vaccine development. Clinical trials are expected to begin in 4-5 months.