News & Trends - Biotechnology

GSK strengthens global efforts to develop coronavirus vaccine

Health Industry Hub | February 7, 2020 |
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GSK and CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) announced a new collaboration aimed at helping the global effort to develop a vaccine for the 2019-nCoV virus.

In this new move GSK will make its established pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform technology available to enhance the development of an effective vaccine against 2019-nCoV.

The first agreement to formalise this arrangement has been signed between GSK and the University of Queensland which entered a partnering agreement with CEPI in January 2019 to develop a “molecular clamp” vaccine platform, intended to enable targeted and rapid vaccine production against multiple viral pathogens. CEPI has extended this funding to work on a 2019-nCoV virus vaccine candidate, and access to the GSK adjuvant technology will now support this early stage research.  

Prof Peter Høj, Vice-Chancellor, the University of Queensland, said “The research team at The University of Queensland are progressing a 2019-nCoV vaccine program and the availability of the GSK adjuvant will enable us to carry out important pre-clinical experiments designed to assess vaccine effectiveness.”

GSK is supplying their proprietary AS03 Adjuvant System to the University of Queensland for this project. AS03 is the adjuvant used in GSK’s H1N1 and H5N1 pandemic influenza vaccines. AS03 has shown the ability to induce cross-immunity/cross-protection to allow for broader protection.

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The most optimistic industry and scientific estimates indicate that it could take up to a year for a vaccine against 2019-nCOV to be developed for large scale use.

Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines, said “At GSK we believe in the value CEPI can bring to responding to outbreaks like 2019-nCOV. We are proud to contribute to cutting edge research from scientists at the University of Queensland, and we are open to working with other partners, who have a promising vaccine platform that could be used together with our adjuvant.”

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