Showing posts with label Pharmaceutical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pharmaceutical. Show all posts

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Experimental COVID-19 vaccine provides mutation-resistant T cell protection in mice

Marulasiddappa Suresh
Credit: UWM
A second line of defense — the immune system’s T cells — may offer protection from COVID-19 even when vaccine-induced antibodies no longer can, according to new research out of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

The researchers discovered that a new, protein-based vaccine against the original version of the COVID-19 virus was able to teach mouse T cells how to recognize and kill cells infected with new, mutated versions of the virus. This T cell protection worked even when antibodies lost their ability to recognize and neutralize mutated SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Antibodies prevent COVID-19 infection, but if new variants escape these antibodies, T cells are there to provide a second line of protection,” explains lead scientist Marulasiddappa Suresh, a professor of immunology and associate dean for research at the School of Veterinary Medicine.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, investigates the role of T cells, a specialized type of white blood cell, in defending against COVID-19 when antibodies fail.

When you receive a COVID-19 vaccine, your body learns to produce antibodies, proteins in the immune system that bind to and neutralize SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies circulate in the blood stream and protect you from illness by patrolling the nostrils, airways and lungs and wiping out the virus before it can cause infection or disease.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Investigational Mucosal COVID Vaccine Protects Against Disease and Transmission

In animal studies that mimic human exposures, an investigational COVID vaccine designed to be taken orally not only protects the host, but also decreases the airborne spread of the virus to other close contacts.

The study, led by Duke researcher Stephanie N. Langel, Ph.D., medical instructor in the Department of Surgery, demonstrated the potential of a COVID vaccine that works through the mucosal tissue to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus, limiting infections and the spread of active virus in airborne particles.

The findings are published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“Considering most of the world is under-immunized -- and this is especially true of children -- the possibility that a vaccinated person with a breakthrough infection can spread COVID to unimmunized family or community members poses a public health risk,” Langel said. “There would be a substantial benefit to develop vaccines that not only protect against disease, but also reduce transmission to unvaccinated people.”

Langel and colleagues -- including teams from the vaccine developer, Vaxart, and a clinical research non-profit, Lovelace Biomedical Research Institute -- tested a vaccine candidate that uses an adenovirus as a vector to express the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The human vaccine is designed to be taken as a pill.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Promising nose spray could prevent and treat COVID-19

A newly discovered small molecule could be sprayed into people’s noses to prevent COVID-19 illness prior to exposure and provide early treatment if administered soon after infection, according to a study in mice led by Cornell researchers.

The study, published March 28 in the journal Nature, employed experimental mice engineered with human receptors for the SARS-CoV-2 virus on their cell surfaces and found that a molecule, called N-0385, inhibited entry of the virus into cells in the body. At Cornell, N-0385 was shown to protect mice from infection prior to exposure, while also providing effective treatment when administered up to 12 hours after exposure. The molecule was developed in collaboration with investigators at the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada.

The treatment holds promise for both preventing disease and reducing severity of and mortality from COVID-19 post-infection with a few single daily doses.

“There are very few, if any, small molecule antivirals that have been discovered that work prophylactically to prevent infection,” said Hector Aguilar-Carreno, associate professor of virology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and a senior author of the paper, “A TMPRSS2 Inhibitor ACTS as a pan-SARS-CoV-2 prophylactic and therapeutic.” Other senior authors include Francois Jean, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and Richard Leduc, professor of pharmacology at the Universit√© de Sherbrooke.

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