Coronavirus vaccine project launched in Kazan

23 March 2020

GMP News

The project is funded by Nonprofit Organization DNA Research Center.

Kazan Federal University has started to search for a vaccine solution, said Professor Albert Rizvanov, Director of the Center for Precision and Regenerative Medicine.

The first stage is laboratory research. The University doesn’t have authorization to work with live viruses, so the work is targeted at a genetic therapy variant of the vaccine based on the published genome.

“When we show that the vaccine works on lab animals and induces immunity against coronavirus, we can liaise with state institutions to work with live viruses and organize preclinical and clinical trials with them. Special authorized high-security laboratories are necessary for that,” noted Rizvanov.

As he specified, the genome of the coronavirus is already known and published. Scientists cured of it are responsible for the development of immunity against coronavirus infection and synthesized these genes. Synthesizing viral genes is possible only on the basis of information in the form of a genetic text.

“Without the virus in our hands, we can get pieces of its genome. These pieces are responsible for the synthesis of certain proteins of the virus. This is the basis of a gene preparation that contains several genes of coronavirus, and if this gene preparation is introduced into the human or animal body, the body will begin to synthesize individual coronavirus proteins. The immune system will recognize these proteins as foreign, and an immune response will be formed against the coronavirus. At the same time, we do not introduce a living or weakened coronavirus into the body, we only enter genetic information that the body uses to synthesize virus proteins inside the body. Thus, the drug is completely safe,” said Rizvanov, adding that testing will be carried out on animals.

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