Pittsburgh — Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have announced progress with a potential vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States and the world, scientists and doctors understand the urgent need for a vaccine.
The trial vaccine has not yet been tested in humans, but when tested in mice, delivered through a fingertip-sized patch, the vaccine produces antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 at quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralizing the virus.
A research paper on the subject appeared today in EBioMedicine, which is published by The Lancet, and is the first study to be published after critique from fellow scientists at outside institutions that describes a candidate vaccine for COVID-19.
Researchers were able to work quickly on this potential vaccine because they had already laid the groundwork during earlier coronavirus epidemics.
“We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014. These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” said co-senior author Andrea Gambotto, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine. “That’s why it’s important to fund vaccine research. You never know where the next pandemic will come from.” READ MORE