Time for T? Or Plan B for Operation Warp Speed?
Six months ago, we asked if vaccine makers were rushing to “check the box” rather than spending time designing an effective vaccine (here is another link showing ‘how to”).
And have you noticed that all of the five top contenders feature spike protein? Where have we heard this story before? Oh, and, antibodies fade. And, it’s possible to get reinfected. And still, we’re warping our way towards ‘checking the box’.
To me, it’s even more shocking that Moncef Slaoui said ‘No, I don’t need a plan B” in response to John Lewis‘ question about whether he had considered alternatives to antibody-directed vaccines (on a Bio call). Such as vaccines directed at driving T cell responses. We are concerned. And we are underwhelmed … by T cell responses to Moderna’s RNA vaccine. John’s point? by putting all of our eggs in one basket, we risk catastrophic failure. If you missed our July story about Warp Speed, I encourage you to read that here.
Disagree? Want to know more? Join our Zoom to chat about COVID-19 vaccines here: Update on EPV-CoV-19 Sept 2020.
Are T cell-directed vaccines the solution?
Well, you say, why should we be thinking about T cells? Because there is now lots of evidence that cross-protective T cell immunity against pandemic SARS-CoV-2 can be induced by exposure to other (common cold) coronavirus strains. See here, and a similar story for pandemic influenza here. Furthermore, T cells that recognize SARS-CoV-2 are detectable in antibody-negative family members. And, T cell responsiveness is inversely correlated with severity of COVID-19 disease. See here, and here.
Yes, T cells. Some researchers believe that cross-reactive T cells (against common cold and COVID-19 are likely to be responsible for ‘herd’ immunity, or as our super-articulate president says ‘the herd”. Yes, memory T cells may provide long-term protection against COVID-19.
There you go, T cells are the juice. Can we use them to make a great vaccine to protect against COVID-19? Yes. We can.
EpiVax Announces Licensing of COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate to EpiVax Therapeutics
Join us at TIDES US virtual with 25% off
EpiVax is happy to once again be attending TIDES.
I will be speaking both in a pre-recorded on demand session about generic peptide drug case study of Salmon Calcitonin and Teriparatide, and also during a LIVE Q&A panel discussion on Tuesday September 15 11:15AM EDT. For these sessions you will need the All Access Conference Pass.
Check out this link to select the pass that you want, and mention EpiVax to get your discount.