COVID-19 Vaccine? University of Pittsburgh Scientists Think They Have It
We've heard it could take 12 to 18 months to find a COVID-19 vaccine, but Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh might have it.
The university's School of Medicine tested the potential vaccine on mice and found it produced antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2, the version of coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. The tests used a 'fingertip sized patch' to administer the vaccine to mice in the study.
It was published Thursday in EBioMedicine.
The researchers say their quick find is due to previous work battling different variations of coronavirus, SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2014, reports ScienceDaily.com:
"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."
"Our ability to rapidly develop this vaccine was a result of scientists with expertise in diverse areas of research working together with a common goal," said co-senior author Louis Falo, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of dermatology at Pitt's School of Medicine and UPMC.
And, the report says the vaccine was still potent after gamma radiation sterilization, which is important in making a human version of the vaccine.
Human trials, however, are likely still a few months away, researchers said.