Apr 26, 2022

Research on a ‘universal’ sarbecovirus vaccine well underway It’s time our vaccines evolved.

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Dr. David Berd is a clinical oncologist and a Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of BioVaxys, a clinical-stage Canadian biopharma company. Previously, Dr. Berd was Professor of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, where for 20 years he conducted clinical research. He also spent nine years as a research physician at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Dr. Berd received his BS from Pennsylvania State University and his MD from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Over the course of his career, Dr. Berd has published more than 85 original papers in numerous medical journals alongside dozens of editorials, reviews and abstracts. He has ten issued patents and multiple patent applications in the vaccine and immunotherapy field.

To learn more, visit https://biovaxys.com/

Read MedicalGold's coverage of BioVaxys

Repost from iPolitics.ca

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It’s impossible to quantify how many millions of lives around the world have been saved as a result of mRNA vaccines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s nothing short of a scientific miracle this vaccine was developed on the incredibly short runway it was.

But, into our sixth wave of Covid-19 infections in Canada now, it’s also becoming clear that mRNA vaccines are not the off-ramp out of this global pandemic many thought.

mRNA vaccines have unquestionably played an important role in dulling and ending past waves, but they cannot be relied on as the only crutch moving forward.

What if we’re thinking about vaccines in the completely wrong way? What if endlessly jabbing the same shot over and over again is not the solution?

Our public health experts and politicians need to continue to think creatively, move nimbly, and follow the ever-changing science developments happening every single day.

In the last two years, we have seen unprecedented technological and scientific advancements in the bio-tech space. Exciting research and developments are coming to light every single day.

Researchers recently observed that people who survived the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic who were later administered a COVID-19 vaccine developed an immune response – in a sense a “super immune response” – which cross-reacted with all sarbecoviruses for which they were tested.

Sarbecoviruses are a family of viruses that include SARS-CoV-2 and all current ‘Variants of Concern’ such as Delta and Omicron (as well as at least ten additional variants that are currently being monitored by the World Health Organization), SARS1, and a broad range of other potentially dangerous zoonotic viruses.

In theory, this means those who contracted SARS in the early 2000s and who were vaccinated against COVID-19 are now immune to all sarbecoviruses.

At BioVaxys, we concluded that a similar immune response could be generated by immunizing people who have never been vaccinated, or do not have natural immunity, with a haptenized spike protein vaccine for both SARS1 and SARS-Cov-2. Likewise, a similar response would be generated by a haptenized SARS1 spike protein “booster” vaccine in people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, or who have natural immunity.

The process of haptenization “teaches” a patient’s immune system to recognize and make target proteins more “visible” as foreign, thereby stimulating a more intense immune response.

In laymen’s terms, this means we should be able to develop a one-time, stand-alone booster shot targeting everyone who has been immunized with a currently approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccine or who has been infected with COVID-19 which provides long-lasting T-cell immunity to all future variants and future coronaviruses.

The work on this research is already well underway. BioVaxys is currently running animal studies in collaboration with The Ohio State University. This initial study will determine the effectiveness of this “universal” sarbecovirus vaccine with results expected late spring.

Canada is already a global leader in natural and vaccine-induced immunity. Globally, to date, approximately 389 million people worldwide have recovered from COVID-19 and 57 per cent of the global population (4.4 billion people) have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The potential here is enormous.

To finally put COVID in the rear-view mirror for good it’s important for our country and the world to have a simple solution to provide people with long-term immunity to not only this virus but all potential emerging variants and zoonotic sarbecoviruses with pandemic potential.

Public health measures and expert advice have evolved since 2020. It’s time our vaccines do as well.

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