Study: Potential new vaccine developed by Duke protects monkeys, mice from COVID-19, variants

Coronavirus

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Members of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute have developed a potential new vaccine that has proven effective and in protecting mice and monkeys from multiple different coronavirus infections, according to a release from Duke Health Monday morning.

Some of the varieties of coronavirus the vaccine has proven effective against include SARS-CoV-2, as well as the original SARS-CoV-1 and other bat coronaviruses that Duke says “could potentially cause the next pandemic.”

The new vaccine is called a “pan-coronavirus vaccine,” and it works by triggering “neutralizing antibodies via a nanoparticle. The nanoparticle is composed of the coronavirus part that allows it to bind to the body’s cell receptors and is formulated with a chemical booster called an adjuvant,” the release states.

Duke Health says that a vaccine’s success in primates “is highly relevant” to humans.

“We began this work last spring with the understanding that, like all viruses, mutations would occur in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19,” said senior author Barton F. Haynes, M.D., director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI). “The mRNA vaccines were already under development, so we were looking for ways to sustain their efficacy once those variants appeared.”

“This approach not only provided protection against SARS-CoV-2, but the antibodies induced by the vaccine also neutralized variants of concern that originated in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil,” Haynes said in the release. “And the induced antibodies reacted with quite a large panel of coronaviruses.”

The findings appear in the journal Nature on Monday. Click here to read the report.

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