Hyderabad-based vaccine and pharmaceutical firm Biological E. (BE) has recently signed a pact with the Ohio State Innovation Foundation (OSIF), USA, under which the latter will be licensing novel live attenuated recombinant measles virus vectored vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 exclusively to the company.
The vaccine is developed by the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). BE will be responsible for the evaluation and further development, including commercialisation of the vaccine candidate, a release from the company said.
The CVM’s approach develops a series of attenuated recombinant measles viruses (rMeVs) expressing SARS-CoV-2 antigens. All resultant rMeVs, grow to high virus titer in Vero cells, a WHO-approved cell line for vaccine production. They were also shown to express the recombinant S antigens, a critical step in developing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. The rMeV-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates have proceeded through proof-of-concept trials in multiple animal models, demonstrating successful production of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, the release said.
“With this licensing transaction, we have expanded the repertoire of the candidate vaccine(s) that we are evaluating, both in terms of the antigen and the platform technology,” said Narender Dev Mantena, Director of BE subsidiary BioE Holdings Inc., who heads BE’s novel vaccine initiative.
This will be the third such partnership for BE. It is already associated in COVID-19 vaccine development with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV and Baylor College of Medicine. Clinical trials of the vaccine candidates under the two partnerships are underway.
“Translating this vaccine platform into the hands of a global vaccine company for further evaluation and development is a critical step and we are excited that Biological E has taken on this role,” said Patrick Green, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.