Sumary of UK firm to trial T-cell Covid vaccine that could give longer immunity:
- An Oxfordshire-based company will soon start clinical trials of a second-generation vaccine against Covid-19, an easy-to-administer skin patch that uses T-cells to kill infected cells and could offer longer-lasting immunity than current vaccines.
- Emergex was set up in Abingdon in 2016 to develop T-cell vaccines, the brainchild of Prof Thomas Rademacher, the firm’s chief executive and professor emeritus of molecular medicine at the University College London medical school.
- Those other vaccines, such as the Pfizer/BioNTech and the AstraZeneca/Oxford University jabs, also produce a T-cell response, but to a lesser extent.
- This means it could offer longer-lasting immunity – possibly for decades – and could also be better at fighting virus mutations, said Cohen.
- Scientists said the discovery could pave the way for a new generation of vaccines targeting the T-cell response, which could produce much longer lasting immunity.
- Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said he doubted that a T-cell vaccine “could do the job on its own” but it could play a complementary role, in a mix-and-match approach where different vaccines are given for the first, second and third doses.
- ”He noted that the idea of T-cell vaccines was not new – for example, Prof Sarah Gilbert, the University of Oxford professor who developed the AZ/Oxford jab, has been working on them for influenza for more than a decade.
- Rademacher and his team settled on tiny gold particles coated in peptides (bits of proteins) designed to generate the T-cell response in the body.