Research Highlight

'Warm vaccine' shows immune response against SARS-CoV-2 variants

doi:10.1038/nindia.2021.98 Published online 16 July 2021

A thermostable vaccine candidate developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru has shown strong immune response against four known variants of SARS-CoV-2 in experiments with mice and hamsters1

The vaccine called Mynvax also remains stable at 37°C up to a month and at 100°C for up to 90 minutes, making it a promising candidate for remote and resource-poor settings, the researchers say. 

IISc scientists along with collaborators from the Australian science agency CSIRO assessed blood samples of vaccinated mice for efficacy against key coronavirus variants. Several formulations of Mynvax made antibodies effectively in the animal experiments, neutralising the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2, they report.

The most suitable of these formulations is expected to enter human clinical trials in India later this year, according to the researchers. 

Most vaccines require refrigeration to remain effective. A thermostable or ‘warm vaccine’ will be able to hold up in extremely hot climates which lack reliable cold storage supply chains, including regional communities in Australia’s outback and the Indo-Pacific region, the researchers say.


References

1. Malladi, S. K. et al. Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a highly thermotolerant, trimeric SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain derivative. ACS Infect. Dis. (2021) Doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.1c00276