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Good results for T cell COVID-19 booster

Wednesday January 5th 2022

A new COVID-19 booster vaccine may be effective against multiple variants, British scientists have announced.

The findings show that it triggers a 'comprehensive' immune response, say scientists at the University of Manchester, UK, and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. The vaccine was made by US-based biotechnology company Gritstone bio, Inc.

It contains strong levels of neutralising antibodies at as little as a ten-fold lower dose, say the team in results published yesterday on the University of Manchester's website.

Dr Andrew Allen of Gritstone commented: “We are thrilled to share that our T cell-enhanced samRNA vaccine from the CORAL program is driving both robust CD8+ T cell responses to a broad array of viral epitopes and strong neutralising antibody responses to Spike, which we believe validates the potential of our infectious disease platform."

He explains that, as with the Omicron variant," viral surface proteins such as Spike are mutating at a high rate, leaving the immunity provided by Spike-dedicated vaccines vulnerable to variants containing numerous Spike mutations".

This is why the team designed their COVID-19 vaccines to trigger broad CD8+ T cell immunity, "an additional key layer of protection against viruses".

“This innovation enables inclusion of a wide array of highly conserved viral epitopes, potentially creating an immune state that may offer more robust clinical protection against current and future SARS-CoV-2 variants and be a first step toward developing a pan-coronavirus vaccine," says Dr Allen.

Professor Andrew Ustianowski added: “We are excited to announce the expansion of the footprint of this trial from an initial 20 people to 120 and are looking forward to continuing this work with Gritstone in the clinical development of this promising next generation, T cell enhanced COVID-19 vaccine."

Tags: Flu & Viruses | NHS | Pharmaceuticals | Respiratory | UK News | World Health

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