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What are VLP-based Covid-19 vaccines, and why is the platform attracting vaccine cos?

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Post time: 4-1-2021 03:14:52
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What are VLP-based Covid-19 vaccines, and why is the platform attracting vaccine cos?

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Two VLP vaccines have reached the clinical trial stage. Canadian biotech firm Medicago, backed by tobacco behemoth Phillip Morris, vaccine candidate based on VLP has reached phase 2/3 trial.


Serum Institute of India (SII) has announced it has partnered with UK biotech company, Spybiotech, a spin-off of the University of Oxford, to develop a COVID-19 virus-like-particle (VLP)-based vaccine. The vaccine has entered a Phase 1/2 trial in Australia. In October, another Indian drug maker, Aurobindo Pharma, said it entered into collaboration with Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), a Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab, to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine based on VLP.

It isn't SII and Aurobindo Pharma alone, there more than a dozen COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently under development that are based on VLP.

What is VLP?

VLP resembles the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The VLP is constructed incorporating all key structural proteins, mirroring the molecular structure of coronavirus. However, it doesn't cause infection as it doesn't have the genetic material that helps it replicate like a natural virus. VLPs can be produced using mammalian cells, insect cells, bacteria, yeast and plant cells. Animal studies have found out that vaccines based on VLP induce immune response, providing protection against any future COVID-19 infection. To be sure, there are several VLP-based vaccines commercially available including vaccines against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). Most licensed VLP vaccines use the aluminum adjuvant to boost their efficacy.

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
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How does a vaccine work?
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability

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