Scientists at Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Italy have claimed that a vaccine candidate could neutralise coronavirus within human cells.
According to findings from the tests conducted at Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, the vaccine had generated antibodies in mice that work on human cells.
These antibodies were observed to prevent the virus from infecting the cells.
Takis Biotech, the company developing the vaccine, CEO Luigi Aurisicchio was quoted by Italian news agency ANSA as saying: “This is the most advanced stage of testing of a candidate vaccine created in Italy. Human tests are expected after this summer.”
Takis was said to be exploring options with US-based LineaRx. However, the company requires the Italian government’s support and alliances with international bodies to further develop the vaccine, added Aurisicchio.
Aurisicchio noted: “This is not a competition. If we join our forces and skills together, we can all win against coronavirus.”
Of the five vaccine candidates that produced a large quantity of antibodies, the researchers selected two. All of the candidates being developed are based on the genetic material of DNA protein ‘spike’.
Currently, the scientists are studying the longevity of the vaccine’s immunity response.
The vaccine uses a technique called electroporation to help break into the cells and induce the immune system.
As per the researchers, this mechanism is expected to boost the vaccine’s effectiveness in producing functional antibodies against ‘spike’ protein in lung cells.
Takis infectious diseases area director Dr Emanuele Marra said that the vaccines have the potential for adapting to any future mutations of the virus.
In March this year, Takis secured approval from the Ministry of Health in Italy for preclinical testing of its Covid-19 vaccine.
The company and its partner Applied DNA Sciences announced the design of four Covid-19 vaccine candidates earlier in March.