RNA therapeutics firm Chimeron Bio has collaborated with George Mason University’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases (NCBID) to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

The vaccine will be developed using Chimeron Bio’s ChaESAR self-amplifying RNA technology, and supported by Mason’s expertise and Biomedical Research Laboratory (BRL) for screening the company’s vaccine pipeline.

George Mason University’s College of Science systems biology associate professor Dr Aarthi Narayanan said: “Our collaborators at Chimeron Bio have a strong commitment to pursuing innovative, personalised treatments which aligns well with our research philosophy – exploring innovative approaches to solve big global problems.”

ChaESAR is a self-amplifying RNA delivery technology designed to deliver immunogenic viral genes to induce a rapid and sustained immune response, said the company.

The technology amplifies the generation of viral antigens inside the body, expected to produce a vaccine response at lower doses compared to standard mRNA approaches.

In addition, the ChaESAR particle is said to be a self-assembling delivery system that removes the requirement for in-vitro RNA synthesis, which is considered expensive.

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Chimeron Bio added that one batch of a low-dose ChaESAR formulation could vaccinate more people globally, enabling a quick, effective and affordable solution.

Chimeron Bio board chairman Dr Afshin Safavi said: “We strongly believe our self-amplifying mRNA technology is the perfect solution for the generation of Covid-19 vaccines for use both in select markets and populations around the world.”

Findings from the alliance could inform additional designs for the development of effective treatment and vaccines for Covid-19 and other diseases.

As part of the collaboration, the company also plans to investigate RNA therapeutics and peptide vaccines that target Covid-19 infection, as well as other coronaviruses.