Cobra Biologics, Karolinska Institutet partner on Covid-19 vaccine

31 March 2020 (Last Updated March 31st, 2020 14:41)

Cobra Biologics has partnered with the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden to develop a potential DNA vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

Cobra Biologics, Karolinska Institutet partner on Covid-19 vaccine
Karolinska Institutet and Cobra Biologics work towards a DNA vaccine against Covid-19. Credit: SteFou!.

Cobra Biologics has partnered with the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden to develop a potential DNA vaccine candidate for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

Under OPENCORONA consortium supporting the fight against Covid-19, the partners received €3m emergency funding from the Europe Union’s Horizon 2020.

The funds are intended to support research and development and Phase I trial of a vaccine.

OPENCORONA consortium also comprises Karolinska University Hospital, Public Health Authority (FoHM), IGEA, Adlego and Giessen University.

The project aims to produce a DNA vaccine that will be administered via the patient’s muscle. The vaccine will generate a viral antigen for the immune system to react on.

Cobra Biologics’ large-scale DNA suite in Sweden will be used to manufacture the plasmid DNA. The plasmid production is meant to support vaccine development.

Data and research findings will be made available to the scientific community.

Cobra Biologics chief executive Peter Coleman said: “The partners within the OPENCORONA consortium are all industry experts, with the expertise, track record and belief to deliver a successful outcome.

“Cobra is privileged to have been invited to participate and contribute to fight against Covid-19, as this virus continues to impact the globe exponentially.”

The partners expect to begin the first clinical trials next year at the Karolinska University Hospital.

Karolinska Institutet laboratory medicine department head Matti Sällberg said: “The need to find an effective vaccine is urgent and we are working as quickly as possible to find one.

“With this funding from the EU, we will have secured a significant part of the financing going forward, which means that we can focus entirely on the research. It is a relief to know that we are now financed all the way to studies in humans.”