Dutch research and development vaccine institute Intravacc has partnered with US-based biotechnology firm EpiVax to advance a Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

The vaccine is based on Intravacc’s Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMV) platform.

Under the collaboration agreement, Intravacc’s immunogenic OMV delivery platform will unite with EpiVax’s synthetically generated Covid-19 epitopes designed and optimised using immunoinformatics tools.

The aim is to produce a safe and effective T-cell response against SARS-CoV-2 and other related coronaviruses.

EpiVax CEO and CSO Annie De Groot said: “We are thrilled to enter into a partnership with Intravacc using their very novel ‘click-on’ OMV technology and the highly immunogenic and safe SARS-CoV-2 multi-epitope-bearing peptides designed using the iVAX toolkit at EpiVax.

“We believe that the combination of technologies  and the strength of our longstanding collaboration with Intravacc will lead to the development of an effective and safe vaccine that could rapidly benefit hundreds of millions of people around the globe.”

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Intravacc and EpiVax plan to begin preclinical studies immediately to select the best peptide candidates for the vaccine.

The OMV-peptide vaccine will be manufactured at Intravacc’s pilot-scale facility for clinical trials set to launch in the fourth quarter of this year.

Intravacc CEO Dr Jan Groen said: “The vaccine is expected to lower the risk that individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 will require hospitalisation and / or intensive care.

“It also expected to induce long-term memory responses to prevent Covid-19 disease and infection from other beta-corona viruses.”

In March, EpiVax partnered with University of Georgia (UGA) researcher Ted Ross to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 caused by the coronavirus.

Separately, Generex Biotechnology signed a contract with EpiVax to leverage computational tools for identifying epitopes that can produce peptide vaccines against Covid-19.

Later, in April, biotechnology firm Immunomic Therapeutics collaborated with EpiVax and PharmaJet to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate.