Italy researchers claim vaccine neutralises coronavirus in human cells

6 May 2020 (Last Updated September 7th, 2020 07:07)

Scientists at Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Italy have claimed that a vaccine candidate could neutralise coronavirus within human cells.

Italy researchers claim vaccine neutralises coronavirus in human cells
The vaccine had generated antibodies in mice that work on human cells. Credit: Shutterstock.com

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 generated antibodies in mice that work on human cells.

These antibodies were observed to prevent the virus from infecting the cells.

Takis Biotech is the company developing the coronavirus vaccine candidate.

An Italian news agency, ANSA, quoted Takis Biotech CEO Luigi Aurisicchio 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 allegedly 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 also 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 number of antibodies, the researchers selected two. All of the candidates being developed are based on the genetic material of DNA protein ‘spike’.

Currently, 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.

According to the researchers, this mechanism is expected to boost the vaccine’s effectiveness in producing functional antibodies against ‘spike’ protein in lung cells.

In addition, 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, 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 coronavirus vaccine candidates earlier in March.