T-cell focused TScan Therapeutics have published data identifying the targets of T cells it isolated from Covid-19 patients. TScan used its proprietary identification technology to map the memory CD8+ T cell response of these patients.

The company has now submitted these findings for review with the aim of supporting Covid-19 vaccine development. Long-term immunity from Covid-19 vaccines requires the conferring of both antibody and T cell immunity.

TScan chief scientific officer Gavin MacBeath explained: “Covid-19 vaccine development efforts have been progressing rapidly, but to date remain largely focused on eliciting a neutralizing antibody response against the virus’ spike protein.

“Because antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 [the virus which causes Covid-19] appear to diminish over time, there is growing concern that if vaccines do not also generate a strong T cell response, they may only provide short-term immunity.

“An increasing body of evidence suggests that the T cell response is important in the defense against Covid-19, and T cells that recognize coronaviruses tend to persist much longer than antibodies.

:In this study, we identified a short list of the most critical T cell targets that could form the basis of a second-generation vaccine, potentially an important follow-on approach to the spike protein vaccines that are currently being developed.”