May 7, 2020

Massachusetts researchers advance a novel gene-based COVID-19 vaccine

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

Researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Mass General Brigham, announced May 5 their progress towards the testing and development of an experimental vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 called AAVCOVID.

The vaccine is currently in preclinical development with a plan to begin clinical testing in humans later this year.


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Intramuscular vaccination with AAVCOVID will deliver the genetic code for antigens from the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, which will cause an immune response and prevent infection.

AAV [adeno-associated viral] vector is a clinically established gene transfer technology that is also rapidly adaptable, so that if a new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerges, the genetic code inside the vaccine can be exchanged for an updated genetic code and processed into an updated vaccine in weeks, the researcher say.

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