Russia launches preclinical studies of new COVID-19 vaccine on apes

Gamaleya Centre launches preclinical trials of new COVID-19 drug on apes

The Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, which developed the world's first vaccine against coronavirus Sputnik V, has launched preclinical studies of a new drug for the prevention of COVID-19, Pharmvestnik publication reports, citing data from the public procurement website.

The new vaccine was created using a technology that differs from the one used for the first drug. The new vaccine uses the technology of virus-like particles that do not contain the genetic material of the causative agent, but mimic it instead, thus forcing the body to give an immune response to the virus infiltration.

The preclinical studies of the vaccine are being carried out on animals, and they are to be completed on November 24 — December 20, the publication said. The studies will be conducted on the basis of six institutions.

Thus, the Research Institute of Medical Primatology in the Krasnodar region will assess the immunogenicity and safety of the new vaccine on primates, RBC reports.The cost of the contract will amount to 11.6 million rubles.

  • The branches of the Center for Expertise, Accounting and Analysis of the Circulation of Medicinal Products in Rostov-on-Don and the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences will assess the overall toxicity of the new drug.
  • The branch of the institute in Pushchino will additionally study the safety of the vaccine effect on the immune system as a whole, as well as on the genetic material. Both contracts were concluded for a total 9.4 million rubles.
  • The Institute for Biomedical Research and Technology in Moscow will conduct additional research on immunotoxicity and genotoxicity (1.6 million rubles).

Pharmvestnik failed to find contracts for pharmacokinetic and carcinogenicity studies of the drug. A relevant inquiry was sent to the Ministry of Health.

The news about the efforts of the Gamaleya Center to develop another coronavirus vaccine was reported in January of 2021, when the Ministry of Health approved a state assignment for the center to develop a vaccine based on virus-like particles. It was planned to allocate about 25 million rubles from the budget for the purpose. The development of two pharmaceutical products for COVID-19 was indicated in the same state assignment.

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Author`s name Editorial Team
Editor Dmitry Sudakov