‘The so-called CoVax2 consortium from the LUMC is headed by Dr Ramon Arens from the Department of Immunology. The project combines two vaccination techniques that reinforce each other. The researchers want to use parts of the coronavirus that stimulate the body to produce antibodies, but also to produce memory defense cells, or T cells. This way the virus can be recognized and attacked better and faster by the immune system.
In addition, the purpose of the vaccine to be developed is to build immunity against other members of the coronavirus family. The consortium wants to achieve this by, unlike other vaccination initiatives, not only focusing on the use of the protrusions of the virus. According to the researchers, the chance that these protrusions change due to mutations is present. This would make a possible vaccine less effective. By developing a vaccine that uses antigens shared by multiple coronaviruses, the researchers also hope to build immunity to a future coronavirus.
The consortium, consisting of the LUMC, ISA Therapeutics and Immunetune, facilitates collaboration between experts in immunology and coronavirology. The partners combine their expertise in DNA and synthetic long peptide (SLP) based vaccination techniques to arrive at the final vaccine. The collaboration project has been co-financed with a PPP allowance made available by Health ~ Holland, Top Sector Life Sciences & Health, to stimulate public-private partnerships.