The University of Queensland’s (UQ) approach has been about developing a platform technology from which you can produce a range of vaccines against human and animal viruses.
This is a much quicker way of turning out vaccines – working off a base.
UQ has had some promising results from trials targeting viruses such as influenza, Ebola, Nipah and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Building on this tech and expertise, UQ has been looking at developing a vaccine candidate to take on COVID-19.
The tech, called Molecular Clamp technology, was patented by UniQuest on behalf of UQ.
With Molecular Clamp technology, UQ can engineer a vaccine candidate that will trigger a protective immune response.
The technology hijacks the virus’s own infectious properties (i.e. it gives the body’s immune defence a target).
This novel technology allows for the rapid generation of new vaccines from the knowledge of a virus’s genetic sequence.
No other vaccine approaches use this proprietary technology.
The research team will utilise the advanced manufacturing and development capabilities across the biotechnology sector to bring forward development and large-scale manufacture of the vaccine in advance of the conclusion of the clinical trials.
This initiative will help to fast-track the timeline for an effective vaccine.
The research team has gained access to proprietary (patented) adjuvants from three pharmaceutical companies with the potential to make the vaccine more effective.
An adjuvant is an ingredient used in some vaccines to create a stronger immune response and help the vaccine work better.
By running the vaccine manufacture and clinical trials in parallel, it means the moment the researchers have success in the clinic, doses will be ready to go.