As per tests conducted at Rome's infectious-disease Spallanzani Hospital, the coronavirus vaccine has antibodies generated in mice that work on human cells.
A team of Italian scientists has claimed to have developed a couple of vaccines that they claim neutralises the novel coronavirus in human cells.
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This could be among the most visible progress amongst the hundreds of vaccine candidates that are being tested around the world against the virus that has caused a global pandemic and visibly sunk the economy into a recession.
The report on Arab News, quoting Italian news agency ANSA, said a team of scientists from the company Takis was able to isolate antibodies in mice that blocked the virus from infecting human cells.
Testing was carried out at Rome's Spallanzani Institute.
CNBCTV18.com could not independently verify claims made in the report.
The vaccine candidates currently being developed are based on the genetic material of DNA protein "spike". Researchers said the vaccine will be injected intramuscularly which will be followed by a brief electrical impulse.
"Researchers believe that this makes their vaccine particularly effective for generating functional antibodies against the “spike” protein, in particular in the lung cells, which are the most vulnerable to coronavirus," the report said.
The report quoted Luigi Aurisicchio, CEO of Takis, as saying that the company was keen to collaborate internationally to speed up the process of development of the vaccine.
The coronavirus pandemic has put the global scientific community in mission mode to develop a vaccine. Ordinarily, it takes at least five years to develop a vaccine but experts say that period could be shorter in this case.
"It could be as little as 9 months or as long as two years," billionaire Bill Gates whose foundation is heavily involved in combating diseases around the world.
In a recent note, Gates said he was particularly excited by the RNA and DNA novel approaches in developing a vaccine.
The approach has been tested for diseases like malaria but COVID-19 could possibly be the first disease for which it may actually be implemented.
"Rather than injecting a pathogen’s antigen into your body, you instead give the body the genetic code needed to produce that antigen itself. When the antigens appear on the outside of your cells, your immune system attacks them—and learns how to defeat future intruders in the process. You essentially turn your body into its own vaccine manufacturing unit," Gates said.
But Gates warned that a road to a safe and efficacious vaccine is long, not least because of the progress that needs to be made, besides later manufacturing them at scale.
First Published: May 5, 2020 9:18 PM IST