COVID-19

Starting in China in December 2019, COIVD-19 infection spread rapidly around the world and was declared a “pandemic” on 11 March 2020 by the World Health Organization.1. In Canada, the first cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in February 2020 and the disease has increased significantly, particularly in major urban centers. All governments have put in place a series of measures to limit the spread of the virus and to protect citizens at risk, especially the elderly. The John Hopkins University of Medecine is recording and mapping the data of the pandemic around the world2.

Vaccine

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific resources from many countries have devoted themselves to elucidating the molecular mechanisms of infection generated by SARS-CoV-2 and publish their results. After careful review of these studies3,4, Dr. René Roy, a global expert in glycochemy and co-founder of Glycovax Pharma, realized that the virus has glycosyle biomarkers on its surface similar to those on which his scientific team has been focusing its work since 2017. This discovery prompted Dr. Roy’s scientific team to get involved in the fight against COVID-19, leveraging its unique expertise in glycan chemistry and the development of fourth-generation synthetic glycan vaccines. A fourth-generation vaccine means that the antigenic component that will stimulate the immune system is first synthesized into a test tube and then attached to a transport protein to form the vaccine to be injected.
The benefits of Glycovax Pharma’s innovative vaccine strategy are multi-facet:
  1. The preparation of this type of vaccine is safe because staff handle synthetic glycan molecules that are not dangerous, unlike the traditional protocol that uses viruses grown in fermenters.
  2. Synthetic glycans are chemically pure and their molecular composition is characterized in such a way as to meet GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) regulatory standards, which serve to ensure greater safety and therapeutic efficiency, while promoting the manufacture of the product in large quantities at low cost.

Next steps

Glycovax Pharma’s goal is to rapidly develop a semi-synthetic vaccine to protect the population from the SARS-C-OoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Roy’s team has the expertise to create glycoconjugate vaccines. He contributed to the development of the first semi-synthetic vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). This vaccine has been administered to more than 65 million children worldwide and has effectively protected them against the disease.

Glycovax Pharma has the expertise to now produce the immunogenic glycans of SARS-CoV-2 in sufficient quantities for the development of a safe and economical glycoconjugate vaccine.

A first prototype of a semi-synthetic anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is currently in development. With appropriate resources, the Glycovax Pharma team will be able to assess rapidly the effectiveness of this vaccine and determine if it is able to destroy the virus responsible for the COVID-19.

Once the clinical trials will be successful, this vaccine can then be manufactured quickly and on a large scale.

References

Websites

Articles

Visual Capitalists
COVID-19 – Visualizing the History of Pandemics
https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/