Scancell was featured in the Telegraph on Saturday 13 February. The Company are developing a universal vaccine that would work on all Covid-19 variants by targeting the core of the virus instead of just the spike protein. It could be available in as little as a year.

Please find extract below –

‘British scientists at the University of Nottingham are developing a “universal” Covid-19 vaccine which, if successful, would end the need to keep tweaking existing jabs as the virus mutates.

Existing vaccines like the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs target the spike protein of the virus, but their efficacy is expected to wane as this element of the virus mutates. 

Already there is evidence they do not protect as well against variants containing the “E484K” mutation, such as those circulating widely in southern Africa and Brazil.

The new universal vaccines will also target proteins found in the core of the virus which are far less likely to mutate, meaning they would protect against all current variants and would theoretically have greater longevity.

UK company Scancell, which specialises in developing cancer vaccines, and several other firms from Europe and the US are already working on variant proof jabs and hope to prove shortly they can produce an effective immune response.  

Alongside scientists from the University of Nottingham, Scancell is targeting a protein in the core of the virus called the nucleocapsid or “N” protein, alongside the spike protein. Human trials of their vaccine will begin in the second half of this year, after positive results from testing the jab on mice.

The DNA-based product seems to stimulate a good antibody and T-cell response. Scancell chief medical officer Dr Gillies O’Bryan-Tear, told The Telegraph: “We don’t necessarily claim it will be a pan-coronavirus vaccine, but it has got the potential to be so simply because of where it is targeted.”

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