Slovak company reports positive preclinical results for COVID-19 vaccine

The tests have been carried out on mice so far. Testing on people can start at the end of this year.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: AP/SITA)

Slovak biotechnology company Axon Neuroscience has reported positive preclinical results of its vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

It tested the peptide vaccine on mice, reporting no adverse side effects, the TASR newswire reported.

Weakest points identified

The results have been successful in several key points. The vaccinated mice generated a big amount of antibodies in their blood. These antibodies focused on the specific, vulnerable part of the protein that enables the virus to infect cells and then reproduce.

The antibodies effectively neutralised the living coronavirus, according to its creators. The neutralisation was tested by an experiment in which they monitored whether the blood of the vaccinated mice can prevent the infection of cells by the virus, TASR reported.

They identified the weakest points of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and navigated the immunity system to these small areas with the length of about 20 amino acids, thanks to which they managed to eliminate the virus infection, said Norbert Žilka, scientific director of Axon Neuroscience.

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“The results from the virus neutralisation test showed our strategy was successful,” he added, as quoted by TASR.

Clinical tests on people soon

The positive results imply that it may be possible to use the vaccine to fight the coronavirus.

“We will soon start testing people so that we can introduce a vaccine without compromises when it comes to safety and effectiveness,” said Michal Fresser, executive director of Axon Neuroscience, as quoted by TASR.

The first clinical tests on people can start in the final quarter of this year, he added.

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