Gates Foundation backs gene therapy pioneers' second-gen Covid-19 vaccine
The Gates Foundation has backed another early-stage vaccine effort, handing up to $2.1 million to a pre-clinical candidate from a pair of gene therapy pioneers they think can offer benefits over the first wave of Covid-19 vaccines now rolling out around the globe.
The money will help advance a vaccine Luk Vandenberghe and Jim Wilson, directors of the gene therapy centers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the University of Pennsylvania, have been developing over the past year based on the AAV vectors commonly used in gene therapy. Now in non-human primate challenge studies, early data suggest the vaccine may work as a single dose and remain stable at room temperature, addressing two of the difficulties with rolling out the current generation of vaccines around the globe.
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