A new candidate vaccine against Covid-19 to be administered without a needle. It is called LeCoVax2 and, both for its mechanism of action and for its characteristics, it represents an absolute novelty in the battle against Sars-CoV-2. VisMederi and University of Milan have patented the prototype of an innovative molecule underlying the vaccine, a molecule developed on a platform different from mRna-based products and from an existing adenoviral vector.
The microorganism used is the “Leishmania tarentolae”, a non-pathogenic Leishmania for humans which, theoretically, can find different routes of administration than syringe and needle, such as for example orally or rectally, through suppositories.
“The platform used for our candidate is based on a modified single-cell microorganism, which functions as a sort of ‘micro-factory’ capable of producing the Spike protein of Sars-Cov-2, which acts as an antigen. And that, once conveyed in the body, can stimulate the production of antibodies in the vaccine”, explained Emanuele Montomoli, scientific director of VisMederi and professor at the University of Siena, during an interview with the italian version of Fortune magazine .
Experiments in animals have so far given good results, but to move on to human studies “we need an industrial partner, not so much for economic resources, but also for the structure necessary to carry out the most advanced studies”, added Montomoli , underlining how preclinical studies, conducted on mice and now in the publication phase, have demonstrated the efficacy of the product in inducing capacity capable of neutralizing the Sars-CoV-2 virus.
“We have registered the favor of some investors and several pharmaceutical companies, a couple of Italians and a couple of foreign, manufacturers of vaccines. And we are currently exploring the possibilities to understand which can be the best industrial partner to be able to develop this product. We think we will have the results of this screening by the end of 2021-early 2022, to then repeat the animal studies more widely and start with human studies in 2022 ”, concluded Montomoli.