After inducing antibodies in animal models, Takis vaccines have proven effective in neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thanks to the collaboration with the Spallanzani Institute in Rome
"The results obtained to date are encouraging and well beyond expectations: after a single vaccination, the mice developed antibodies that can block the infection of SARS-CoV-2 on human cells" - declares Luigi Aurisicchio, CEO / CSO of the Takis.
INMI (National Institute of Infectious Diseases) Lazzaro Spallanzani was among the first institutes in the world to isolate SARS-CoV-2 and represents an Italian excellence in the field of infectious diseases. Thanks to the neutralization test developed, it is possible to verify the efficacy of vaccines and therapeutic molecules directly on the virus, without using artificial systems. It is therefore possible to study the quality and power of the immune response necessary to block the infection and the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
"The molecular design of our vaccines took into account a series of important parameters to generate functional antibodies against the Spike protein, in particular against the region that binds to human lung cells" - says Giuseppe Roscilli, Director of the Monoclonal Antibodies Area.
To date, the immune response generated by most of our 5 candidates has an effect on the virus. We expect even better results after the second vaccination "- comments Emanuele Marra, director of the Infectious Diseases Area.
Takis' technology consists of the injection of a DNA fragment, followed by a short electrical stimulus. The technology is called "electroporation" and was developed in Italy. "One of the important characteristics of our vaccine is that it can be repeated over time and adapted to the evolution of the virus. At Takis, we are already working on a process that can be changed in a few weeks, if the virus accumulates mutations and becomes invisible to the immune system: the same concept that we use to develop cancer vaccines. " - states Fabio Palombo, director of the NeoMatrix program.
“Thanks to Spallanzani's skills, as far as we know, we are the first in the world to have demonstrated the neutralization of the coronavirus by a vaccine. We expect this to happen also in humans. We are also exploring other interesting technology platforms in collaboration with LineaRx, an American company. Some vaccines have received significant funding and have already started the clinical phase in other countries. We are working hard to make sure that a vaccine that comes from Italian research, with an entirely Italian and innovative technology, is tested in Italy and made available to everyone. To do this, we need the support of institutions and partners to help us speed up the process: this is not a race, and together we can all win against the coronavirus "- concludes Aurisicchio.