IISc-Mynvax’s heat-tolerant Covid vaccine

Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru has developed a heat-tolerant COVID-19 vaccine formulation. While studying on animals, it was found to be effective against all current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.

Key Points

  • Research was published in ACS Infectious Diseases journal.
  • This vaccine was formulated by IISc-incubated biotech start-up Mynvax, built a strong immune response in mice. It also protected hamsters from virus.
  • Vaccine also remained stable for up to a month at 37 degrees Celsius while at 100 degrees Celsius it remained stable for up to 90 minutes.

Background

Most of the vaccines developed for covid-19 required refrigeration to remain stable and effective. For instance, Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (Covishield in India) requires storage temperature of 2-8 degrees Celsius while Pfizer requires specialised cold storage at minus 70 degrees Celsius.

How IISc-Mynvax’s vaccine was developed?

IISc-Mynvax vaccine was developed using a part of viral spike protein called receptor-binding domain (RBD). It allows virus to connect with host cell to infect it. It differs from other vaccine because it only uses a specific part of the RBD (string of 200 amino acids) instead of entire spike protein.

Significance of heat-tolerant vaccine

Development of a heat-tolerant vaccine or thermostable or warm vaccine is significant for remote or resource-limited locations having extremely hot climates that lack reliable cold storage supply chains.

Indian Institute of Science (IISc)

IISc is a public, deemed, research university, established in 1909, providing higher education and research in engineering, science, design, and management. It is headquartered in Bangalore. Institute is locally called as ‘Tata Institute’ as it was established with active support from Jamsetji Tata. It was granted status of Institute of Eminence in 2018.

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