Ground breaking Covid vaccine lab success leads to investment drive

22 November 2021

AUCKLAND: COVID-19 Vaccine Corporation (CVC) has produced exciting results in its effort to find a COVID-19 vaccine which remains effective across different mutations and variants of the virus.

In the wake of its most recent successful lab results, following a slew of many in the previous six months, COVID-19 Vaccine Corporation is aiming to raise $2 million to progress its efforts to produce a COVID-19 vaccine enhancer.

The company, made up of New Zealand’s most experienced vaccine producers and biotechnologists, predicted mutations and variations of COVID-19 at the onset of the pandemic.

As a result, from the outset, its vaccine sought to combat COVID-19’s mutations and variants, such as Delta, with new strains causing further national and international disruptions and lockdowns, as well as rendering New Zealand’s elimination strategy redundant.

CVC founder and Chief Executive Dr Robert Feldman says their most recent success in the lab is exciting progress, signalling massive potential for a unique, New Zealand vaccine designed to combat the virus’ debilitating adaptations.

“When we first created our vaccine in May 2020, it was designed to induce a special type of immunity called a cytotoxic T-Cell response. Our most recent set of lab results show our vaccine does exactly that; inducing the immune response we needed to progress,” Dr Feldman says.

Chart: Zero dose produces no cytotoxic T-Cell immune response. Small dose produces some cytotoxic  T-Cell immune response. High dose produces a strong cytotoxic T-Cell immune response.

Initially, CVC chose small parts of the COVID-19 virus that it expected would not be prone to mutation. It followed this course, as it predicted variants of the virus were likely to emerge over the course of the pandemic.

The group’s forward thinking has proven astute both in the emergence of the virus variants and its decision to work on parts of the virus which are unlikely to mutate.

“All variants of concern, including Delta, have many mutations, but none in the regions of the virus represented in our vaccine. This means that our vaccine will be as effective against new variants, such as Delta, as for the original virus strain. We also expect our vaccine to maintain efficacy should new variants emerge,” Dr Feldman explains.

“The most recent results are exceptionally exciting. When we originally designed our vaccine we thought it would work. We now have concrete evidence that, in laboratory conditions, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. This is a significant win in our research, and gives us every reason to move forward as quickly as possible,” he adds.

CVC’s vaccine is intended to supplement existing vaccines, with the aim of improving their efficacy further, and protecting against the emergence of new COVID-19 variants.

With sufficient funding, CVC’s vaccine could complete a human trial by the end of 2022.

To date, the company has raised $4.3 million dollars in private company funding, and nearly $1 million in government funding.