A young Irish genius businessman suggested that 'the appearance of a corona vaccine that is effective for all mutant strains is just around the corner,' and what are the challenges to realize?

Patrick Collison , CEO of Stripe, the American payment system and described as 'the youngest vilionaire in the world,' is a charity to accelerate research related to the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19). From the standpoint of one of the founders of the organization Fast Grants , we discussed the current status and future challenges of developing and disseminating vaccines that are effective against a series of mutant strains.

We could have universal COVID vaccines very soon — if we urgently reform the process

Collison praised ' Operation Warp Speed, ' which accelerates research on COVID-19, and 'overall,' was able to develop a vaccine in a time that was unthinkable from the traditional vaccine development process. Was a very good result and we were all proud of it. '

However, the subsequent response to COVID-19 is not good. The urgency of the early pandemics disappeared over time, allowing the emergence of many mutants and variants, resulting in a significant reduction in vaccine efficacy. In Japan, the number of newly infected people with COVID-19 reached a

record high as of July 20, 2022, but in the United States as well, the number of infected people has exceeded the same period of the previous year since the beginning of July. The situation continues.

For this reason, efforts such as booster vaccination are being continued in various countries around the world, but since most of the vaccinated vaccines are targeted at the original Wuhan strain, not the Omicron strain, which is being replaced. 'There is a widespread structurally stupid situation in which people are vaccinated against mutant strains that have lost the competition long ago,' Collison points out.

In order to deal with mutant strains with low efficacy of existing vaccines, each pharmaceutical company is developing a 'divalent vaccine' that combines the spike proteins of Wuhan strain and Omicron strain. However, in recent reports , the neutralizing effect of bivalent vaccine candidates on the current variants 'BA.4' and 'BA.5' is 3 compared to the previously prevalent 'BA.1'. It is shown to be only one-third. From this, Mr. Collison thinks, 'Vaccines for individual mutants and variants are time-saving but not a panacea.'

Under these circumstances, Mr. Collison is entrusted with the emergence of a 'pan-variant vaccine' that imparts excellent comprehensive immunity to all mutant strains. Since it has not been developed yet, it has not been decided what kind of vaccine it is, but according to Mr. Collison, it is thought that it will be a vaccine for the nasal cavity and mucous membranes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the 'nasal drop type new corona vaccine' that is administered by mist through the nose? --GIGAZINE

The basic strategy of a panvariant vaccine is to use nanoparticles embedded with parts of various peplomer proteins in order to target the immunity to the part that does not change even if the mutant strain appears. Current vaccines use the entire peaplomer, which can target areas where the immune system is rapidly changing, but it can be very effective if it can be targeted at areas that do not change.

Many groups have already been working on the development of this panvariant vaccine, including Akiko Iwasaki's lab at Yale University, David Veesler's lab at Washington University, and Pamela Bjorkman's lab at California Institute of Technology, using mice and primates. Promising results have been obtained even in early tests. Therefore, although Fast Grants led by Collison and others are working with these vaccine development groups, there are some issues that cannot be addressed by Collins and others alone.

The typical challenge of vaccine development is lack of funding, but more rudimentary issues often delay development by months. For example, one group did not arrive at the monkeys used for the test due to delays in customs procedures, which greatly delayed the start of the test. In addition, there are groups in which the current mRNA vaccine cannot be obtained for research purposes due to legal issues, and there are groups in which an adjuvant , which is not a vaccine, cannot be obtained.

Due to these logistics and regulatory issues, it is estimated that the pan-mutant vaccine will be available around 2024 at the earliest. To that end, Collison said, 'Lower the hurdles for conducting human clinical trials,' 'Help vaccine development groups grow rapidly,' and 'Intervene in the authorities' approval process, such as Operation Warp Speed.' Is recommended.

According to Mr. Collison, the first operation warp speed cost 10 billion dollars (about 1.38 trillion yen), but the second one can be done with a one-tenth budget. Collison also believes that a panvariant vaccine could be rolled out by the end of 2022 if appropriate interventions were made in the US Food and Drug Administration's approval process.

At the end, Collison said, 'As a member of the Fast Grants, we've done everything we can, but the obstacles mentioned above are out of our hands, so we're working on a vaccine development group. I would like to highlight the important work that is being done and emphasize the impact of acting more urgently. The panvariant vaccine is important and important for saving many lives and avoiding suffering and financial loss. It's an affordable opportunity. '

in Science, Posted by log1l_ks