PDS0203 combines the utility of the Versamune® platform with a recombinant native Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) protein recognizable by our immune system (antigen). The Versamune® platform, due to its unique ability to induce both antibody and T-cell responses is being utilized to develop a vaccine that may more effectively prevent COVID-19.
In January of 2020 the world saw the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak caused by a novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global health emergency in January of 2020. Within three months of initial discovery COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, reflecting alarming levels of spread and severity and resulting in unprecedented action by local and national governments to restrict the movement of citizens to contain the spread. Building immunity to the disease is the key to stopping its spread. A COVID-19 vaccine would train the immune system to recognize and destroy the virus without the vaccinated person getting sick.
Coronaviruses mostly infect animals, including birds and mammals. In humans, they mostly cause mild respiratory infections. However, some recent human coronavirus infections have resulted in lethal endemics, which include the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) endemics. Reported studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is similar to SARS-CoV based on analysis of the full-length genome. Various studies of SARS-CoV infection suggest a protective role of both antibody and T-cell immune responses. Multiple reports suggest that antibodies generated against SARS-CoV, were highly prevalent in SARS-CoV-infected patients. Although effective, the antibody response was determined to be short-lived in convalescent SARS-CoV patients. In contrast, T-cell responses have been shown to provide long-term protection more than ten years after infection. PDS Biotech is utilizing the unique immunological properties of Versamune® to develop a transformative vaccine that induces both antibodies and T-cells against the virus.
PDS0203 is currently in pre-clinical development.