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Clover Biopharmaceuticals partners up with GSK to accelerate coronavirus vaccine development

Published on 24/02/20 at 01:04pm

Chinese biotech firm Clover Biopharmaceuticals has joined the race to develop interventions against the ongoing coronavirus outbreak with the announcement that it has partnered up with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to aid in development of its protein-based “COVID-19 S-Trimer” vaccine.

As part of the newly announced partnership, Clover will leverage GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system to further improve the vaccine’s immunogenicity – its ability to provoke a response from the body’s immune system – in preclinical studies.

“At Clover we look forward to evaluating the combination of GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system and our S-Trimer as a vaccine candidate. Utilizing our proprietary Timer-Tag technology that has been shown to be recognised by antibodies produced by multiple previously-infected coronavirus patients, S-Trimer is being rapidly developed to support global efforts in combating this current and any future coronavirus outbreaks,” explained Joshua Liang, Chief Strategy Officer and Board Director at Clover.

The hope of the collaboration is that development of the vaccine can be considerably accelerated, with the hope that Clover can then quickly up-scale its production to generate large quantities of the vaccine by utilising its in-house cGMP biomanufacturing function – one of the largest of its kind in the country.

“We are proud to contribute to cutting edge research from scientists at Clover Biopharmaceuticals in China as part of our strategy to make our adjuvant technology available to selected partners who have a promising vaccine candidate against the newly emerged coronavirus,” commented Thomas Breuer, Chief Medical Officer of GSK Vaccines. “The use of an adjuvant is of particular importance in a pandemic situation since it may reduce the amount of vaccine protein required per dose, allowing more vaccine doses to be produced and therefore contributing to protect more people.”

Matt Fellows

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