AntibodiesTests of Potential Coronavirus Vaccine Spur Growth of Virus-Fighting Antibodies

Published 3 April 2020

A potential vaccine for COVID-19 has been developed and tested successfully in mice, researchers reported Thursday. “We’d like to get this into patients as soon as possible,” said Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and co-author of a paper announcing the vaccine in the journal EBioMedicine.
As far as reaching clinical trials, “we would like to think a month, give or take. Maybe two months. We just started the process,” said co-author Louis Falo, a professor and chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Mark Johnson writes in USA Today that vaccines often take years to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Yet on March 16, the first four healthy volunteers in Seattle received a different potential COVID-19 vaccine, made by a company called Moderna and administered in a small clinical trial at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.
Though the vaccine being tested in Seattle uses a new, faster but untested technology, the one developed in Pittsburgh employs the same technique used in flu shots. The Pittsburgh vaccine uses lab-made viral protein to build a person’s immunity to the virus.