August 28, 2020 -- The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has awarded Thomas Jefferson University a grant for the development of CoraVax, a novel COVID-19 vaccine.
The grant will significantly accelerate CoraVax formulation optimization -- the final step needed to advance the vaccine to human clinical trials. In preclinical studies, the vaccine has been shown to induce high levels of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in hamster and mouse models, without any serious adverse effects. Challenge experiments demonstrated that the animals were fully protected against viral disease.
Thomas Jefferson University partnered with Bharat Biotech on the development of the vaccine. CoraVax was developed using deactivated rabies vaccine as a vehicle for coronavirus proteins. Bharat is currently manufacturing enough vaccine to support a phase I clinical trial, which the organizations anticipate will begin in the next several months.
In total, the Commonwealth awarded over $10 million to 23 different groups to develop effective COVID-19 vaccines, treatments, and therapies.