April 2, 2021 -- OSE Immunotherapeutics will shortly begin a phase I clinical trial evaluating CoVepiT, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate on 48 healthy volunteers in Belgium.
The trial was cleared by the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products and the Belgian Ethics Committee. The study will evaluate the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of CoVepiT in healthy adults.
The vaccine candidate is a next-generation multitarget, multivariant vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. It was designed using optimized epitopes selected after screening more than 67,000 global SARS-CoV-2 genomes, as well as those from previous coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) to identify vaccine targets with the lowest chance of natural mutation.
The vaccine targets 11 virus proteins including the spike, membrane, nucleocapsid, and several nonstructural proteins. The epitopes cover the initial and all SARS-CoV-2 variants identified to date, according to the firm. In preclinical testing, it has shown the ability to activate T-cell defenses through CD8 T cell multiepitope responses generating long-term T memory cell immunity.