June 26, 2020 -- Entos Pharmaceuticals has selected two lead candidates for a pancoronavirus Fusogenix DNA vaccine (Covigenix) from its prototyping program to initiate phase I/II human clinical trials in late July.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Entos developed a panel of recombinant plasmid DNA vaccine candidates encoding in silico-optimized and conserved regions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The two selected lead candidates showed robust preclinical in vivo results including efficacy and safety. They also successfully stimulated neutralizing antibody levels and balanced T-helper cell immunity in mouse models.
The company's Fusogenix drug delivery platform allowed researchers to quickly advance lead vaccine candidates to animal models, said John Lewis, Entos chief executive officer, in a statement.
Entos has received a $4.2 million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Research Nova Scotia, and the Institute for Ageing for future research to develop the Covigenix vaccine candidates through clinical trials.
Entos is partnering with the Clinical Trials Research Center at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology in Nova Scotia to initiate phase I/II human clinical trials which will evaluate the safety, tolerability, immunogenicity, and efficacy of Covigenix vaccine candidates in late July.
The company is also partnering with other institutions and companies to scale manufacturing capacity with the goal of providing millions of doses of the vaccine.