Axon's COVID-19 vaccine shows promise for elderly population

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

September 10, 2020 -- Clinical-stage biotechnology company Axon Neuroscience has touted results from a preclinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The ACvac1 vaccine contains key elements of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. It is designed to produce an immune response in healthy individuals in order to prevent the novel coronavirus from infecting host cells.

Axon Neuroscience lab technician.
Axon Neuroscience lab technician. Image courtesy of Axon Neuroscience.

In the preclinical trial, mice vaccinated with ACvac1 produced a high titer of serum antibodies against the part of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that allows it to infect cells and replicate. The antibodies also effectively neutralized the live novel coronavirus without the mice showing adverse reactions, according to Axon.

The company is now working toward testing the peptide-based vaccine in a clinical trial. The target population is elderly individuals, who often cannot tolerate high vaccine doses due to adverse effects.

The ACvac1 vaccine platform is based on the company's years of research into using immunogenic peptide vaccines for neurodegenerative disorders in patients age 70 or older, Axon noted. The company intends to begin clinical trials as soon as the fourth quarter of 2020.

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