Premas Biotech develops triple antigen vaccine against COVID-19

July 12, 2020 0 By FM

Gurgaon-based biotechnology company Premas Biotech has developed a yeast-based triple antigen virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine candidate named as PRAK -03202 against COVID-19.

The vaccine is prepared by using three surface antigens from the COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine consists of three surface antigens of the SARS CoV-2 virus, namely Spike, Membrane and Envelope (S, M and E) proteins. They are produced inside the D-Crypt platform, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast cells), and they come together to form a virus-like particle (VLP) inside the yeast cell. The VLP is then produced, purified and formulated to become the vaccine candidate

Premas has been working on a certain class of proteins, called membrane proteins for over 10 years and has a proprietary platform for producing such proteins, called D-Crypt.

“When the pandemic broke in early 2020, Premas scientists examined the genetic components of the SARS CoV-2 virus and found that the surface proteins of the virus contain three membrane proteins, where D-Crypt could be used and we had the experience to develop such a possible vaccine candidate,” said Dr.Prabuddha Kundu, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Premas Biotech to Future Medicine.

The company is working on the development of the COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with its US partner Akers Biosciences. The researchers are now moving ahead for animal trials using mice models to analyse the safety and immunogenicity of the candidate vaccine.
“We cannot comment at this moment on how the vaccine will perform or be successful in preclinical studies. But, we can definitely says that being yeast-based vaccines, if it is successful, it can be manufactured in a timely, cost-effective and in very large scale. The in vitro characterization data are promising, and we are conducting preclinical trials presently,” added Dr Kundu.

The four-week placebo-controlled, randomised tests will be examining the immune response in the animal models by dose titration administering the vaccine across different dose amounts. The company is expecting the data and findings of the study in about six weeks.