Canadian company begins human clinical trials for a plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine

A Canadian biopharmaceutical company moves ahead with its first human clinical trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine.

Medicago is a biopharmaceutical company based in Quebec City. It is the first Canadian company to produce a plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Source: Business wire

Yesterday, it has administered doses to 180 healthy human volunteers, men and women between the ages of 18 to 55. The volunteers will be given two doses, 21 days apart. Medicago expects to see the results in October and hopefully continue to move to the Phase 2/3 of the trial.

According to Medicago, it does not use animal products or live viruses to produce a potential vaccine, unlike other companies. Instead, it uses “Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) that mimic the shape and dimensions of a virus which allows the body to recognize them and create an immune response in a non-infectious way”.

This process is similar to what Medicago previously did when it has completed Phase 3 clinical trials for a VLP influenza vaccine for the H1N1 pandemic.

Medicago has been authorized clinical trials for the novel coronavirus by Health Canada last July 9.

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