An enhanced smallpox vaccine produced by a research team in Japan has been confirmed to be effective in preventing infection with the novel coronavirus.
The team, including members from the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science (TMiMS), verified the results through animal testing and found it may have longer effectiveness than vaccines, it said in making the announcement last week.
Nobelpharma Co., a Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company, plans to begin clinical trials sometime this year.
Researchers incorporated a part of a coronavirus gene into an attenuated vaccinia virus used as the smallpox vaccine. After administering two doses of the combination to monkeys three weeks apart, antibodies that attack the coronavirus and immune cells that attack infected cells were created.
When four of the inoculated monkeys were then infected with the coronavirus, viral growth in their lungs and the onset of pneumonia were found to have been strongly suppressed. No serious side effects from the vaccine were observed, the researchers said.
“The safety of vaccines using vaccinia virus is high, and are expected to maintain strong effectiveness over a long period,” said TMiMS researcher Michinori Kohara, who specialises in infectious immunology.
This article was first published in Asia One . All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.